10 Horror Movies That Deserve The Legacy Sequel Treatment

Legacy horror sequels, dubbed "requels" in 2022's "Scream" revival, are all the rage right now. While horror remakes were once the genre's bread and butter (it seems like every property was dredged up at one point or another) filmmakers have now shifted to the next best (possibly even better) thing. Why remake a movie when you can just make a long-overdue sequel? Legacy sequels, such as this year's box office behemoth, "Top Gun: Maverick," typically bring legacy cast members back for an entirely new story that's canonically connected to the first but with enough new material — and faces — to simultaneously feel like both sequel and remake. In the horror genre especially, "Orphan: First Kill," David Gordon Green's "Halloween" trilogy," his forthcoming "The Exorcist" trilogy, and even the aforementioned "Scream" had revived once dead properties for an entirely new generation while retaining the names and faces that made them horror tentpoles.

While some properties like "Friday the 13th" have skirted the "requel" trend (so far) because of murky legal trouble, the indomitable success of the trend — even day-and-date streaming release "Halloween Kills" grossed $131 million at the box office — has horror fans everywhere flipping through their back catalog for the next franchise or film due for the "requel" treatment. We're looking at 10 horror movies that deserve the legacy treatment. While original horror thrives, there's nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia here and there.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Jim Gillespie's "I Know What You Did Last Summer" from "Scream" scribe Kevin Williamson (a loose adaptation of Lois Duncan's novel) was a better-than-most slasher. It retains "Scream's" metatextual self-awareness, with a game young cast and a solid murder mystery at its core. A year later, it was followed by the ridiculous, though no less worthwhile, "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer," a sequel that gave audiences the rare chance to see a Black final girl in action, with Brandy's Karla surviving until the very end.

While the series was revitalized in a swiftly canceled Amazon series and, at one point, had Mike Flanagan attached to a remake, the franchise remains dead in the water. Even the third entry, "I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer," was mostly disconnected from what came before. There's enormous promise in the idea of a Brandy and Jennifer Love Hewitt series revival. Like the legacy sequels before it, why not have them ingratiate themselves into another murder mystery, guiding a new generation toward absolution? With the success of the new "Scream," there's undoubtedly an audience for this cult favorite.

Urban Legend

Jamie Blanks' first "Urban Legend" wanted to be "Scream," but it didn't have the talent. Still, for what it is, it isn't bad. A serial killer models their murders after famous urban legends, targeting Alicia Witt's Natalie and her college friends. Ostensible best friend Brenda (Rebecca Gayheart) is revealed to be the killer because of a prank Natalie pulled years before that left Brenda's fiancé dead. Brenda is defeated and Natalie lives to see another day. The sequel, "Urban Legends: Final Cut," is more of the same — only without any of the original cast except campus officer Reese Wilson (Loretta Devine). However, Gayheart's Brenda returns in the final reel, having seemingly survived the events of the first film. A third and final sequel, "Urban Legends: Bloody Mary," is a follow-up in a name only, opting for a supernatural bent.

The series could wisely go the "Orphan: First Kill" track, developing a new entry based around the villain rather than the survivors. Gayheart's performance as Brenda was one of the original's high marks, and it would be thrilling to see her shepherd a new generation into an urban legend murder spree. While there have been talks of a remake for years, that project seems stalled indefinitely. As one of the touchstone "Scream" clones, this would be the perfect time for "Urban Legend" to do what the first did remarkably well — capitalize on the classic series' success.

You're Next

"You're Next" is one of the best horror movies ever made. Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett turned the home invasion subgenre on its head with their wildly inventive, fiercely funny, and genuinely scary tale of masked intruders interrupting a wedding anniversary party. Core to the movie's success is Sharni Vinson's Erin, girlfriend to A.J. Bowen's Crispin who, unknown to the others, grew up on a survivalist compound. When the killing starts in earnest, no one anticipates Erin being better prepared than most to smash skulls, set traps, and outsmart her pursuers.

Notoriously delayed ("You're Next" had a two-year gap between its TIFF premiere and theatrical release), the movie is now over a decade old. Most concerningly, the movie never quite made the splash it should have. It's a shame, too, since Sharni Vison's Erin gives Sidney Prescott and Laurie Strode an earnest run for their money. A decade out, it's high time to revisit Erin's survivalist instincts. While "You're Next" concludes with a gotcha cop death, it would be easy to have her return to the fray again, taking down animal masked baddies along the way.

The Guest

Not content with just one horror classic, Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett followed up "You're Next" with "The Guest," a grindhouse throwback with an artificially intelligent, superhuman Dan Stevens at its center. For years, the duo has been teasing a long-anticipated sequel, going so far as to release a soundtrack aptly titled "The Guest 2." While it's not the sequel fans wanted, it was remarkably well-received, spurring Wingard to remark to Empire, "We're talking about developing a potential sequel as a real project."

Akin to its grindhouse, sci-fi brethren, "The Guest" concludes with Stevens' David Collins still alive. Co-star Maika Monroe is a certified scream queen at this point, springboarding her early work in "The Guest" and "It Follows" into starring roles in acclaimed projects like Chloe Okuno's "Watcher." Almost a decade out from the original, this would be as good a time as any to bring both Stevens and Monroe back to duke it out one final time. With eager fans and a genre landscape more than receptive to its release, this would be the perfect time for "The Guest 2" to finally become a reality.


"Poltergeist" has had plenty of sequels and even a remake from "Monster House" director Gil Kenan. There has been no shortage of "Poltergeist" activity, though, in truth, nothing has come close to matching the classic, frightening charm of the original. Additionally, "Poltergeist" is one of the most heartrending horror franchises out there, largely because of the tragic deaths of several of its stars, a circumstance many fans have colloquially dubbed the "Poltergeist curse." Shudder's "Cursed Films" has done a lot right in terms of course-correcting the disrespectful narrative, recontextualizing stars Dominique Dunne and Heather O'Rourke as real people, their deaths as more than just fodder for a cinematic curse.

By bringing "Poltergeist" back with stars JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson, a legacy sequel has the chance to definitively put the tasteless curse rumors to rest. As a counterargument to a mythic franchise marred by rumors of real corpses and on-set exorcisms, a new "Poltergeist" canonically connected to the first would work not just as another entry in the lucrative franchise, but as an opportunity to retrospectively pay homage to the real-life tragedies that befell its cast.

Jennifer's Body

Megan Fox had a remarkable return to the horror genre in 2021 with "Till Death," widely considered one of the best horror movies of the year. Despite an odd relationship with Machine Gun Kelly, Megan Fox was back and better than ever. With Fox's return to the genre, this would be the perfect time to give fans the "Jennifer's Body" sequel they have been clamoring for. While Fox's Jennifer almost certainly died at the end of the first film, she was a demon and could easily return.

She and co-star Amanda Seyfried had remarkable chemistry and, given how often the film has been recontextualized and reevaluated in recent years, it is the perfect time to bring them both back. Sexy, funny, and self-aware, there was nothing quite like it back in 2009. Truthfully, there's a "Jennifer's Body"-shaped hole in the heart of horror cinema. Let Megan Fox return and do what she does best.

The Prowler

"The Prowler" is an unsung slasher gem. Director Joseph Zito would go on to helm "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter," arguably one of the strongest entries in the entire "Friday the 13th" franchise. The same gory playfulness that served Zito well there augments "The Prowler," elevating it to classic status. With remarkable practical effects from makeup maestro Tom Savini, "The Prowler" is a grim, gory treat and an enduring delight in the canon of 1980s slasher movies.

With a legacy sequel, star Vicky Dawson, a criminally underrated final girl, could return and again find herself embroiled in a love-struck slasher rampage. Slasher films are undergoing a revival of sorts, though some of the late, great elements have been cast aside for a new generation. "The Prowler" is a hallmark of practical gore — one of the best ever — and modern slasher films don't pay enough homage to the gore of yesteryear. Let "The Prowler" prowl again.


The dissolution of Neil Blomkamp's "Alien 5" is one of the most tragic occurrences in the history of the modern horror genre. In an interview with Indiewire, Blomkamp remarked, "Sigourney was always into the project, but Fox just clearly doesn't want it. I haven't had anything to do with that for years." As Blomkamp was developing his direct sequel, with Ellen Ripley returning, Ridley Scott was developing his own "Prometheus" prequel series, and Fox executives only moved forward with one.

It's a shame, too, since as wonderful as "Prometheus" is, "Alien: Covenant" amounted to a lackluster attempt at modernizing the "Alien" series. It could have easily been Blomkamp's vision instead. While Blomkamp has been adamant he has no intention of returning to the project, even if given the chance, it would undoubtedly match or exceed the success of David Gordon Green's "Halloween" trilogy. Audiences simply want Sigourney Weaver back.

Sorority Row

Stewart Hendler's "Sorority Row" might seem like an odd choice for a legacy sequel. A riff on "I Know What You Did Last Summer," itself a riff on the original 1982 "The House on Sorority Row," the remake grossed a meager $27 million at the box office. Despite a pretty wonderful sequel tease at the end, there's almost no chance "Sorority Row" will get the follow-up it so desperately deserves. While it's not a masterpiece by any means, it understands the rhythms of 1980s slashers better than most. While late aughts horror often prioritized savagery and violence over pathos and charm, "Sorority Row" is marginally violent at best. It is an accessible, fiercely funny slasher throwback.

Even today's legacy horror sequels are crueler than their progenitors. 2022's "Scream" was arguably the most brutal entry in the series, and 2018's "Halloween" had more crushed heads than the first five "Halloween" movies combined. In bringing the surviving cast back (especially Briana Evigan's Cassidy), "Sorority Row" could bring back the charm of old-school slashers with a little violence, a little snark, and a whole lot of fun. Brutality and tension are great, but what's wrong with a slasher just playing around?

The Mummy

Stephen Sommers' "The Mummy" is a bona fide horror movie. While "The Mummy Returns" and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" went bigger and bolder, regressing into blockbuster sensibilities to diminished results, the first in the trilogy was a genuinely frightening mix of high-octane adventure and classic Universal-style terror. Just look to those danged flesh-eating scarab beetles for proof.

Star Brandan Fraser is experiencing a long-overdue career revival. Though Darren Aronofsky's "The Whale" has been met with mixed reviews, everyone seems to agree that Brandan Fraser is back and better than ever.  Variety is even suggesting Fraser is as sure a bet as any for a best actor Oscar nomination. The vagaries of the Hollywood cycle often shuffle career-best turns into big blockbuster outings (just look at the overqualified cast of the MCU for proof). Post awards season, it would be the perfect time to bring Fraser, Rachel Weisz, and company back for another row with ancient, evil mummies. After Weisz was recast in the third, fans simply want the original duo back again for one final bow.