22 Surprisingly Underrated Sequels That You Need To Watch Right Now

·6 min read

With film producers always looking for the next sure moneymaker, sequels have become a commodity in cinematic culture, for better or worse.

But not all sequels are created equal, and in this list, I highlight some of the sequels that deserve more love than their current reputation may suggest.

22.Crank 2: High Voltage

Jason Statham in “Crank 2: High Voltage”

The first Crank may have ended with antihero Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) falling to his death from a helicopter, but that couldn't stop Crank 2: High Voltage from being an even more ridiculous, absurd, and fun exercise in questionable taste.

Moviestore Collection Ltd / Courtesy Alamy

21.Pee Wee's Big Holiday

Joe Manganiello and Paul Reubens in “Pee Wee’s Big Holiday”

After the disappointment that was Big Top Pee Wee, Pee Wee's Big Holiday was a satisfying return to form for the beloved character, who encountered bank robbers, giant snakes, and a gun-toting farmer as he hit the road once again.

Allstar Picture Library Ltd. / Courtesy Alamy

20.Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Ian McShane and Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

Though the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise basically bungled its overblown and convoluted third entry, On Stranger Tides ultimately decided to expand upon its mythology with fresh blood, unique set pieces, and, ultimately, more ambitious and satisfying results.

Walt Disney Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

19.Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later”

Though David Gordon Green's Halloween movies have made a killing at the box office, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later told the "survivor" story of Laurie Strode with a more compassionate and grounded lens, depicting the struggles of maintaining a "normal" life with post-traumatic stress disorder while miraculously juggling the ingredients for an intense and creepy modern slasher, the legacy of which was largely undone by its terrible sequel.

Dimension Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

18.U.S. Marshals

Tommy Lee Jones in “U.S. Marshals”

With The Fugitive thrilling audiences as an unexpected hit in 1993, no one could have predicted Warner Bros. expanding upon Tommy Lee Jones' Oscar-winning supporting role in another story. Nevertheless, U.S. Marshals is a surprisingly engaging action flick with a number of genuinely exciting set pieces throughout.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

17.Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies

Andrew Divoff in “Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies”

Though Wishmaster 2 does not have the budget, star power, or the special effects of its predecessor, it is nonetheless a fun and occasionally funny follow-up anchored in camp and bloody mayhem.

Artisan Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

16.London Has Fallen

Gerard Butler in "London Has Fallen"

Olympus Has Fallen showed much promise as a violent, hard-hitting throwback to old-school action cinema, but London Has Fallen shook up the formula with bad one-liners, over-the-top action, and a finger-twiddling villain to produce something closer to the pun-laden shoot-'em-ups of the '80s and '90s.

Gramercy Pictures / Via YouTube

15.Waxwork II: Lost in Time

"Waxwork II: Lost in Time"

Waxwork II: Lost in Time takes the ingenious horror-comedy anthology concept of the first film to ridiculous new heights while deftly sending up such iconic genre titles as Alien, The Haunting, and Nosferatu.

TCD/ Prod.DB / Courtesy Alamy

14.Goon: Last of the Enforcers

Seann William Scott in “Goon: Last of the Enforcers”

Goon may have won the hearts of comedy fans after its massive popularity on Netflix, but its sequel is among the rare comedies to rise to the occasion of its previous installment with its exceptional heart, humor, and fight sequences.

AF Archive / Courtesy Alamy

13.The Omen III: The Final Conflict

Sam Neill in “The Omen III: The Final Conflict”

Sam Neill proved that he was a young actor worth his weight in gold in The Omen III, which allowed him to bring the iconic character of Damien to adulthood with a sinister yet somehow sympathetic twist.

Moviestore Collection Ltd / Courtesy Alamy

12.Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Nicolas Cage in “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”

Bad Lieutenant is among Abel Ferrara's best work, but is ultimately hampered by its own legacy as an NC-17 shocker for art-house audiences. However, Werner Herzog shoots for the moon with the spiritual sequel, which exhibits one of the most truly jaw-dropping (and admittedly mesmerizing) Nicolas Cage performances of all time.

First Look Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

11.Vegas Vacation

Ethan Embry, Marisol Nichols, Beverly D'Angelo and Chevy Chase in “Vegas Vacation”

The belated sequel to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Vegas Vacation is funnier than it had any right to be while showing that the franchise still had gas in the tank four films deep.

Warner Brothers / Courtesy Everett Collection

10.The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Vince Vaughn, Julianne Moore, and Jeff Goldblum in “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”

A testament to the strength of Steven Spielberg as a filmmaker, The Lost World: Jurassic Park is an exciting and visually impressive sequel that is unjustly maligned in comparison to the near-perfection of its predecessor.

PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Courtesy Alamy

9.Wayne’s World 2

Dana Carvey and Mike Myers in “Wayne’s World 2”

Wayne's World may have laid the groundwork and expanded upon the universe of this Saturday Night Live fan favorite, but Wayne's World 2 hits the ground running, ramping up the out-of-this-world absurdity and offering some genuinely gut-busting irreverence from top to bottom.

Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

8.Fright Night Part 2

William Ragsdale in “Fright Night Part 2”

Fright Night remains a revered cult classic to this day, but sadly, rights issues have severely limited the reach of Fright Night Part 2 to modern audiences, which is a shame given how the film is as nearly equally as funny, frightening, and imaginative.

Moviestore Collection Ltd / Courtesy Alamy

7.Iron Man 2

Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man 2”

Iron Man 2 is not a perfect sequel, but it's far more entertaining than it's often given credit for, especially when watched in an MCU binge where it operates even better within the context of Marvel's grand timeline.

Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

6.Saw VI

Peter Outerbridge in “Saw VI”

While the first three (or four, depending on who you ask) Saw movies all have their own merits and creative successes, Saw VI truly stands out as the unexpected gem of the series, with a clever script, incredible traps, and a biting message on the American healthcare system that seems more relevant with each passing year.

TCD / Prod.DB / Courtesy Alamy


Adrien Brody and Alice Braga in “Predators”

With no less than three Academy Award winners (and one nominee) featured in this film, Nimród Antal's Predators is a damn fine addition to the franchise's pantheon of exhilarating and ultraviolent creature features.

20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Courtesy Everett Collection

4.Return to Oz

Fairuza Balk and Stewart Larange in “Return to Oz”

Genuinely bizarre and often terrifying, Return to Oz is a bold, dark movie that deserves a shoutout for trading the easy decision of aping The Wizard of Oz for operating as nightmare fuel and establishing itself as a kindertrauma classic.

Buena Vista / Courtesy Everett Collection

3.The Cloverfield Paradox

Zhang Ziyi and Daniel Bruhl in “The Cloverfield Paradox”

Though the film receives much flack for its somewhat ill-advised ending, The Cloverfield Paradox is a weird and intense film with a cast that goes above and beyond its Twilight Zone-esque script.

APL Archive / Courtesy Alamy

2.Clerks II

Jeff Anderson, Trevor Fehrman and Brian O'Halloran in “Clerks II”

While some of the dialogue has not aged well (or unabashedly veers into problematic territory), there's no denying that Clerks II delivers some huge laughs throughout and remains one of Kevin Smith's most heartfelt movies.

Weinstein Company / Courtesy Everett Collection

1.Hellraiser: Inferno

J.B. Gaynor, Doug Bradley and Craig Sheffer in “Hellraiser: Inferno”

An early film from Doctor Strange and Sinister filmmaker Scott Derrickson, Hellraiser: Inferno is a shockingly smart, eerie, and surreal film in its own right, bolstered by some strong performances and the opportunity to flip the script on the Hellraiser franchise.

Moviestore Collection Ltd / Courtesy Alamy

Are there any sequels you think should have made this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Don’t miss Sam Claflin in the new rom-com Book of Love from BuzzFeed Studios, coming to Amazon Prime Video February 4 and Sky Cinema February 12.

Sam Claflin and Verónica Echegui standing on a street below the film's title
BuzzFeed Studios / Amazon Prime Video