Do the Worst Slasher Films in Each Major Franchise Deserve the Hate?

Of all of the sub-genres in horror, it's slasher films that often cover the entire spectrum of quality with each new entry. Typically, the earliest entries will offer something unique and innovative that reels in a fanbase who can't get enough of their favorite icons. For example, Freddy's ability to kill in dreams mixed with his iconic design carried him into becoming a quippy killer with a huge following. However, with each innovation, these franchises often fly too close to the sun, and one or more entries will come crashing down, critically speaking.

This article will go into some of the most iconic slasher franchises and the worst entries within them. While this doesn't cover each slasher franchise that has been released, it does discuss the most famous names in the business. As each entry is revealed, the question will arise if any of these lower-ranked films deserve the hate they've gotten for so long.

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Scream 3 - 40 Percent

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Wes Craven's Scream 3 once again follows Sidney, Dewey and Gale as their paths cross following the murders of many characters tied to the latest installment of the in-universe horror franchise Stab. In the overarching trilogy, the film feels like a logical conclusion to the three films with Sidney's past coming to haunt her, but while the movie maintains its meta approach, Scream 3 still falls back on the same tropes felt in previous entries. The film isn't inherently poor, but it suffers from franchise fatigue without offering anything new.

Child's Play 3 - 23 Percent

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Unlike the previous two installments, Child's Play 3 separates itself by offering a time skip. In the past entries, Andy Barclay is a child caught in harrowing situations, while Chucky, the killer doll, does everything in his power to take over Andy's body and live as a human. By the third installment, Andy is now a teenager and acts out to the point where he is sent to a military academy to mature. The setting should serve as a twisted coming-of-age story where Andy faces his tormentor and saves another child against Chucky, but rather than focus on its new themes, the film instead relies on the same concepts that worked in previous films. As a result, fans and critics felt that it didn't offer anything new to the series, leading it to stay dormant until Bride of Chucky.

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A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) - 15 Percent

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The 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street reboot was an ambitious entry into the series as it tries to reimagine the iconic character of Freddy. By the time the series reaches the point of a remake, Freddy is best known as a quippy tormentor of the children of Elm Street; however, the 2010 remake's goal is to bring the horror back to the character that made him famous in the '80s. In doing so, the critics felt the film fell short on developing its characters in memorable ways and took the mystery out of Freddy's character by packing the film with a lot of his backstory. Ultimately the film doesn't lack spectacle, but it requires some much-needed substance.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning - 14 Percent

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning was an attempt to take the franchise back to its roots by exploring the origins of Leatherface and the Hewitts. However, in doing so, the film creates an environment that focuses solely on torture and violence. While the original followed similar beats, the film's atmosphere and lack of overt gore helped it stand out. Unfortunately, in this film's case, the violence overshadows the plot, leaving critics to question its narrative worth. Sadly it's also one of the least memorable, leaving the film in a state of limbo where it's hardly loved or remembered by fans and critics.

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Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan - 12 Percent

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After the original film, the Friday the 13th franchise gradually declined as the series cared less for the story and more for creative kills. No example best shows this than Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. While the title assumes that Jason will be taking his rampage to the Big Apple, most of the film features the hockey mask-wearing killer terrorizing teens on a cruise. Ultimately, the film barely shows Jason in New York City, and its overall story suffers for it. Most critics felt that the movie lacked substance, but fans of the franchise will still find the same qualities that make the other films so entertaining. Ultimately, Jason Takes Manhattan never meets the expectations its title teases.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers - 9 Percent

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Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was the sixth entry into the franchise and was meant to explain why Michael always appears to have supernatural abilities. However, the explanation given serves only to deaden the character's otherwise terrifying and mysterious aura. By the time audiences reach the film, the franchise has already played out many slasher elements that made previous installments so well-liked. To stand out, The Curse of Michael Myers tries to use shock tactics to wow its audience. Sadly, by this point in the story, shocking moments became anything but. In the end, critics felt the film was uninspired, and audiences felt similar as it wouldn't be for almost another decade until Michael had another success with the 2007 remake.

Hellraiser: Hellseeker - 0 Percent

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None of the franchises in this list have endured more poorly reviewed entries than the Hellraiser series, but even with so many entries, each film never stops trying to improve on the last. Hellraiser: Hellseeker, though the lowest, is also the most unique as it sees the franchise's original final girl, Ashley Laurence, return to the role of Kirsty Cotton. The film follows her husband, caught in a torturous situation headed by Doug Bradley's Pinhead, and it features an unexpected twist. Sadly, even with a unique premise, the critics felt the movie, from story to production, still lacked cinema-quality visuals and story.

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Nicholas Brooks (1031 Articles Published)

CBR Features Writer Nick Brooks has been writing for over ten years about all things pop culture. He has written for other sites like Animemojo.com and Gamefragger.com. When not writing you can find him with his lovely girlfriend, cooking, reading comics, or collecting any new Star Wars Black Series, Marvel Legend, or Transformer. For more of his thoughts on pop culture check out his blog, The Next Panel with Comic Brooks.

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