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By Mark Allan Gunnells

The first horror movie I ever saw in its entirety was Friday the 13th Part 2.  Not the original, but the sequel.  I remember the experience vividly.  My older sister was having a slumber party, and a half dozen or so girls were sitting in a semi circle around the TV watching the film, and I was at the back of the room watching right along with them.  I still recall the screams during the final boo! moment, the adrenaline that flooded into my system.  I was afraid to sleep with the lights off for weeks after that, but I was hooked into horror films from that moment on.

Not long after that, I saw Halloween II.  During my childhood, every October the networks seemed to play that one instead of the original, and I watched it over and over every year.  Long before I ever saw Carpenter’s masterpiece.  I loved the hospital setting, the moody atmosphere, even the explosive ending.  It became a perennial favorite, even more so than The Wizard of Oz.

So it should come as no surprise that I fell in love not only with horror movies, but specifically with slasher sequels.  And thus no surprise that I ended up writing a novel that deals with a slasher sequel.  My novel Sequel is a loving homage to those wonderful horror sequels that always upped the ante: more mayhem, more blood, more victims…  I tried to capture that sense of fun and excitement, suspense and over-the-top carnage.  I’m hoping the book appeals and satisfies those readers who are like me and grew up on a steady diet of slasher sequels.

In honor of Sequel, I’ve decided to make a list of my top five favorite slasher sequels.  I hope you all will play along and name yours as well.

1)      Friday the 13th Part 2.  I must admit, I like this one better than the original.  I find the cast of characters more interesting, and Jason is a creepier villain to me than his mother.  Also, Amy Steel remains to this day my favorite heroine from the series.  This is the Friday film I rewatch the most often, and it still manages to entertain me.

2)      Halloween 20 Years Later (H20).  This film has a lot of haters, and yet I personally find it to be the most worthy successor to the Carpenter classic of the entire series.  Yes, it does have a post-Scream mentality, but I think it perfectly blends that with the suspense and tension that made the original such a classic.  Plus a powerhouse performance by Jamie Lee Curtis.

3)      A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors.  Bringing back the Nancy character was a stroke of genius, and the story of the final Elm Street children coming together to battle Freddy as a group was thrillingly effective.  It featured some impressive effects, as well as some substandard ones (the skeleton near the end is rather laughable), but it is exciting and contains what I consider some genuinely emotional moments.

4)      Scream 2.  I have a great fondness for this movie.  The first one remains the best for me, the most clever and inventive, but part 2 I thought was a wonderful sequel that continue to expand upon characters I had grown to love, gave me some very suspenseful and terrifying situations, and still managed to make me laugh at the appropriate places.  The acting was all top-notch, and I must say for whatever reason I’ve always been a sucker for college campus horror stories, and this one made great use of that setting.

5)      Sleepaway Camp 2.  I must admit that despite its shock ending, I was never that big a fan of the original Sleepaway Camp, but the first sequel I find delicious fun.  Pamela Springsteen gives a wonderfully oddball performance, making her character both chilling and bizarrely likable.  I remember renting this one as a kid only because of the cover art on the VHS and just loving it.  And I still do.

So there you have it, my top 5 slasher sequels.  Some may agree, some may disagree, but I really want to hear from you guys.  What are your favorites and why?  And if you do happen to take a chance on my novel Sequel, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Mark Allan Gunnells has been writing since he was 10 years old. His first book, A LAYMON KIND OF NIGHT, was published by Sideshow Press in 2009. Since then he has put out three more books with Sideshow: the two-novella WHISONANT/CREATURES OF THE LIGHT combo, a short story collection entitled TALES FROM THE MIDNIGHT SHIFT VOL. I, and the Halloween themed DARK TREATS. He also has put out the novella ASYLUM with The Zombie Feed, and a digital collection entitled GHOSTS IN THE ATTIC with Bad Moon Books. His first published novel, THE QUARRY, was with Evil Jester Press. His latest novel Sequel is available in both trade paperback and digital format at Amazon HERE. He still lives in his hometown of Gaffney, SC.

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December 2012