Where can a horror franchise go when it’s in danger of becoming stale? Into the Prequel Zone, of course. Though once considered a money grab, some prequels are just as good as the films that inspired them, especially when illuminating secrets from previously established mythologies. Indeed, some of the 21st Century’s best creepers are prequels.
Our friends at WatchMojo have assembled a video Top 10 list of what they consider horror’s greatest prequels. While my personal list may vary, there’s no denying that most of these entries are solid winners. Have a look-see and let us know what you think in the Comments section? Do you agree with their choices? What are some other great horror prequels that deserve some love?
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If you can’t stream, the Top 10 terrifying horror movie prequels are listed below, along with trailers and synopsis. Enjoy!
The Thing (2011)
After Norwegian researchers discover an alien ship buried in the ice, paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) joins the team at the isolated Arctic outpost to investigate. She finds an organism that appears to have perished in the crash eons ago but, in fact, is about to awake. Freed from its icy prison, the insidious life-form goes on the attack. Paranoia spreads like wildfire among the crew as they fight to survive against a creature that assumes the shapes of its victims.
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Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge (1991)
Gestapo agents face killer dolls when they murder puppeteer Toulon’s wife in this prequel to “Puppet Master.”.
Insidious Chapter 3 (2015)
When teenager Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) senses that her late mother is trying to contact her, she seeks help from gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). However, Elise’s tragic past makes her reluctant to use her abilities. After Quinn is attacked by a malevolent entity, her father (Dermot Mulroney) pleads with Elise for help. With support from two parapsychologists, Elise ventures deep into The Further — where she finds a powerful demon with an insatiable craving for human souls.
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The discovery of a clue to mankind’s origins on Earth leads a team of explorers to the darkest parts of the universe. Two brilliant young scientists lead the expedition. Shaw (Noomi Rapace) hopes that they will meet a race of benevolent, godlike beings who will in some way verify her religious beliefs, while Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) is out to debunk any spiritual notions. However, neither the scientists nor their shipmates are prepared for the unimaginable terrors that await them.
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Amityville II: The Possession (1982)
Soon after the Montelli family buys a house in the Long Island suburb of Amityville, unsettling events begin to occur. Mysterious demons seem to infest the house, preying on abusive father Anthony (Burt Young) and ferociously religious mother Dolores (Rutanya Alda), who calls on family priest Father Adamsky (James Olson) for an exorcism. Teenage Sonny (Jack Magner) is drawn furthest into madness, abusing his younger sister, Patricia (Diane Franklin), and eventually exploding in a horrific fury.
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Red Dragon (2002)
Ex-FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) is an expert investigator who quit the Bureau after almost losing his life in the process of capturing the elusive Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). After a series of particularly grisly murders, Graham soon realizes that the best way to catch this killer, known as the Tooth Fairy, is to find a way to get inside the killer’s mind. For Graham, that means confronting his past and facing his former nemesis, the now-incarcerated Lecter.
Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
In 1967 Los Angeles, widowed mother Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) unwittingly invites authentic evil into her home by adding a new stunt to bolster her séance scam business. When the merciless spirit overtakes her youngest daughter Doris (Lulu Wilson), the small family must confront unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.
Final Destination 5 (2011)
During a bus ride with his colleagues to a corporate retreat, Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) experiences a horrifying vision: the suspension bridge that they — and many others — are crossing starts to crumble around them. When his vision ends and, almost immediately, starts to come true, Sam takes quick action that saves a number of people, including his girlfriend, Molly (Emma Bell), and his best friend, Peter (Miles Fisher). However, the survivors soon find that Death will not be denied.
Annabelle: Creation (2017)
Former toy maker Sam Mullins and his wife, Esther, are happy to welcome a nun and six orphaned girls into their California farmhouse. Years earlier, the couple’s 7-year-old daughter Annabelle died in a tragic car accident. Terror soon strikes when one child sneaks into a forbidden room and finds a seemingly innocent doll that appears to have a life of its own.
Related Article: (SPOILERS) So IS “Annabelle: Creation” a Prequel to “The Nun”?
Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
In 1988 sisters Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) seem to be enjoying a normal, happy childhood at home. But when strange things start going bump in the night, their father, a wedding videographer, decides to use his cameras to discover the source, especially since Kristi appears to having conversations with an imaginary friend. While the cameras do indeed reveal a flurry of supernatural occurrences, the family is unprepared for the terror that awaits.