10 Horror Movie Franchises That Wasted Their Perfect Ending

Those horror properties that just didn't know when to stop.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors Ending
New Line Cinema

No genre is as synonymous with sequels as the horror genre.

Due to the relatively low cost of putting such pictures together, it's easy for studios to hammer out profitable sequel after profitable sequel as they look to milk the proverbial cow dry. As such, some of these sequels can be a bit naff and often run the risk of tarnishing what was once so great about an IP.

In terms of tarnishing, there have been numerous horror follow-ups that have taken a giant dump on a great moment, a great character, or a great finale. And it's on such finales that the attention is on here.

Putting together a brilliant ending for a horror series is clearly a tricky proposition, yet there are certain franchises that manage to nail a perfect - or at least pretty darn good - conclusion that leaves audiences happy for said series to ride off into the sunset. As alluded to, though, producers and studios usually struggle to resist the urge to return to the well one more time, and thus these fantastic endings are null and voided by an inferior follow-up.

What that in mind, then, here are ten such horror franchises that ultimately undid what was a well received finale.

10. The Earthbound Happy Ending - Aliens

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors Ending
20th Century Fox

While Sir Ridley Scott's Alien is a phenomenal slice of space-set sci-fi terror, one could arguably say that James Cameron's 1986 follow-up, Aliens, is somehow even better than its predecessor.

Aliens took the tension of Scott's picture, threw in a smidge more action, and raised the stakes by throwing a young child into the mix in the shape of Newt. Just by including Newt, that added a sense of motherly instinct and protective nature to the Ripley character, nicely fleshing her out from what we'd seen before.

What Aliens also did, is it essentially gave audiences a happy ending. By the close of that picture, Ripley, Newt, android Bishop and fan favourite Corporal Hicks were all heading into stasis as they set their compass for a return to Earth. With that, the franchise wrapped up with a nice, warm fuzzy feeling as our protagonists lived a full and prosperous life on their home planet...

Only they didn't.

Instead, the much-maligned Alien 3 undid so much of that perfect Aliens ending by killing off Newt and Hicks in a lazy off-screen manner at the start of the film. For Bishop, he'd end up deactivated, whilst poor Ripley becomes pregnant with a Xenomorph, sacrifices herself at the threequel's end, and then winds up being cloned for Alien: Resurrection.

Senior Writer
Senior Writer

Chatterer of stuff, writer of this, host of that, Wrexham AFC fan.