10 Horror Movie Franchises With Only One Great Movie

Still riding the coattails of their one big success.

Final Destination
New Line Cinema

If you want to make money in the world of movies, then a franchise is the best way to go.

One only has to look at the dough raked in by series like James Bond, Toy Story, and Harry Potter to see that's the truth. And let's not even get started on the MCU.

If the success of one film can translate into one, two, three or more being made, then that's a ticket to Easy Money Town with a minor diversion through Merchandising City.

Horror is full of established franchises that have been terrifying viewers for decades. Some are full of excellent movies like Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween.

Others, well, they had one good idea and have been living off that ever since.

These ten film series all contain at least three movies and all bar one of them are pretty dire. In most cases, it's the first film that's the best one with every following entry chucking more and more dirt on its legacy.

In case you're wondering why some of these franchises have continued for so long despite not churning out a decent picture in decades, then we've got three words for you:

Cold. Hard. Cash.

Ain't that the scariest thing of all...

10. Phantasm

Final Destination
Universal Studios

Phantasm was not universally beloved when debuted in 1979, but over the time it's earned the status of cult classic.

It's the tale of Mike, a 13-year-old boy who discovers that the town's undertaker (known as The Tall Man) is actually an alien who is turning dead people into tiny slaves to send back to his home planet.

Not kidding, that's really what it's about.

The first Phantasm film has been retrospectively praised for its originality and scare factor. As for the films that followed it, they weren't so lucky.

Three sequels followed in the 80s and 90s, but a mistake was made right out of the gate. Phantasm II recast lead actor A. Michael Baldwin in the role of Mike, which drew significant backlash from fans.

Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead was slightly better reviewed but it still wasn't on par with the original. The fourth one was fine and not even a fifth instalment released in 2016 could recapture the original Phantasm magic.

Tall Man actor Angus Scrimm died shortly before the fifth movie came out, so unless the franchise wants to risk another recasting, they may never get a chance to top their first attempt.


Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including professional wrestling, music, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.