The horror genre is ripe with quite a colorful batch of characters. From all the disgruntled ghosts polluting the Overlook Hotel in The Shining to the Universal Monsters joining forces in The Monster Squad, horror movies stand on the shoulders of their most classic creatures. That said, some of these characters go overlooked. The spotlight is understandably on the central roles, but that’s not to say that some of the supporting players don’t pull their own weight with just as much zest and care. They’re just simply not given enough room to shine.
However, with The Conjuring extending its own universe with the likes of Annabelle, The Nun, and The Crooked Man, it begs the question: what other horror movie characters could use their own spinoff? The genre is ripe (though in a grotesque way, naturally) with scene-chewing individuals who have proven their ability to steal the show — so why not give them a show of their very own? Keep reading to sink your teeth into 15 Horror Movie Spinoffs That Need To Happen.
15. Pamela Voorhees – Friday the 13th
How can someone confidently explain Pamela Voorhees’ motives by the end of the original Friday the 13th? Sure, the people responsible for her son’s life were too busy canoodling to make sure he was safe (which could drive anyone to want justice/revenge), but going on an aimless killing rampage is grounds for some deeper exploration (and that’s adding to the fact that her son just so happens to be imbued with supernatural powers).
Basically, there’s a lot more meat on these bones. Mrs. Voorhees is a classic, but she’s complicated. For all the attention that her son got, Mrs. Voorhees’ motives weigh pretty much only on the fact that she snapped. But that’s exactly the case that can be made for a spinoff. Maybe she didn’t. How deep do her psychotic roots actually go? Where did she come from? Why is it just her and Jason?
It can be argued that these questions may not need answering, but if handled correctly (and creatively), a Pamela Voorhees spinoff could be exactly what the Friday the 13th film franchise needed all along (since the remake route isn’t quite as solid as it needs to be).
14. The Witches – Rosemary’s Baby
Rosemary’s Baby is a slow-burning, claustrophobic thriller pitting one woman against hellishly unreasonable circumstances. The audience follows Rosemary (Mia Farrow) battling her own sanity as a growing suspicion of conspiracy and collusion starts to unravel around her. She eventually discovers that her suspicions were correct and, between her own doctor, neighbors, and husband, her life is being controlled by Satanic puppeteers in service of Lucifer and his unborn son.
While this is all captivating enough in its own right, there is much to be desired from the aforementioned puppeteers. This coven of witches is referred to during the movie and ultimately revealed in the final act, but there isn’t much else to be said for them. Rosemary is the host, Satan is the leader, and the witches are the pawns. Still, that doesn’t make them any less fascinating.
There is a rich history in the subtext of Rosemary’s Baby regarding these characters, and in this day and age, where horror spinoffs are as potent as ever, they’re definitely worth some deeper exploration. Mr. and Mr. Castevet are not your typical run-of-the-mill Satanists. But that’s exactly what earns them a right to a story all their own.
13. Evil Ash – Army Of Darkness
Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) needs to learn how to write things down. Once he discovers the Necronomicon — an evil book accessible only by repeating a simple three-worded incantation — he screws up. He opens up a demonic doorway, summons the titular Army of Darkness, and inadvertently creates an evil replica of himself. For Ash, this is obviously bad. But for the audience, it’s malevolently splendid.
The concept of an Evil Ash was toyed with in Evil Dead II, but in Army of Darkness, he gets a medieval makeover (or make-under?), and it’s nothing short of slapstick horror at its best. The audience gets to see him in his tyrannical prime, but could there have been more of him on screen? Could he and his cartoonish skeleton army have explored more of their comic/horror potential? Without a doubt — especially if Sam Raimi came back to take the helm.
12. Black Phillip – The Witch
The Witch is cold, dark, and unforgivably bleak. Genuine evil is brewing around the home of a Puritan family in 17th century New England, and it certainly doesn’t shape up to your typically encouraging tale of the American Dream. This family is basically standing at death’s door. In fact, they’re basically standing on Hell’s doorstep, and the Devil himself is welcoming them inside — a devil in the form of a goat named Black Phillip.
Once his job is done with this particular family, it’s safe to assume that he has other families that’ll fit into his agenda. Black Phillip somehow manages to steal the show, even though he doesn’t utter a single word (that is, until the very end — and off-screen). The Witch itself may not warrant a sequel necessarily, but this iteration of the Devil could easily have its own spinoff. What others ways could he destroy an entire family’s life? The options are nearly limitless.
11. The Locals – The Blair Witch Project
Between the original film, the sequel, and the remake, audiences are more than familiar with the strange goings-on in the woods of Burkittsville, Maryland. There’s a witch in the woods, and though audiences never get to see her face, they’re more than familiar with the way she treatments unsuspecting hikers (hint: not nicely). So, if the series wanted to have another go at the Blair Witch story, they could easily do so by staying out of the woods altogether and honing in on the locals living just outside them.
During the faux-interviews seen in the original The Blair Witch Project, the locals shed light on strange experiences they’ve either had personally or have heard about through the grapevine. So, instead of centering a sequel on another set of outsiders finding out about the Blair Witch without any former knowledge of her history, exploring the incidents experienced by locals could be just as entertaining — if not more so.
10. Sex Machine – From Dusk Till Dawn
The good guys are not necessarily good guys in From Dusk Till Dawn. They save the day, sure, but they’ve got some negative baggage seriously preventing them from reaching the level of “hero status” that so many cinematic protagonists aspire to. Hell, the first act of the movie has the its two main characters robbing a store at gunpoint, blowing it up, kidnapping a family, and stealing their camper. Naturally, though, by the time vampires start wreaking havoc on a bar filled with unsuspecting patrons, all of their sins are more or less forgiven.
That said, it’s one of these unsuspecting patrons — a fella named Sex Machine (played by every horror aficionado’s SFX hero, Tom Savini) — who ultimately steals the show. He’s got more skills with a whip than Indiana Jones, he rides a mean hog (one might assume from his getup), and he has a collapsible pistol holstered inconspicuously atop his crotch.
In short, he’s more than a little interesting.
Though he doesn’t make it out of the movie alive (and even ends up turning into a sort of indescribable rat monster for some reason), it’s safe to say that whatever sort of life he was living before grabbing a drink at the Titty Twister was interesting, to say the least, and likely more than worthy of a spinoff all his own.
9. Van Helsing – Dracula
The character Van Helsing already had his own movie. Named after himself and starring Hugh Jackman (or is it “Huge Ackman?”) in the title role, Stephen Somers’ Van Helsing was more or less a CGI-infested mess, so for the sake of “doing justice to a character,” let’s just push that one to the side, shall we?
Deeply rooted in horror lore, Van Helsing is like the Bruce Wayne of fright flicks. He’s dashing, has a healthy supply of crime-fighting gadgets, and has been represented in quite a solid list of iterations. So, it’s about time he’s been given the service he’s due — and in a film all his own. Following him on his quest of monster hunting would undoubtedly make for a solid horror romp, and something that audiences would likely devour without question. As long as it’s done right, that is. And assuming a solid lesson was learned from Somers’ interpretation, that seems to be absolutely possible.
8. Locals At The Slaughtered Lamb – An American Werewolf in London
By the time backpacking college grads David and Jack happen upon the pub The Slaughtered Lamb in Yorkshire, England, it’s fairly obvious that some sort of dread has been wafting through these parts for quite some time. The locals seem damaged to some extent, and they definitely don’t take too kindly to strangers. Once audiences find out that this is mostly due to the fact that a werewolf lives among the moors and haunts all of their full moon-lit nights, their moods make sense. They’re simply used to being on guard.
While An American Werewolf in London tracks the misadventures of David as he comes to the realization that he is a werewolf, its worth revisiting those locals from The Slaughtered Lamb. What sort of horrors have they seen? How have they survived this long? Surely they’ve seen enough bloody horror to warrant their own spinoff (seeing as it’s obviously warranted their miserable vibes and considerable lack of hospitality).
7. Evil Ed – Fright Night
Evil Ed isn’t an easy character to like. He’s loud (“You’re so cool, Brewster!“), his laughter is borderline piercing, and he doesn’t always seem to understand the significance of personal space. Still, he’s far more interesting than most other “comedic sidekicks” in other flicks. Even though he’s mostly played for laughs, Evil Ed is as tragic a character as tragic characters come.
He doesn’t become a vampire because he necessarily wants to become a vampire. He does it because he thinks that doing so will change him for the better. He wants more power than he has, he wants to feel more included than he is, and he wants to believe he can do more than he can. Sadly, once he gives in and opens up to the idea of being transformed, nothing is fixed. He’s still just as broken; it just so happens that he’s now plagued for an eternity with literal evil flowing through his veins.
6. The Frog Brothers – The Lost Boys
There is some solid relationship drama at the center of The Lost Boys. It has all the makings of a cheesy ’80s pop horror movie, but it’s really about the people. Between brothers, mothers and sons, new friends, and young lovers, this movie works because of everyone in front of the camera.
Especially the horror-obsessed, wannabe vampire-hunting Frog Brothers. They’re confidently over-the-top, and their antics don’t always work quite as well as they’d probably like, but none of that matters. They’re entertaining. They’ve technically gotten their own sort of spinoffs in the straight-to-streaming sequels, but those don’t count. This kind of spinoff would have had to have been approached while Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander were still young, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that these are two characters who still deserved it. Their magic is kind of lost once they get older, but had the series been willing to go all in on these two, it could have made for some colorful (albeit bloody) storytelling.
5. Quint – Jaws
When it’s not worrying about a man-eating shark, Jaws does a fine job exploring the personal struggles of Chief Martin Brody (played by the late Roy Scheider). He lives on an island, but he’s afraid of water; he’s striving for a quiet life, but he’s a Police Chief. His situation is as complex as any hero’s journey ought to be. Still, that’s not to say that he completely steals the show. That duty is given to Quint, a local shark hunter.
Loud and happily ill-mannered, there is more to Quint than he first lets on. By the time he and his two shipmates, Brody and Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), are swapping origin stories for their various body scars, Quint opens up about his first traumatic experience with sharks, suddenly peeling away at layers that the audience might have never even imagined existed.
4. Dick Hallorann -The Shining
It’s pretty much common knowledge that Stephen King did not enjoy Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of his novel, The Shining. Aside from tonal differences and character changes, there were chunks of story Kubrick left out that didn’t just disappoint King, but the fans of his books as well. One significant part of The Shining that wasn’t given its due was anything having to do with the character Dick Hallorann.
Scatman Crothers does a fine job in the role, but anyone who’s ever read the book knows that Dick is a much more significant character in the story than Kubrick allows him to be. Aside from The Shining, he’s also shown up in It and Doctor Sleep, which means King clearly doesn’t mind revisiting the character.
3. Tangina the Medium – Poltergeist
The Freeling family would have been lost without Tangina Barrons in Poltergeist. When she shows up, their lives have already been turned so upside down that a television has literally swallowed up their daughter. Supernaturally, they go from 0 to 60 in record time, so they thankfully find someone masterfully versed in that very department. The thing is, though, audiences only know as much as they’re shown on screen. She enters the movie, she does her thing, and the focus is back to centering on the Freelings. So, it’s only natural to wonder what other sort of paranormal adventures she may have been involved with.
Even though endless franchises can become annoying after a while, Poltergeist can at least rest assured that going that route is always a viable option. Tangina revolves her life around “cleaning” haunted houses, so getting glimpses into those experiences would certainly never run out of creative gas (not for a while, at least). Tangina’s life herself could make for a potentially solid horror franchise.
2. Dr. Sam Loomis – Halloween
Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) spends five movies tracking down his former patient, Michael Myers, in the Halloween series. He saw that this soulless, six-year-old boy was not capable of reformation or redemption, and so he makes it his life goal to keep him locked up forever.
That said, the series isn’t primarily focused on Loomis. He’s a supporting character that winds in and out of whatever path Michael happens to be on, but the focus of the series gravitates towards its younger characters — the teenage girls, the young niece, etc. This construct works for the series, but there is so much untapped potential in what sort of material a movie dedicated solely to Loomis could cover. Donald Pleasance and Malcolm McDowell have both had a go at the character, but with the series coming back to life with Danny McBride and David Gordon Green at the helm, this could pave way for a shift in perspective for the series that audiences haven’t yet had the chance to see.
1. The Ancient One’s Facility – The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods does not end happily. After gods (presumably living at the center of the Earth) aren’t given the blood sacrifices they feel they’re entitled to, they lash out. Their giant bodies burst out of the ground, and in a few swift moves, they bring about the end of times. So, when it comes to expanding upon this particular universe, it isn’t easy because… there’s no actual universe to expand upon anymore.
Still, that’s not to say that a spinoff would be impossible. The monsters stowed away underground in the facility dedicated to the Ancient One’s have potential. This film implies that the world as we know it is still in existence because some Ground Control personnel for the supernatural are tasked to keep it that way. So, why not show off what else this facility has been up to? The prequel route seems like the logical direction to go, and even though prequels have a tendency of taking away from the originals, there’s still hope for something solid if Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon (who co-wrote the movie) ever decided to put their heads together to think up something just as satisfying as the first.
What other horror movie spinoffs are just begging to be made? Let us know in the comments.
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