The new “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” movie just hit theaters, but Lionsgate is ready to continue on with the franchise. If this movie is a success, the production company has the license to make up to seven films in the series, including this one, meaning six more sequels could possibly be on the way. If this movie is a box office hit, the next one will possibly even go into production this summer.
With this latest addition, there are now seven movies in the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” franchise. The original hit theaters in 1974, followed by three sequels. In 2003, Platinum Dunes rebooted the series and pumped out two movies in three years. Now, seven years after that last one, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” advertises itself as a sequel to the 1974 movie, ignoring all the movies that came after.
If this franchise does continue on, it will come close to some of the biggest franchises in horror history. Not including classic characters like Dracula and Frankenstein or monsters like Godzilla or King Kong, here is a look at some of the longest running franchises in horror history.
“Friday the 13th”
Sean Cunningham started his franchise in 1980 and introduced the world to Camp Crystal Lake and the world of the slasher killer. In his brilliant debut film, young adults began to die one by one at the children’s camp by an unseen force. It was not until the climax of that film that we learned that the killer was a woman whose son died due to negligent camp counselors. One year later a sequel came out and this time the evil Jason Voorhees, the son of the killer from the first movie, returned to haunt kids at the campgrounds.
Over the years, Jason killed more kids and somewhere along the way went from being a deranged psychopath into some kind of invincible monster who couldn’t die. The series moved him from Crystal Lake to Manhattan and into outer space before finally sending him to Elm Street where he battled Freddy Krueger. In 2009, Platinum Dunes rebooted the franchise, keeping Jason, and providing the franchise with its 12th movie.
In 1978, John Carpenter created one of the first true slasher movies with “Halloween.” He took the idea of a babysitter in a regular neighborhood and terrorized her with a faceless killer who seemed unstoppable. The second movie in the series was a direct continuation and ended with the demise of Michael Myers. Carpenter chose to use the franchise to tell a different horror story each Halloween and made the third without Michael Myers. Fans revolted and the studios demanded the return of Michael Myers, which caused Carpenter to quit.
A new story began in the fourth movie, which brought back Michael Myers and began to tell the story of how he was created to kill his entire bloodline by an evil cult, and that lasted for three movies before ending and a new reboot started up in 1998 as a sequel to the second movie, ignoring all other versions. He returned one more time in 2002 before fading away for five years. Rob Zombie took over at that time and completely rebooted the franchise, creating two more “Halloween” movies to bring the total to 10.
Unlike the previous two franchises, Lionsgate themselves created their own successful horror franchise with “Saw,” a franchise that told one large story over seven films. It never rebooted itself and every movie tied in with the ones that came before it. Unfairly labeled “torture porn,” the “Saw” franchise was actually a morality horror tale that contained one of the smartest, and well told, long form stories in horror franchise history. There is rumors of rebooting it, but those first seven movies tell one great story.