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  • Initiators / Followers
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Description
    • Implementation: Implementation


  • Frankensein (1931) / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Both films are horror films released in 1931 based on literary classics. They are both adaptations of stories with themes concerning the dangers of man playing God with science, leading to experiments that create disastrous results.
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    • Implementation: That was a big year for Universal Studios in general and charted the course for their horror legacy to come with not only the release of James Whale's Frankenstein but also Tod Browning's Dracula starring Bela Lugosi.

  • Horror of Dracula (1958) / Blood of the Vampire (1958)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Full-color British Gothic Horror vampire films with a daring amount of blood and gore for their time, both written by Jimmy Sangster.
    • Implementation: Horror was Hammer's second horror film, following The Curse of Frankenstein. Blood was made as a response to both films (re-interpreting vampire lore into more of a Frankenstein-esque mad science) and intended to ride Hammer's success; it was the first of many Hammer knockoffs to hit the market.

  • Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974) / The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two movies from the year 1974 with overselling titles that were inspired by the crimes of Ed Gein, who murdered two women and exhumed several graves in the 1940s and 50s.
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    • Implementation: Deranged is a loose telling of the Gein case, replacing him with a fictional counterpart that commits similar crimes. TTCM took the facts about Gein's grave robbing and making masks and suits from human skin and ran with it, adding cannibalism into the mix.

  • Eraserhead (1977) / 3 Women (1977)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Surreal melodramas inspired by psychoanalysis and dream interpretation.
    • Implementation:

  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series (1974) & Halloween series (1978) / Friday the 13th series (1980) & A Nightmare on Elm Street series (1984)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Slasher Movie series.
    • Implementation: The earlier Friday, Halloween, and Texas Chainsaw movies are more straightforward slashers, only becoming explicitly supernatural with later installments. Nightmare, on the other hand, featured a supernatural killer from the start. Also, while Texas Chainsaw and Halloween came first, helping to pioneer the genre in the '70s, they were only turned into franchises to capitalize on the success of Friday and Nightmare — before that, Halloween had only two sequels (one of which was In Name Only), and Texas Chainsaw had none.
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  • Piranha (1978) / Barracuda (1978)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Aggressive schools of fish born from a government project kill people.
    • Implementation: Both films were released in 1978 with few months between them. Former film is a tongue-in-cheek offering, while the latter is more straight-forward.

  • Dracula (1979) / Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Dracula adaptations that draw upon previous adaptations — Universal's Dracula is based on the same play as their famous 1931 version, and Werner Herzog's Nosferatu is based on the F.W. Murnau version from 1922. Both feature A-list casts and lavish production values.
    • Implementation: The former was intended as a Summer Blockbuster, while the latter played the arthouse circuit that fall. American International Pictures got in on the vampire hype when they brought out Love at First Bite, a comedy about the Count finding love in The '70s, three months prior to the former's release. It was a surprise hit and subsequently blamed for the fact that...

  • The Prowler (a.k.a. Rosemary's Killer) (1981) / My Bloody Valentine (1981)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 1981 Slasher Movies which feature a town that is willing to restart a celebration (Valentine's Day in MBV, graduation in The Prowler) openly again after murders were committed on that day several decades ago. The original perpetrator seemingly returns to bloodily remind them why this is a bad idea.
    • Implementation: The killer in both is clad in an all-concealing outfit (WWII combat gear in the former, miner's outfit in the latter) and is primarily armed with a common tool (pitchfork in the former, pickaxe in the latter).

  • Bloody Birthday (1981) / Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 1981 slasher movies revolving around birthdays.
    • Implementation: Though their initial releases were only a month apart, Bloody Birthday was not widely available in the US until 1986.


  • An American Werewolf in London (1981) / The Howling (1981)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two 1981 horror/comedy movies about werewolves. They were the first of their kind to show an "actual" transformation scene of men turning into wolves.
    • Implementation: The Howling came first by a couple of months and has six sequels, all crappy stuff; AAWIL only has one, An American Werewolf in Paris, which was mediocre at best.

  • The Lost Boys (1987) / Near Dark (1987)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 1987 released horror films that are about a young man who finds himself sucked into the world of a gang of vampires.
    • Implementation:


  • The Horror Show (1989) / Shocker (1989)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Both movies center around serial killers who meet their demise in the electric chair. The killer in question has made supernatural precautions and returns from death to torment those who captured him.
    • Implementation: Both films were released 1989 with a six month gap between them. The Horror Show also became a Dolled-Up Installment in the House series, initially being released as House III: The Horror Show. There's no plot connection, though.

  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991) / Cape Fear (1991)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 1991 released psychological thrillers/horror films. Both featuring a deranged criminal on the loose who needs to be stopped, but also a criminal (the same one in the latter) has a fixation on the lead hero (both of whom have something they feel the need to hide) and their life that leads to some disturbing interaction.
    • Implementation: The original sources for the characters/stories of both films come from books: The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris and The Executioners by John D. MacDonald. It is also notable that these were the second films to bring some of these characters to life on screen, most notably the villains that are most well remembered from them. Brian Cox having played Hannibal Lecter (in the film spelled Lecktor) in the 1986 film Manhunter based on the novel Red Dragon, whilst Robert Mitchum played Max Cady in the 1962 film version of Cape Fear.

  • Prom Night IV: Deliver Us From Evil (1992) / Happy Hell Night (1992)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 1992 Slasher Movies which feature a demonically possessed priest who, after awakening from a decades long catatonia, kill people. Both movies feature a scene where a statue of Jesus Christ moves on its own.
    • Implementation: Deliver Us from Evil is the third and last sequel to Prom Night (1980). Happy Hell Night is a stand-alone film.

  • Mikey (1992) / The Good Son (1993)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Early 90s horror films about a blonde Enfant Terrible who goes around killing people portrayed by a then-famous child actor who was Playing Against Type and were even banned in the UK (though the latter's was eventually lifted).
    • Implementation: The big difference between the two evil child characters of both films is that Mikey is an Evil Orphan who kills one family and gets adopted by another thus repeating the cycle whereas Henry already did plenty of troublesome stuff even before he met his cousin Mark (to put it mildly).

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) / John Carpenter's Vampires (1998)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Both are dark stories that take place in a world where vampires exist but their existence is not known by the general public. Both feature a "slayer" or a character that is specifically trained by a shady organization to hunt down and kill vampires. Both slayers also manage to put together a team to help them in killing vampires.
    • Implementation: The movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out six years before Vampires (though the latter was released a year after the premiere of the TV series based off of the former). Due to Executive Meddling the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie ended up being much campier than the horror comedy that Joss Whedon originally intended. The show is fairly dark, but somewhat idealistic. Vampires is a lot grittier. Buffy takes place in an urban environment, with both the show and series involving the title character protecting a town, while Vampires mostly took place in a rural desert environment. The "slayers" were also two very different characters in each; Buffy Summers was a Valley Girl who was chosen through supernatural means by a secret society, while Jack Crowe was trained from birth by the Vatican and is the perfect example of a Politically Incorrect Hero. Buffy tended to rely on more supernatural means, while Jack Crowe manages to awesomely use conventional weaponry (though both primarily use stakes). Vampires also did not have as strong a female presence.


  • The Last Broadcast (1998) / The Blair Witch Project (1999)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: The basic plot of both of these movies, released within a year of each other, is identical: a documentary film crew ventures into the woods of a rural community, hoping to uncover secrets of the local legend (TBWP has the fictional witch Elly Kedward, Broadcast uses the actual myth of the Jersey Devil), only to meet a horrific fate. Some time after, the footage is recovered and presented to the viewer to try and make sense of what happened.
    • Implementation: Some have accused the makers of The Blair Witch Project of ripping off the earlier Last Broadcast, but TBWP actually started production several months before Broadcast was released, and was conceived several years before that. Neither film is really the first in the "found footage" genre; 1981's Cannibal Holocaust can make a fair claim to that.


  • The Sixth Sense (1999, Shyamalan) / The Others (2001) (2001, Amenábar)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two thriller/horror movies with the same Twist Ending.
    • Implementation: Though The Sixth Sense was released two years before The Others, Amenábar wrote his script much before The Sixth Sense was released and the pre-production started before the Shyamalan film showed in theatres.


  • They (2002) / Darkness Falls (2002)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Horror films released two months apart about people being stalked by monsters they had encountered as children, which lurk in the darkness and are Weakened by the Light.
    • Implementation: The origin of the monsters in They is left unknown, though they're heavily identified with the boogeyman. The monster in Darkness Falls, meanwhile, is a Grimmified take on the tooth fairy. They was also produced by Wes Craven; he had little creative input, but the marketing heavily emphasized his involvement.

  • House of 1000 Corpses (2003) / The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 2003 released horror films about a group of young adults who whilst venturing across rural Texas find themselves in the clutches of a family of murderers.
    • Implementation: The director of House of 1000 Corpses Rob Zombie has stated that his film was made in homage to 70's horror including the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Whilst it's competitor is a slick update of that original film.

  • The Descent (2005) / The Cave (2005) & The Cavern (2005)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Horror movies with similar titles, made in the same year, and all three about a group of cavers who go spelunking, meet something unpleasant, and die.
    • Implementation:

  • The Ring Two (2005) / Dark Water (2005)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Water-centric supernatural horror films inspired by Japanese Hideo Nakata films based on Koji Suzuki stories.
    • Implementation: Many observers noted the plot of The Ring Two is much closer to Dark Water than to any of the Japanese Ring sequels.

  • The Dark (2005) / Silent Hill (2006)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Supernatural horror about a mother searching for her daughter and comes across the identical ghost of a little girl who wants to take her daughter's place. Mother has to search a mysterious "Otherworld" to find her daughter, aided by her husband, who is played by Sean Bean in both.
    • Implementation: Both films feature religious cults, an Otherworld, missing daughters and a Mama Bear as the main protagonist. In the video game Silent Hill, it's a Papa Wolf, but the director thought it the female spin was more believable.

  • Hannibal Rising (2007) / Halloween (2007)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 2007 installments to iconic horror franchises that seek to provide an origin story for their central villain-protagonist.
    • Implementation: The big difference in approach between these two films is that Rising is set within the same continuity as the previous Hannibal Lecter films that starred Anthony Hopkins, whilst Rob Zombie's Halloween is instead a straight-up reboot of its franchise with his own revamped Michael Myers.

  • Rogue (2007) / Black Water (2007)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 2007 Australian movies about crocodiles that were based on true stories released within months of one another.
    • Implementation: Rogue stars Radha Mitchell, Michael Varten and a then-unknown Sam Worthington from Clash of the Titans and Avatar, and was directed by Greg Mclean who directed Wolf Creek. Black Water's stars are more or less unknown outside of Australia.

  • One Missed Call (2008) / The Eye (2008) & Shutter (2008) & Mirrors (2008)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: American remakes of Asian supernatural horror films released in 2008.
    • Implementation: The trend had been going on for years, but hit its peak with this four-way brawl. Each film originated in a different country (Japan for One Missed Call, China for The Eye, Thailand for Shutter, and South Korea for Mirrors).

  • Pontypool (2009) / Dead Air (2009) (2009)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 2009 films about a viral infection that turns people into mindless and violent lunatics, both from the perspective of a DJ stuck inside the recording studio while everything is going to hell.
    • Implementation: In Pontypool it is language itself that triggers the infection, while in Dead Air (2009) the cause is a more conventional terrorist attack.

  • Orphan (2009) / Splice (2009)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 2009 released horror/thriller films about a couple who raises a strange "girl" of some kind, with terrible things ensuing.
    • Implementation:

  • My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009) / Friday the 13th (2009) (2009)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Remakes of classic early 80s slasher films that were released in 2009. Both movies, like their predecessors, feature tons of gory kills, gratuitous nudity, and strangely enough, half of the Winchester brothers from Supernatural. The former stars Jensen Ackles and the latter Jared Padalecki.
    • Implementation: While Valentine was labeled as an actual remake with a few notable changes to the story and some 3D effects, Friday was meant to be a reboot of the franchise and serve as a new origin story. However, its supposed sequel has been in Development Hell for years.






  • No One Lives (2013) / You're Next (2013)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 2013 horror movies about a group of murderers meeting their match when one of their putative victims turns out to be far more dangerous than they anticipated.
    • Implementation: In No One Lives, the criminals are highway killers with established names and faces, and the person killing them is an even more villainous man. In You're Next, they are home invaders whose identities are concealed with masks, and the person killing them is a heroic woman.

  • The Purge (2013) / You're Next (2013)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Home invasion thrillers released in summer 2013.
    • Implementation: The Purge's gimmick is that it's set in a dystopian world where, for one night a year, all crime is legalized. You're Next is a more straightforward film, albeit with a Black Comedy take on the genre.

  • As Above, So Below (2014) / The Pyramid (2014)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 2014 Found Footage (-ish) horror films about archaeologists trapped underground with evil things.
    • Implementation: As Above So Below is set in the Catacombs beneath Paris, while The Pyramid is set in a newly-discovered ancient Egyptian pyramid. While As Above is entirely Found Footage, The Pyramid only uses the device sporadically and is largely shot in a traditional fashion.

  • Life After Beth (2014) / Burying the Ex (2014)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two horror comedies released in 2015 which revolved around a young man who loses his girlfriend in a sudden, tragic accident and tries to cope with his loss until she suddenly and inexplicably reappears, carrying on like everything's normal. Well, that is until she begins to decay and eat human flesh.
    • Implementation: Both movies take very different approaches to a similar premise. While Ex is more of a straightforward comedy with some horror moments and gory kills mixed in, Beth is far more disturbing and horrific in some parts, but is not without its comedic and even romantic elements as well. The films' messages are also vastly different: Ex is about the boyfriend standing up for himself against his resurrected Alpha Bitch girlfriend while Beth focuses more thoughtfully on dealing with the loss of a loved one and finding ways to make peace with yourself.

  • It (2017) / mother! (2017)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Horror films released in September with comparable budgets around the 30 million mark or so.
    • Implementation: Loads. The former is an adaptation of one of Stephen King's most famous books while the latter is an original property by Darren Aronofsky. IT is more of a straightforward horror film mostly filled with unknowns while mother! is of the surrealist, heavily symbolic kind with an All-Star Cast.

  • Blood Fest (2018) / Hell Fest (2018)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Horror films where a small group of friends have to survive in a horror-themed festival that turns out to contain legitimate dangers instead of just theatrics.
    • Implementation: Blood Fest was a horror-comedy indie film made by Rooster Teeth that premiered at the SXSW film festival and got a limited theatrical release. Hell Fest was a bigger budget, traditionally released horror flick.


  • A Quiet Place / The Silence (2019)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Both sci-fi horror films set in a postapocalyptic very near future brought about when the nations of Earth are unable to protect their populations from attacks by swift and deadly creatures with finely developed hearing who use that to hunt humans. Both films also focus on the survival struggles of a family with a deaf daughter.
    • Implementation: The Silence was based on a 2015 novel; the script that became A Quiet Place had been in development since 2013. The film adaptation of the former had been completed before the latter was even shot, but A Quiet Place was released first since The Silence hadn't found a distributor.note 



  • Spiral (2021) / Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (2021)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: The latest installments of two similar trap-centric horror franchises, opening nearly head-to-head. Both are expected to push past the relatively small-scale confines of their respective predecessor(s), whether with bigger stars (Spiral will feature Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson) or a bigger setting (Escape Room 2 sees the first film's survivors taking the fight to their mysterious former captors).
    • Implementation: While Saw is a long-dormant franchise that had only briefly been revived in the 2010s with 2017's Jigsaw (to mixed success), Escape Room 2 will be released just 2.5 years after the first film, a surprise hit that offered a PG-13 variation on Saw's modus operandi. Assuming both sequels retain their franchises' historical MPAA ratings, this will be a showdown of the old-school, R-rated legacy sequel vs. a new Lighter and Softer variation of the same template. Incidentally, Spiral will be the first film in the franchise to eschew a traditional Halloween release frame, instead launching May 2021, while Escape Room jumps from the first film's January date to July.

  • Draug (2018) / Huntress: Rune of the Dead
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Both films are low budget zombie films set in Swedish wilderness during the viking age, featuring a Action Girl hero who has visions of things to come.
    • Implementation: The later film was produced and co-written by Faravid af Ugglas who provided production design for both Huntress and Draug, as well as actors Urban Bergsten and Ralf Beck. The later even makes a similar comment about the smell of the zombies in both films. Huntress was filmed in English with an American producer, while Draug is in Swedish with emphasis of the dialects of the characters as part of the world building.

  • Peninsula (2020) / Army of the Dead (2021)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Amid an area ravaged by a zombie pandemic, a team attempt to pull off a major money heist.
    • Implementation: Peninsula is a stand-alone sequel to the South Korean film Train to Busan, from the same creative team, centering on a group of surviving soldiers attempting to steal a truck filed with millions for The Mafia in exchange for half the take. Meanwhile, Army of the Dead is an American film, directed by Zack Snyder for Netflix, in which a group of mercenaries attempt to rob a Las Vegas casino during a zombie outbreak.

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