A Bad Movie Studios Column
So I last did a column on movie remakes and decided that I would do a follow up. This time it’s about sequels. Now I’m going to try to stick to horror movies for this one as there are probably more cases of sequels to horror movies than any other genre out there. Now off the bat I can tell you that sequels in films are not as polarizing a topic as remakes are, but talking specifically about horror movies, this day and age it’s become almost expected for a successful horror movie to have sequels. So I guess I’ll talk about some of my gripes with horror sequels, the rise of them in today’s film scene, and go do a list of a flew series whose sequels have become part of the films legacy.
The first thing I wanna address is poor naming of horror sequels. What I’m talking about is when a movie comes out, take Final Destination (2000) for example. So the first one comes out and becomes successful. Okay no problem. Then comes Final Destination’s 2 and 3 (2003, 2006). No problem here, numeric sequels, easy to understand. Then in 2009 we got the fourth film in the series, this time called The Final Destination. They went from properly numbered sequels, to not. It isn’t a big deal, but even though the movie is called The Final Destination, that didn’t stop New Line Cinemas from making a 5th movie, called Final Destination 5 (2011). So, what the hell, you went from numbered sequels, to calling part 4 the ‘Final” one, to now releasing Part 5 again numbered. I guess it’s better than calling it The Final FINAL Destination. From what I understand, the series is loosely connected, I haven’t seen them so I can’t verify this. But if they are, why not just call the last one The Final Destination Part 2? At least it would make more sense than going back to numbers and confusing future viewers on which one it the original because the titles are so damn similar. From what I’ve read, a 6th movie is in the works and possibly even a 7th. If these movies come out, lets hope they stick to the numbered format, otherwise we’ll get The Final Final FINAL Destination’s Part 1 & 2.
Speaking of movies with an ending at part 4 that didn’t happen, lets look at the Friday the 13th franchise. Now I’ve seen every Friday movie so I can shed a bit more light on these. So Friday the 13th comes out in 1980. then Parts 2 and 3 in 81′ and 82′ respectively. Again, same situation as last time. Then Part 4 comes out but it isn’t called Part 4, it’s called Friday the 13th: the Final Chapter. I can attest to the fact that “Part IV” isn’t in the title because I have the poster from the movie and it’s not on there. So then of course they spoil it by making Part 5, but this one again isn’t numbered. Instead it’s called Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. Now, I would complain about this but Part 5 actually doesn’t feature Jason Voorhees as the killer, instead it’s a copy cat. So calling it A New Beginning works fine storyline wise. But then they bring Jason Back in the next film and call it Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. So we got 2 movies without numbers and then again we’re back to the numbered format. Part 7 and 8 were also numbered and had subtitles (The New Blood and Jason Takes Manhattan) but then we get Part 9 and it’s just called Jason Goes To Hell. That’s it. No number, nothing. Just Jason Goes to Hell. Then we get Jason X a few years later. It’s one of the most confusing names I’ve ever seen to a sequel. It’s not Jason X like ‘Jason Ten’, it’s just pronounced X. And nowhere does it say Friday the 13th, so one might not even think that Part’s 9 and 10 are even part of the series. I have a box set of the Friday the 13th films, and wouldn’t you know, the only one’s that aren’t in the entire set, are Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X.
Let’s talk about Halloween for a moment. I already reviewed the original 1978 classic, so I’m not gonna cover any of the same stuff I did there here. Instead what I want to talk about is the degradation in quality of the sequel films over time, and what better way than to use Halloween as the prime example. The naming of the Halloween movies in the main series is perfectly fine. Halloween, to Halloween 5 are all numbered sequels, with a few subtitles thrown in here and there. The 6th film is called Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers as apposed to Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, but at the time it was the last film in the series chronologically so that’s alright I guess. An interesting side note is that Halloween 4, 5 & 6 all share the same subtitles as the Pink Panther sequels. The subtitle’s for the 4th, 5th and 6th movies in these franchises are “Return of”, “Revenge of” and “Curse of”. Pretty weird huh? Anyway, the Halloween series started off strong with the first one being a classic and Halloween 2 being a pretty solid sequel that finished up the Michael Myers story fine. Then Halloween 3 came out and got shit canned because it didn’t have Michael Myers in it Instead it was a completely different story about a cult that ran this corporation that wanted to sacrifice children as a part of Pagan tradition. Now as not to dwell on it for too long, the series was supposed to be in an anthology format with a different theme every installment. But that wasn’t popular so Halloween 4 brought back Michael Myers. Part 4 actually wasn’t a bad film. Not as good as the original but a decent 10 year anniversary sequel. Michael Myers end up getting shot 1000 times and falling down a mine shaft and the end of the film see’s Jamie Lloyd (one of the movies protagonist’s and Micheal’s niece) don a clown mask and kill her foster mother, giving the impression that if there’s gonna be a sequel that it will follow Jamie as the new killer. Halloween 5, then took that idea and crapped on it. Basically it’s shown that Michael survived being shot to hell and lived with a hermit for a while before killing him and coming back for Jamie. Basically the story was just the same old stuff rehashed for the 5th time and it got old really quick, Also there is more than one scene where someone pretends to be Michael Myers in order to scare other people in the movie, and this really undermines Micheal’s presence when he’s actually on screen. It also starting pushing this cult storyline the would continue in Part 6. Halloween 5 was the least successful Halloween film to date, but it was glorious in comparison to Halloween 6. Now I don’t wanna talk too much about Part 6 because I want to review it down the road, but Part 6 was the most ridiculous nonsense that could ever have been a Halloween film. There couldn’t be a more tired and dull plot made out of this movie. The film was so bad that they had to re shoot scenes for it to make it more entertaining, and ended up changing most of the third act. Basically the film turned Michael Myers into a puppet for a cultist group and took the series to places it never should have been in the first place. Halloween 6, is garbage. After Halloween 6, we got Halloween H20 which was a sort of reboot to the franchise being a direct sequel to the original story that ended in Part 2. It even brought back Jamie Lee Curtis, who was a major film star by that point. Halloween H20 was actually a pretty good film and would have been a perfect cap for the 20th anniversary of the franchise. But oh no. They had to take it one step beyond. They had to make, Halloween Resurrection. For one thing, could they have picked a blander title? But what a piece of crap it is. I own a Halloween Collection pack that has Halloween: Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween H20 and Halloween Resurrection. I plan on reviewing them all so again I won’t go into too much detail, but to sum up why Halloween Resurrection is bad, all you need to know is Michael Myers vs Busta Rhymes. End of story.
Now how could I talk about sequels without mentioning Godzilla? There might be more sequels to the Godzilla films than any other series in film history. In total there are There are 28 Godzilla films made by Toho, and 2 American versions (the 1998 one and the upcoming 2014 reboot). That’s 30 films! How do you even keep a plot going for 30 films you might ask? Well the answer is, you don’t. The Godzilla films are a haunting mess of continuity, with some being sequels to others, some being direct sequels to the original, some not even fitting in any storyline and being stand alone and one that has such a confusing time warp plot that I’m not even gonna begin to try to explain it. I love Godzilla but does there really need to be 30 films? It seems a bit much.
So I’ve talked about poorly named sequels, sequels that killed franchises and Godzilla which has way too many sequels. So now I just wanna talk about modern horror sequels and give my two cents on the matter. It seems now that whenever a horror film gets popular, studios jump right on to working on sequels. I guess the best example would be the Paranormal Activity series. The first one was successful and now we’re going onto the 5th installment. I’ve seen the first 3 and enjoy what I saw but they’re very formulaic and more or less the same thing. Besides they story timeline is nuts. The 3rd one takes place before all of them, then the second one fits in and THEN the first one, it’s a mess. I don’t know about Part’s 4 and 5 but I can assume they follow the same idea. Another good one to mention is Insidious. A decent film and I was glad to hear that a sequel was coming out. Well it was just released to theaters not too long ago and although I haven’t seen it, I’ve heard pretty positive things. But of course, right after it’s release, it’s announced that Part 3 is already in the works. It’s like if these films have a good opening weekend they automatically get a sequel. I can’t say I’m as excited but then again I have to see the 2nd one to judge. Sequels have just seemed to be the cash cow in film recently. Every genre is experiencing a boom in them, not just horror. I know I’m leaving out some other film and this is just a short article, but there’s not all THAT much I feel I can say about sequels. Whenever a movie makes money, it get’s a sequel. And sometimes it gets too many. Sometimes it doesn’t have enough, guess it really depends on the franchise. I could mention Avatar (2009) that already has 3 more films in the works, 2 sequels and a prequel. I find that crazy. But I guess that’s just me. So tell me what you think about sequels. Are they good, bad? And what movie would you like to see get one. Thanks for reading.
- And Here It Is, Halloween (1978) – Film Review (thatfighterguy.wordpress.com)
- Bad Movie Studios on: Remakes (thatfighterguy.wordpress.com)
- ‘Friday the 13th’ Producers Exploring “Found Footage” Sequel Ideas (slashfilm.com)
- Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (kingstonfalls.wordpress.com)
- Why ‘Scream,’ Not ‘Friday The 13th,’ Should Make The Switch To Found Footage (moviesblog.mtv.com)
- Evan’s Top 5 Horror Movie Franchises (videodead.com)
- Report: ‘Friday the 13th’ Sequel to Be Filmed as ‘Found Footage’ (aceshowbiz.com)
- Top 5 Ways to Celebrate Your Friday the 13th Party (wholesalecostumeclub.com)
- Anyone Want a FRIDAY THE 13TH Found Footage Film? (geektyrant.com)
- AMC Fearfest Kicks Off With The Season Four Premiere Of “The Walking Dead” Sunday October 13 (twocentstv.com)