Last week I wrote a post called 5 Reasons Gremlins 2 Is A Masterpiece, and I often talk about my love for some of the Friday The 13th, Halloween and NOES sequels, so you know I’m not a hater when it comes to franchises. Not only do I have few hangups about sequels, I’m even looking forward to the NEXT Friday The 13th film – which is a sequel to a remake. I’m no snob when it comes to this stuff, I’ll take it when I can get it.
But the fact remains that a good deal of horror sequels (and sequels in general) are pretty terrible. So here I’m going to get started on what will surely be an ongoing and easily updated series of lists regarding secondary installments that betray key elements of what made the originals so great. I’m going to try to avoid stuff that’s merely disappointing and focus on films that really twist the knife into the back of the fans.
Head below for 5 Disgraceful Horror Sequels!!!
We’re talking a fairly precipitous drop in quality when you compare Poltergiest III to even Poltergeist II, much less the original film. While the cast tries their best with what they’re given – there’s no rescuing this high-rise bound tale of horror. Even if the conceptual well hadn’t already run dry, this type of story works much better in suburbia.
I remember liking this as a kid (I was a big Daphne Zuniga fan so there was a “moment” here that was revelatory for me) and it’s actually not a terrible film (according to a revisit I made about 5 years ago). Of course, it’s not a good movie either but the actual insult is that it was made AT ALL. Cronenberg’s film is the most singular, classic piece of body horror I can think of – why f*ck with it by trying to tell a needless story about Brundle’s son? As much as I dig the fact that the bad guy is thrown in the pit at the end (instead of those poor Golden Retrievers), I don’t see how you can watch The Fly II and think it compares in any way, shape or form to the 1986 film.
This one is tough (no matter which title you’re using – it’s also called American Psycho II: All American Girl). On the one hand, it’s horrible and completely spits in the face of the original Mary Harron film. On the other hand, it wasn’t actually meant to be a sequel or have anything to do with Amercian Psycho. Do we give it a pass on that account? Hell no. It has the title, it has to bear the cross. Plus, they added a scene at the beginning that shows the aftermath of what appears to be an 8 year old Mila Kunis killing Patrick Bateman. Kunis is actually okay in the film and, as a fan of hers, I’m glad she survived this trainwreck.
I almost didn’t include this one because it’s discussed so often it’s like shooting fish in a barrel (not proud of that pun either), but the fact is that it’s such a disrespectful assault on the original Jaws (not to mention the Brody family) I had to bring it up. We can talk until the cows come home about the fact that the shark follows Ellen to Jamaica, roars, stands up in the water and seems to spontaneously explode. I could make further mention of the vast amount of technical goofs as well. But the main insult is just that the spirit of the thing is so poisonous. When you’re jumping through such ridiculous hoops just to fabricate enough story to make a sequel, you know you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
I know, I know. I actually caught a lot of flak for placing this so low on my “Elm Street Rankings,” but I just can’t get past how far the tone of this film drifts away from Craven’s original intent. I know it was an “in the family” old school New Line production and that a lot of people involved with the film, including writer/director Rachel Talalay, truly felt an affinity for Krueger and the franchise. But I can’t help myself, when I see Freddy flying around like a witch, rushing spikes into frame a la Wile E.Coyote or wearing a Nintendo Power Glove – I check out. The film has a lot of interesting ideas, I’ll give it credit for that. But I can’t even begin to figure out how you’d make an Elm Street movie with its heart further removed from the original than this one.