Oh, you do remember that dialogue between Randy and Mickey in “Scream 2” about the sequels. Despite the fact that movie franchises became popular around thirty years ago, viewers have different attitude towards it. Some say that the original film would be better off alone, without any further instalments, while others are anticipating the release of another sequel.
On the one hand you can easily understand those who would eagerly live in the world where their favourite film had no follow-ups, as sequels, usually butcher the original story, create unsuitable traits for the original characters, and lead the masses to believe that the original movie was as dumb as its sequels.
In most of the cases, when it comes to horror movies, a sequel is nothing more than a carbon copy of the original movie, only dumber. Certain sequels suffer from over-explaining everything, while the original story was scary exactly because a lot has been left to viewers imagination.
Most of the Halloween-franchise fans would agree that the Thorn cult explanation behind the Michael Myers’ murders was one of the dumbest ideas that ever occurred in the franchise. Or Jason becoming some shape-shifting demon in “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”.
Today we are going to talk about the another kind of horror movie sequels – the inventive ones. Mind that by claiming that they are inventive, I’m not trying to say that they are great. Horror aficionados mostly are well aware of them. Some of them were well received on their release, while others had to wait for thirty years in the cult status to gain some critical acclaim. Some of them are still hated by fans of the franchises and by average viewers. Regardless of that, let’s have a look at the list of most inventive horror movie sequels kindly provided by j4l.com.
1. Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
When making “Night of the Living Dead”, George A. Romero didn’t plan making any follow-ups. While most of his films made throughout 1970s were critical darlings, they were unable to match the commercial success of Romero’s first zombie-movie.
But after visiting Monroeville Mall, one of the first shopping malls in Pittsburgh, in 1974, George A. Romero started writing a screenplay for what would become one of the best horror movies of all time. “Dawn of the Dead” remains one of a few films that received four stars out of four from Roger Ebert, and it has 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
George A. Romero could have made a carbon copy of “Night of the Living Dead”, with people hiding from zombies in the farm house, instead he had made a movie, which, aside from being one of the scariest films of all time, is a brilliant satire on consumerism.
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)
This is the sequel that was considered to be an utter abomination by Freddy Kruger’s fans for thirty years. While I think that this movie deserves a second look, I can see where all the complaints coming from. Freddy was an evil that lurks in your dreams, and the culmination of Wes Craven’s masterpiece showed that he is absolutely useless when taken out of the dreamworld.
That’s where the second part gets inventive, and where it gets all the shit from, aside from being, arguably, one of the most homoerotic slasher movies in history of cinema, and that the “revenge” subtitle makes no sense, as none of the characters from the original film is present.
In this instalment, rather than haunting different teenagers, Freddy focuses on guy, possible a closed gay, to possess his body in order to continue his killing spree.
3. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
Speaking about carbon copies, from the start the second instalment in the Evil Dead franchise seems to be not only a carbon copy, but a remake of the first movie. Upon its release, “The Evil Dead” was deemed a commercial disappointment, grossing $600,000 at the domestic box office. The main problem with the movie was that general audiences were confused whether to take the film as horror movie or as a comedy.
In Europe, at the same time, where audiences were more open to genre-blending movies, the first instalment had grossed over $2 million. Aside from being misunderstood, the first movie was often blamed for being made in bad taste. Instead of making a sequel a more conventional horror movie made in a good taste, Sam Raimi decided to make a remake of the first movie, which would a sheer satirical comedy about the bad taste.
4. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
It took this sequel thirty years for getting a critical acclaim. Upon its release the movie was considered a box-office disappointment, which is rather unfair considering the fact that it earned almost $15 million being made on $2.5 million. The fans of the franchise hated the movie for the absence of Michael Myers, who clearly died in the end of “Halloween II”. Thirty years later the movie has legions of fans, and a cult following as a stand-alone film.
Unlike all the other sequels, where Halloween was just an excuse for Myers to kill, the holiday is the plot-point of the third instalment. And the idea of millions of kids getting killed on the Halloween simultaneously is way more creepy than a maniac stalking teenagers.
While the Blumhouse-produced “Halloween”, which is scheduled for the release in the fall of 2018, is going to ignore all the sequels, “Halloween III” may feel safe, as in its universe Michael Myers was always a fictional character.
5. Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)
If you stumble on this movie somewhere on the internet, you are most likely to see comments like “One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my life”, which to my mind is slightly unfair. First of all, this movie is way better than “The Slumber Party Massacre” (1982). The problem with the first movie was the comedic screenplay, which was taken seriously, resulting in the movie which was neither a comedy nor a slasher film.
The second instalment, on the other hand, is both a slasher film and a comedy. The movie features a group of kids being haunted by a dream killer with a power drill on his guitar. It may sound like its in name only sequel, but it actually follows the story of the first movie. And if you look carefully, you may find out that aside from being hilariously funny, “Slumber Party Massacre II” is a smart psychological horror film about incest and former-victim becoming a maniac him/herself.