Way back when Sigourney Weaver first faced off against Ridley Scott’s Alien, no one knew the franchise would be as successful as it is now, of course, things could have been different, had it not had such an incredible sequel in James Cameron’s Aliens that more sequels; prequels and spin-offs followed!
By then we were so invested in the Aliens, we rushed out for films such as Alien 3 and AVP: Alien Vs Predator
In fact on thinking on it, with Terminator 2 and possible to some extent Piranha II: The Spawning, perhaps I should actually look forward to the forthcoming Avatar sequel as James clearly has a good sequel track record, certainly, none of the sequels are as poor as Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem
However, not every sequel can be as good as the original, yet we still want them for the memories/nostalgia/love etc
We love those characters we get so invested in, so why shouldn’t we want to see them, although you could argue not as frequently.
Growing up the likes of Police Academy and Friday the 13th franchises used to be the subject of many jokes, the likes of ‘they will be in double figures soon’, but for successful films, it’s almost the norm.
Possibly the poorest of sequels are the ‘direct to DVD’ titles, The Marine, a 2006 action film starring John Cena, has recently had a Marine 5 released.
Other recent direct to DVD sequels have followed big blockbusters like The Lost Boys; S.W.A.T; Surfs Up; The Butterfly Effect; Donnie Darko and for our Chihuahuas they have been subjected to Legally Blondes (at least got 2 Chihuahuas for making up for no Reese Witherspoon) and Marley and Me: The Puppy Years.
The Chihuahuas have also been subjected to the Disney Direct to DVD sequels with 2 follow ups to Beverley Hills Chihuahua.
Sometimes the sequels get popular as an actor made an early performance in their career in them; Leonardo DiCaprio faced the Critters in Critters 3; George Clooney faced the Return of the Killer Tomatoes and even Jennifer Aniston faced the Leprechaun, a film that has had more than it’s fair share of sequels!
If you are lucky, sometimes you may get recurring cast members, the Beverly Hills Chihuahua franchise had George Lopez as the voice of Papi for all 3 films but Drew Barrymore left Chloe’s voice after the first film.
Jennifer Love Hewitt & Freddie Prinze Jr returned for the I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel as it got a cinema release but the 3rd film headed direct to DVD and they headed elsewhere.
But for us, the worse sequel is the blatant cash grab, where they have no real connection to the original. A prime example of this is a charity shop purchase of American Psycho 2!
The premise is a girl who was the only one who managed to escape Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman, when he was busy killing her babysitter, has grown up and become obsessed with serial killers, so she wants to go to the FBI to stop them.
The best way to do this is to become Dr Daniels (William Shatner) teaching assistant, as he being a former top FBI profiler, would almost see them recommended to Quantico, so she kills all her competition.
The film with none of the original cast returning has gained some popularity due to the girl wanting to be the next American Psycho being none other than Mila Kunis, but she is said to be ashamed of it.
To be fair, it is watchable but nowhere near as dark as the original, it’s kind of a teen version of it, and at times it’s unclear if it’s a parody or not. (one thing for sure is its going back to the charity shop, hopefully it can raise another 50p =)
Of course, as stated at start, you don’t need to follow the original to be good, Aliens went for all out as a war movie rather than a creature feature; Gremlins 2 went for comedy; the House sequels told new scares in different locations; Halloween III told a non-Michael Myers story and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare breathed life into the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise with this being Freddy Krueger’s 7th outing.
But more often than not, it goes completely wrong, the best example being Speed 2 going from 50mph of the original Speed to 5 knots so not much speed at all, plus it lost Keanu Reeves along the way!
Some sequels are so bad they get loved through cult status, hence why I own a Jaws 3 and Jaws: The Revenge.
Troll 2 another film that had nothing to do with the original was treated as so bad that a documentary, Best Worst Movie was made due to the following it got.
One thing for sure is sequels will keep coming as we seem to still want them but just be warned, sometimes a second helping may not be a good thing
Do you have a favourite bad or good sequel? We would love to hear from you.