It has been said that there’s never too much of a good thing, but I think this rule doesn’t apply for films. Sequels are supposed to exist to further an already existing storyline, but I think a lot of people in the movie making industry have forgotten that rule in place of trying to milk a cash cow dry. Is it necessary for there to have been 12 sequels to the original THE LAND BEFORE TIME? No, but as long as your children like talking cartoon dinosaurs to teach them about friendship and mortality, you can bet your ass those films are going to continue selling like hotcakes.
Sometimes, we get lucky, and unnecessary remakes like ALIENS show up and actually contribute to the success of the original. However, for every successful sequel, there’s guaranteed to be about 10 direct-to-DVD nightmares that make us want to cleanse our memories with bleach and a brillo pad. You might want to put your therapist on speed dial, because I’m about to open some deeply repressed memories.
THE BIRDS 2: Remember that time someone thought it was a good idea to follow-up a Hitchcock masterpiece with the guy who made LIFE GOES ON in the director’s chair? Ooh, yeah…that happened. THE BIRDS 2 was a made for TV movie that was so bad, Rick Rosenthal tried to “Alan Smithee” the film off of his resume, but to no avail. Somehow, they managed to get Tippi Hendren on board, but totally ruined any sort of continuity by having her play a character completely different than the one she played in the original. She’s since gone on record to say, “It’s absolutely horrible, and it embarrasses me horribly.” Well, I don’t blame her. BIRDEMIC is more horrifying than THE BIRDS 2 and probably spent the same amount on special effects. Ouch.
CARRIE 2: THE RAGE: While we await the release of the Chloe Moretz/Julianne Moore leading remake of the original masterpiece, many have forgotten that CARRIE has already received her fair share of remakes and sequels. There must have been something in the water in the late 90s-early 00s, because a ton of unnecessary sequels spawned from this era. CARRIE 2: THE RAGE follows the story of Carrie White’s half-sister, Rachel. Where the original film followed the heartbreaking story of a tortured girl in a horrendous living environment, CARRIE 2: THE RAGE follows a similar formula, but never quite captures the true sadness of the protagonist the way the original did. The kills in the sequel seemed like something an eager film student wrote to try and be “edgy,” rather than an expression of the sincere pain of a girl scorned. It just, it didn’t need to happen. But it did, and we have to live with it.
AMERICAN PSYCHO 2: If there was ever a moment to scream “Shut up, Meg” towards Mila Kunis, it’s for this movie. The one thing I will give credit to this film for, is that it established the idea that Patrick Bateman really was a killer, and that it wasn’t all in his head. However, that’s about all its got going for it. The casting decisions in this movie make it impossible to take it seriously as a film, and to follow something as deep and unsettling as AMERICAN PSYCHO with a “vapid college girl slasher” flick is downright criminal. The original film did not need a follow-up, and it surely didn’t need a follow up set on a college campus with a strangely voiced female lead with a roommate jonesin’ for William Shatner.
THE EXORCIST 2: THE HERETIC: If you seriously need me to spell out why following the mother-effin’ EXORCIST is a bad idea, you should probably re-examine your perspective on life. THE EXORCIST was the first horror film to be nominated for “Best Picture” at the Oscars, and you couldn’t just let it be?! It may have taken four years for the sequel to come to fruition, and despite its star-studded cast, the film fails in just about every way possible. Had it not been for this sequel, the entire blasphemous franchise installments would more than likely not exist, and the good name of THE EXORCIST wouldn’t be tarnished with such lack-luster follow-ups. Sorry, Linda Blair, but I don’t care about your 16-year-old “I was once possessed” problems.
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2: This movie hasn’t even come out yet and I can already assure you that it is the most unnecessary horror movie sequel in existence. The remake of the pivitol rape-revenge classic was already a little distasteful, but having a sequel which is essentially profiting off of rape culture, is disgusting. I’m sorry, but why is there a sequel? Why? Who is the genius that sat at a board meeting and thought, “You know what sells? Rape and gore.” “Let’s rape another girl, and let’s arm her with some weapons and write some SAW inspired kills for her.” “Yeah, that’s a good idea.” Seriously, whatever clown-ass came up with this idea needs to be expunged from the earth and never heard from again. I’ve never been so viscerally charged simply by watching a trailer, but then again, I foolishly expect people to not be complete scabs of the earth.