People don’t like to give sequels the benefit of the doubt. I get it, too. Most horror movies don’t need them. Some classics are held in such high regard that fans fill doing a sequel will somehow taint the original. Every time a new one comes out, we hear the debate. And it’s a debate that’s still raging after the release of Blair Witch. While it didn’t make much at the box office, fans love to talk about it.
If you look online, fans are mad about this movie. They’re either mad that it’s a sequel to something they see as a classic, or they’re mad because they hated the original and never wanted to see anything Blair Witch related ever again. Eventually, the argument boils down to pretty much the same points. Sequels to things they don’t care about are fine, but sequels to things they either love or hate are not.
In fact, they’re even madder than they were in 2000, when the actual cash-grab sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 came out. Because that was kind of expected. It was the thing that was really needed to bring that massive but short-lived craze to a close. Everyone complained about that sequel and it has made several lists of worst sequels of all time since its release.
Now that another Blair Witch movie has hit theaters and widely disappointed fans, I thought it best to go back and take another look at Book of Shadows and several other sequels that are hated by the majority of viewers—but might not be as bad as you think.
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Obviously, Blair Witch 2 has some flaws. Of course it does. Just look at how quickly it followed the first one. But it’s a much more contemporary thing for its time, and that kind of makes it interesting to look back on. This is absolutely a post-Craft, post-Scream kind of movie and it embraces those thing. It’s got a goth look and atmosphere that might set it apart from the first, but also works in its favor. There’s a heavy meta aspect to it as well, as the film is virtually a commentary on sequels in general.
The Rage: Carrie 2
I know, I know, but to be honest… Carrie 2 is kind of awesome. And I did not expect to ever be the person to say that. Nobody thought Carrie needed a sequel, probably even the people who green lit it. When I rented it as a kid, I hated it. But looking back, I think it justifies itself. Where as Carrie mostly focused on the abuse Carrie suffered from the other girls, this one’s about how terrible high school guys are to girls. It’s the dark, probably more realistic version of She’s All That. Guys bedding their female classmates for sport, they cause a suicide and then they and their parents actively cover it up to protect their “promising athletic careers.” If anything, this movie feels more relevant now than when it was first released.
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
Spoiler alert: Jason’s not the killer in this movie. You think he is, you’re given no reason to doubt that he’s back, and then you get to the end only for the mask to come off and reveal that the killer is an ambulance driver named Roy. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. Before that, it offered pretty much anything you could want in a Friday the 13th flick. I’m not going to fault this one for having some of the best kills and many of the best supporting characters in the entire series just because it turns out to be Scooby Doo the 13th .
Pet Sematary Two
Another Stephen King sequel that really didn’t need to happen. What’s the point? Everyone died at the end of the original. Case closed. Move along. But, admittedly, the Pet Sematary is an interesting device and it is interesting to think what other characters might do with it. This one offers up enough new ideas to justify its existence. While the first was primarily about a father unable to deal with the death of his son, this is about a son who cannot even begin to deal with the death of a parent. It also answers the question of what happens when someone who’s already kind of evil gets buried in the Pet Sematary. Turns out, he comes back worse, and Clancy Brown really steals the show when that happens.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Freddy’s Revenge gets made fun of a lot for its homoerotic subtext, but that’s the thing that makes it interesting. That’s what gives it a unique perspective and story of its own. And, believe it or not, it’s something that makes a lot of sense in the Nightmare on Elm Street canon. Freddy is a monster who defines himself on preying on teenage fears and insecurities. There’s no way sexuality would never come into play in that and Freddy would probably want to exploit that vulnerability as much as he could. It’s also interesting in that it’s a possession film, which gives it a different voice and style than the original.
Child’s Play 3
It seems that if people don’t outright hate this one, they have no opinion on it one way or the other. People don’t hate it as aggressively as they hate Seed of Chucky, but that doesn’t mean they like it. Except me. I genuinely love this movie. I love the military school setting and I think it’s smart because it clashes so well with the concept of a killer doll. This is a place full of rough, manly men and the only people remotely equipped to deal with it are a girl, a nerd, a little kid and Andy, a young man world famous for playing with his doll. It’s a fun slasher with interesting ideas on masculinity and Chucky is genuinely meaner than he’s ever been.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
I know people are finally starting to come around to this one, but by and large most of the general audience still hates that Michael Myers is nowhere to be found. They feel lied to. Even after Scream Factory’s deluxe treatment, even after gaining something of a fan base, so many are still so angry about it. And it’s a shame, because as I’m sure others out there have finally come around to realizing, Halloween III is a good movie. It’s got terrific atmosphere, a great score, and it’s one of the best things you could actually watch on Halloween day. It’s so rooted in the actual history of the holiday. That, plus it features some interesting commentary on TV and the commercialization of the holiday. Sure, Michael might not show up, but this one has plenty more to offer.