To Sequel or Not to Sequel, that is the question!
Horror as a fan culture, we are all autodidact to the topic. Self “taught” in our opinions. Some have impressive historical detail retention while others know the movie and some bring their sentimentality to the table. I adore when both collide! I notice where this happens, more often than not, is when the topic of “sequels” are brought up.
I had originally watched Sinister 2 with the goal in mind of a review but the personal after taste I had from watching this pulled me to address “sequels” in their entirety. First, thank you Sinister 2 for having Shannyn Sossamon grace the screen. I still hold Catacombs in highest regard and one of my favorites! And also having James Ransone reprise the role of the lovable underdog vigilante Ex Deputy So & So. My personal issue was the crusade tying into the current family being marked for death. There was so much content and explanation of all the moving parts, I found myself longing for the ease of following the story that was so fluid in the first film. I think we can all agree sometimes a story should be left in its original presentation BUT then my head travels back to past fear OGs and their installments that became franchises.
Hell, you go into the woods and you wanna scare the shit out of your friend, you don’t hear “The Witch. The Witch” (Great movie so relax) You whisper “chi chi chi, ha ha ha”. Did you even know that “Mr. Sandman” was done by The Chordettes and NOT done just for Halloween? And you don’t have to admit this out loud but you know there is a certain couple keys that play in your head when your swimming in the ocean, or in a pool like me! Its ok, you’re not alone! Now how does this play into the question of sequels?
Simple, how did those sequels of the past ‘make no sense in all the right ways’ but today it’s a thorn in many ways to follow up with a second installment? Anyone who knows me, I have a hard on for the 80’s horror but this is something I’ve often been up against when reviewing sequels nowadays. I find my little Randy voice in my head saying “There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number One: The body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate-more blood, gore-*carnage candy*. And number three: never, ever, under any circumstances, assume the killer is dead.” Now while this was a verbal brilliant testament that should have been chiseled into a rock slate and held to the heavens on a mountain top…in 1997, I think the genre moved toward making the above goals in the first films after Y2k. So now sequels feel like partial profit builders. If the original was a larger hit than anticipated, a sequel is a reach for profit replication. Studio petri dish project. Flip the coin, some sequels wipe the floors with their predecessors. By all means, a debate of taste in its truest form! So conclusion, keep the reality of past versus present in check. My god, some Fridays could’ve been skipped but they weren’t immediate hits. They took their place in their franchises and became historical. Cult followings and “classics” grab some minor dust before Funko makes them into a POP. So how does one conclude such an open ended topic? Maybe I’ll get more detailed when I write…THE SEQUEL. It was a must! Happy Horror Hunting!