?There’s a difference between a necessary sequel and an unnecessary sequel. Ghostbusters 2 needed to happen. Same with The Dark Knight, same with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, same with The Matrix: Reloaded (although in that case, we didn’t know what we were asking for). When a movie leaves the audience wanting more, we’re psyched when they deliver.
On the other hand, Leprechaun Back 2 the Hood didn’t need to happen. Neither did Jason X, King Kong Lives, nor The Birds 2: Land’s End. They could have been done in one, but no, someone decided to whore those sequels until every last dollar was made. So, for your enjoyment and edification, here’s 10 of the least necessary sequels to horror films that were ever made.
10) Halloween 3
The Halloween series is a pretty damn good series. John Carpenter produced, wrote and directed, Jamie Leigh Curtis screamed, and Michael Myers slashed. All was good for two movies. Then they released a threequel in 1982 that has absolutely nothing to do with the first two films. None of the original characters, none of the original charm, and the added bonus of perpetual movie joke Dino De Laurentis producing. Gone is Mike Myers, slasher, replaced by Irishman Conal Cochran, a mask manufacturer with a magical copy of Stonehenge in his basement. Not that bad a film on its own, but as a sequel in a franchise? We want Mike Myers!
9) Boggy Creek 2: The Legend Continues
Amateur filmmaker Charles B. Pierce actually struck a little (very little) cinematic gold with his 1972 Bigfoot-sploitation film, The Legend of Boggy Creek. So what follows? A sequel! It was called Return to Boggy Creek and Pierce had nothing to do with it! It actually had celebrity stars, Dawn Wells and Dana Plato and was made by different filmmakers! So Pierce got all ornery and made a third sequel, Boggy Creek 2: The Legend Continues in 1985, but since he was involved on the first one, this was going to be the real second film, not the Wells/Plato one. So there are two immediate sequels to Legend of Boggy Creek, a movie that was barely watchable in the first place.
8) Hobgoblins 2
MST3K fans all agreed on one thing: the original Hobgoblins was a bad, bad film. Fun, but bad in so many ways. A sequel would just add insult to injury, but director/writer/producer Rick Sloane felt that the newfound wave of popularity the original was riding after being riffed on by Mike and the ‘bots justified a sequel. So he made one just last year, from the original 20-year old script he had written immediately after Hobgoblins 1. Different cast, same characters, same plot about Gremlins rip-offs. Done 20 years after a film that no one saw until someone decided to make fun of it.
7) The Rage: Carrie 2
In 1976, the original Carrie showed that a well-made horror film could be scary and well-reviewed — it got two Academy Award nominations and star Sissy Spacek was awarded the Best Actress honor by the National Society of Film Critics. 23 years later, filmmakers went back to the well for a choppy, boring comment on goth vs jock culture that included Mena Suvari and Eddie Kaye Thomas from American Pie, Jason London from Dazed and Confused, and Zachary Ty Bryan from Home Improvement. Sissy Spacek showed up in “flashbacks” that just re-used footage from the first movie. Despite trying way too hard to prove it was a sequel to the original, the film ended up looking like a generic teen horror film whose mom lent them some Carrie props.
6) Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist
We’ll overlook that filmmakers re-made The Exorcist several times already before going to a prequel. What makes 2005’s Dominion so unique is that an official prequel to The Exorcist had already been released a year before Dominion and also starred Stellan Skarsg?rd! Director Paul Schrader was tasked with making the first one, which he did, until Morgan Creek Productions decided that his version wasn’t marketable enough. They pulled him from the project, replaced him with Renny Harlin, kept a lot of the same footage, and released The Exorcist: The Beginning. When that film flopped, they figured that they had nothing to lose with Schrader, and let him release his cut under a different name (note — the trailer above is for Schrader’s version, but back when it the only prequel, and thus was called Exorcist: the Beginning). That also flopped, although not as badly. So who really won here? Definitely not Exorcist fans.
5) Jaws: The Revenge
Whip that franchise until it bleeds! Released in ’87, the fourth Jaws installment movie gave us the psychic shark that tracks people on land from its home in the water. The protagonist moved to the Bahamas from Massachusetts? So does the shark. Also, the shark has a grudge against certain people and will track them down to kill them, which makes about as much sense as the shark learning to ride a dune buggy and play tennis. It roars too, which sharks can’t do. Oh, and in the end the shark inexplicably blows up when the boat hits it. Did we need a fourth Jaws film? Sure. Did we need this fourth Jaws film? No.
4) American Psycho 2
2002’s American Psycho 2 has as much to do with the American Psycho as it does with Police Academy, i.e., they both star human beings. The original did a great jobnwith a novel that was largely considered unfilmable, while the sequel more or less forgot it was based on anything, even the original film. There’s a little bit up front about the protagonist from the first film, Patrick Bateman as played by someone who is not Christian Bale and who is wearing a mask, being killed by Mila Kunis, but other than that, it fails on its own merits. William Shatner’s pretty good in it though.
3) Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
The filmmakers behind Blair Witch 2 unfortunately pissed away all the currency that the previous filmmakers of the first Blair Witch Project had earned. Whereas the first film was a mind-bending, atmospheric exercise in pure emotional terror, the second was obviously a movie, made by moviemakers with a moderate budget and a passing knowledge of the Blair Witch mythos. Also, it was a really, really bad movie. No one needed a Blair Witch 2, as evidenced by the rabidly negative reviews on its release in 2000. And yes, you’re going to say, “But Burn Notice actor Jeffrey Donovan was in it.” Yeah, and he couldn’t save this mistake of a movie.
2) Troll 2
Seriously, no one was demanding a second Troll movie. And if they were, they would have expected an actual troll in it. Troll 2 is famous for having absolutely no connection to the first film and having amazingly terrible actors blandly reading amazingly terrible lines. And it was about a witch turning people into green puddles. To top things off, there are two actual sequels to this movie, neither of which have a troll in it either (the first one is about killer plants, the other is a sequel to the MST3K classic Cave Dwellers). Troll 2 takes the cake though, since it opened the door for disasters by saying, “It’s okay to take the Troll title for your completely unrelated films. Totes.”
Most of you don’t remember Munchies, but it was another Gremlins rip-off where the gremlins chased women, smoked, and drank beer. The 1992 sequel took the franchise in the most unnecessary direction it possibly could: wisecracking puppet that grants wishes. God. Damn. Disaster. The film starred Loni Anderson, Arte Johnson, a young Jennifer Love Hewitt, and the overacting voice of Dom DeLuise. And a terrible fucking animatron who has to move his hands like he’s waving every time he’s on screen because it’s a badly-made puppet. While most of America saw the original Munchies for what it was (a cheap knock-off), a select group of filmmakers led by Roger Corman figured that money could be made and crapped out not one, but two feel-good sequels, the second with Head of the Class‘s Howard Hesseman as the wish-granting puppet. Both are tragedies. Both, are sadly available from Netflix.