Monday, April 4, 2011

Six Sequels Unrelated to the Original Films

We all can agree that sequels aren't that good. In fact, there are only a handful of circumstances where a sequel is considered as good as the original and even less examples of when a sequel could possibly be considered better than the original. Sequels are generally made because the original film made a bunch of money and the studio wants to see if they can make a little more - and movies solely created for the sake of making money are never that good.

Sequels generally consist of rehashed references, second-tier characters and a similar plot to the original. But what about those films that completely disregard these sequel guidelines? What about the sequels that have nothing to do with the original? They deserve a special sort of shout-out because they don't even seem like they're trying at times. Whether it's because they couldn't get the original actors, the characters all died in the first film or the producers just felt the audience needed a change of pace, the following six films all threw the original idea out the window and started with something fresh. . .ish. 

Halloween 3

Original: The original Halloween is one of the forefathers of the modern slasher movie. It tells the story of a very large and disturbed individual named Michael Myers who stalks and kills a variety of individuals while wearing a William Shatner mask.The second Halloween movie actually begins right where the first one ended -- which is a pretty bold and impressive route for a sequel to take -- and tells us a little more about Michael and his murderous rage.

This Sequel: Halloween III is probably the most notorious sequel because it has nothing to do with the original. No Michael Myers, no Jaime Lee Curtis, no Dr. Loomis - just a crazy scientist making non-Shatner masks that can kill (but you have to be watching TV while wearing the mask in order for it to work). There is actually a moment when the original movie plays on a television in a bar, but that's about the only connection between the first two movies and this "sequel."

Open Water 2

Original: The original Open Water is about a husband and wife trapped in the middle of the ocean all alone, fending off sharks. It is loosely based on the real-life story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who disappeared from a Scuba diving group in 1998. Some people hated this movie, others were absolutely terrified by the bleak realism.

This Sequel:  None of the characters from the first movie were featured in Open Water 2 (for obvious reasons) and instead of being stranded alone in the middle of the ocean, this movie was about a group of six friends unable to get back on their yacht. In reality, there's a reason why this movie is so unrelated to the first movie - it was written beforehand. The screenplay was an adaptation of a short story named "Adrift," and it was written before Open Water ever hit the theaters. However, after the success of the first movie, producers thought it would be best to capitalize on the success of the original.

Home Alone 3

Original: Home Alone and Home Alone 2 are about Kevin McCallister being abandoned by his family and defending himself against the Wet/Sticky bandits. Many people criticized the second movie for being almost a shot-for-shot remake of the first, but the first movie was a huge success, so who can blame the studio for wanting to keep a formula that works?

This Sequel: However, when Macaulay Culkin refused to do a third movie, the producers decided to go a different direction - cloning. It wasn't the McCallister's house, but it kind of looked like the McCallister's house. They hired a red-headed woman who kind of looked like Catherine O' Hara to play Kevin's. . .I mean Alex's mom. And instead of having a pair of robbers trying to break into the house, they had a quartet of terrorists trying to get back their missile-cloaking microchip for the North Koreans. Ok, so that last one isn't cloning, it's more like a horrible mutation.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift  

Original: The Fast and the Furious is Point Break for the car racing world. Paul Walker plays an undercover cop trying to infiltrate a group of hijackers. In 2 Fast 2 Furious (see what they did there? Clever!) Paul Walker plays an ex-cop who goes undercover for the FBI to help bring down another crime ring. These movies were pretty much an excuse to show hot cars driving around with pretty lights, but that appeals to some people.

This Sequel: The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift is about a regular guy (who isn't a cop or on a mission for the FBI) learning how to drift in Japan. Yes, there is a very brief cameo by Vin Diesel to try and connect this one to the others, but that is about as effective as the guy in the bar watching a clip of the original Halloween in Halloween 3. I guess when you can't get Paul Walker, you just do something completely different.

White Noise 2

Original: White Noise is about a man trying to find his wife in the midst of electronic voice phenomena, or EVP. The previews for this movie were actually scarier than the actual movie, but Michael Keaton gave a good performance and there were a few creepy moments that made it worth watching.

This Sequel: Not even Nathan Fillion himself could save White Noise 2. This "sequel" presented the idea that a person could become a white noise receiver themselves, and then completely threw that idea out the window and focused on demonic possession instead. Tria Mera, as they called it, asked the question, "If Christ resurrected on the third day, what did the devil do?" which is an interesting question, until you realize it doesn't make sense.

Troll 2

Original: Believe it or not, there are two characters named Harry Potter in this 1986 horror film (JK was a big fan, I guess). It tells the story of a troll king who possesses a little girl and wreaks havoc on a San Francisco apartment complex. Troll was actually a straightforward horror film and did pretty well at the box office.

This Sequel: One of the most interesting things about Troll 2 is that there are no trolls in the movie. None. The movie is all about a group of vegetarian goblins who live in an isolated town and attract new prey through house swapping. The film was directed by Drake Floyd (aka Claudio Fragasso) who felt they could piggyback on the success of the first movie by using the name, even though there was absolutely no association between the two films. This is probably the most unrelated sequel out there today and it's possibly one of the worst films of all time.

So now it's time, faithful readers, for you to decide which is worse: to create a sequel that uses the same characters, the same jokes and a similar plot line or to make a sequel that is completely off the beaten path of the original.

Pick your poison!


Josh Hoyt said...

It is always best to leave them alone entirely in most cases. But if I had to pick I want to see the same characters and plot in the squeal rather than an entirely different.

Yahya said...

I think the movie House 2 is totally unconnected to the first one, while House 3 is even less connected as its not a comedy like the first 2.

The Former 786 said...

I agree with you, Josh. So much in fact that I will ignore your "squeal" typo. :)

And Yahya, you're right. I can't believe that I forgot about House 2, because it was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid.

Plus, not only do House 1, House 2 and House 3 have nothing to do with each other, but the TV show House doesn't even deal with the supernatural. What the heck??

Josh Hoyt said...

Please always ignore my typos. I only claim to have good ideas not good writing skills (:

--jeff * said...

...there's a "house 2" and "house 3"??

anyway, my render finished before i had time to read this post all the way. but i wanted to tip my hat to you (if i was wearing a hat) for your godfather 2 nod.

back later.

--jeff * said...

ok, first render totally screwed up.
i made it to "tokyo drift" before the second render finished.

a few questions:

1. i can buy that maybe you've seen "halloween 3" for some reason; you like horror movies, fine. but have you actually watched "home alone 3"? (and yet you have never watched "the seventh seal"....)

2. this isn't a question, but i don't feel like going back and changing what i've typed.
still, excellent link for "not getting the original actors."

see you again if my render botched.

--jeff * said...

trying a different render format because the composite looks unexpectedly terrible.

nothing more to add, just that i finished the post and enjoyed the links.

carry on.

Andrea said...

First of all, White Noise was totally scary.

Secondly, I love Nathan Fillion.

If the sequel is going to be good, keep along the same lines as the original. On the other hand, if the sequel is going to suck, I'd rather not become disenchanted with the characters/plot/whatever.

The Former 786 said...

But how are they supposed to know ahead of time, Andrea?