There’s been some interest lately in a sequel to The Monster Squad. Co-writer Shane Black gave an interview recently in which he not only talked the possibility of a sequel, but also sort of found out that the movie still has an audience and a cult following after nearly thirty years. Because while we all love it now, The Monster Squad was a huge disaster when originally released. It made no money in theaters and was not well-reviewed.
Over time, though, it’s gained a huge cult following. Many found it on VHS, cable, DVD, streaming, etc… However people came to discover it, eventually it found its audience. Now, it’s regarded as one of the most revered cult classics of all time. It’s a beloved childhood property for many horror fans, so of course fans have been clamoring for a sequel for years.
Before the movie opened to dismal box office returns, there was, at one point, a considered sequel that would have seen the squad go up against Godzilla. More recently, though, remake connoisseurs Platinum Dunes were working on a way to retool the title for a new generation. Which only shows you that Monster Squad has become a bigger and bigger title over the years. Although a remake was being worked on off and on for a couple of years, at this point, the project has seemingly been completely abandoned.
Fred Dekker has expressed some great ideas about where to take the sequel, and it sounds like most people would return if he did it. Most of the ideas revolve around the original squad, now older, returning to have to come up against another monster threat—perhaps some of the old monsters, as well. Now, this sounds like a great idea, but when Shane Black was approached with the idea in an interview, he said something I can’t really argue with: This is the plot to Stephen King’s IT.
But I still think there’s something to the idea. I still think a Monster Squad sequel with the original cast could work. While IT is about people facing off against a monster from their childhood as adults and recapturing youth, that doesn’t need to be what Monster Squad 2 is about. I love the idea that the squad might be unhappy or unfulfilled in their adult lives, that they basically peaked at the age of twelve. Imagine staking Dracula or blasting a hole in the Gill-man when you’re in sixth grade. You’re not going to top that moment again in your life.
A sequel built on that idea would not necessarily be about recapturing youth, although that could be an element woven into it. It could actually serve as a nice commentary on the fact that as great and fun as Monster Squad was, it should have been bigger than it was. It should have led to further adventures and it didn’t. That’s the way the audience has felt for thirty years.
If that’s the way the characters feel too, then I think it could really work. They saved the world, they made business cards, and nothing happened. They hit the pinnacle of their success in their first outing, and with no new monsters to fight the group disbanded and eventually the friends went their separate ways.
Of course, it would take a new threat to bring them all back together and give them a reason to fight. Now, most fans who have wanted a sequel to The Monster Squad in the decades since its release have wanted to see the squad go up against modern icons like Freddy, Jason, or Michael Myers. As cool as that would be to see, that’s an impossibility for about a thousand different reasons. First of all, those characters are forty years old (or older) at this point, they’re all owned by different companies, and you can’t just have knockoff versions for the movie. Fans would never go for that.
Instead, I think it would be best to stick with the classic monsters. Maybe Dracula’s Daughter is leading the charge this time, changing it up with a female villain? She could be back in town looking for something left behind by her father, some ancient relic that houses a piece of the essence of evil itself. That raises the stakes, because if the squad fails, it’s the end of the world. Evil will totally take over.
As we head into the third act and this starts to become a reality, that device would allow for some great stuff to transpire. Classic creatures like the Thing and the Blob and, let’s see, Audrey II could all make some kind of appearance. It would be a third act similar to Waxwork, with the colorful vibe and tone of the successful Goosebumps movie from last year. If anything, that flick should set the tone for what a modern Monster Squad should be.
Right from the beginning, we’d be feeling the sense of danger. We’d believe that these guys might not win because they’re not in their prime, anymore. But there would also be a new group of kids. They wouldn’t be trained by the old squad, I think it would be best to avoid that trope. Instead, they would just be kids living in this town, realizing something bad is coming and trying to stop it because no one else is paying attention to what’s going on. In what I think would be a nice twist, only one of these kids would be big into horror and monsters and the others would sort of indulge him.
Again, this is just my idea for what I would like to see as a fan and a moviegoer and what I think could work. There are certain ideas that would have to be followed and others that would have to be avoided if the monster squad were ever to return to the screen. Whatever the story might be, if we can get a new generation of kids shouting “Wolfman’s got nards!” there’s no bigger success story than that.