I know, I know, no sequel or reboot ever needs to happen. Let’s just make that clear right out of the gate. They’re not a necessity and more often than not they do more harm than good. But some of my favorite horror movies are sequels and remakes. I have no problem admitting that. John Carpenter’s The Thing, David Cronenberg’s The Fly, and Chuck Russell’s The Blob, are three of my favorite movies ever. I absolutely adore A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, Hellraiser II, Exorcist III, and probably more sequels than I care to admit.
But there’s a right way to do them and a wrong way to do them. They should never be done simply for the purpose of money, they should be done to continue the story. I’m not saying that all of the films you’ll be seeing on this list were put together solely for the purposes of money. That’s kind of a cruel thing to just assume. But from the details that have been given—whether these details are true or not—they don’t look good.
I always try to give things the benefit of the doubt. With some of these movies, I’m still going to do that. But that doesn’t change the fact that they don’t really need to happen, they don’t seem to be justifying themselves quite yet, so that’s what I want to get into.
It just came out and is available to rent, but not to buy just yet. It’s brand new, so I’m counting it. And just to be up front, it’s not good. Sure, I wasn’t a fan of the original Cabin Fever, but that’s precisely why I was excited for this one. The concept is not entirely terrible, let’s experiment with it a bit more and see what other directions we can take it in. But they don’t. This is a shot for shot remake and if it didn’t work for Psycho, it’s not going to work for Cabin Fever.
Maybe I’m finally getting what people felt when the Friday the 13th series was still going strong, but why is this happening? It was over. They were done. I get dusting it off and retooling it for a new generation, but what new generation? It’s only been six years since the last film was released. If there’s going to be a new Saw, make in at anniversary piece. Saw returns after ten years of silence, or something like that that would have enough of a gimmick to get people back in the theater. Then, at least, it would earn the Legacy title.
Amityville: The Awakening
It’s only when we get treated to a new Amityville film that I realize just how many Amityville entries there actually are. There are so many movies in this franchise that I’ve actually lost count. While the concept might still be interesting, how is this going to differentiate itself from the wealth of haunted house movies coming out right now? It no doubt has to be better than the Amityville flick about the evil lamp, but I still have my reservations, not the least of which is that this movie has been delayed a long time. Sure, it’s finally here, but there’s been no clear reason as to what the holdup was.
Hey, there’s another Hellraiser movie. It was announced yesterday and it’s shooting next week. Some cynical people might call that moving too quickly. Apparently, this was an original script that was then retooled to fit the Hellraiser mythology by its writer, franchise vet Gary Tunnicliffe. Of course, a script rewritten to be a sequel is just return to form for this series. Doug Bradley has announced he will not be returning because they would not let him read the script without signing an insanely detailed NDA, but hey, at least Heather Langenkamp will make an appearance.
Hopefully the delay with the Crow remake will allow them the opportunity to make it more along the lines of the franchise mythology—at one point, Eric’s new powers would include turning invisible and being an actual ghost—and while they’re at it, I would really like it to not be a Crow remake because we’ve already told that story. And given the circumstances, it seems in bad taste to just rehash everything we were given the first time. Give me an Old West or distant future version, give me medieval Europe or a female Crow, or both. Do Joan of Arc as The Crow. At least that would be different.
Underworld: Next Generation
I gave the Underworld series the benefit of the doubt for a long time, and I’m not even sure why, because it went off the rails pretty quickly. But the last entry was way more nonsensical than usual and given its uber-serious nature it was not even laughably bad. It was just painful to watch. After that, it’s really hard to get excited about this next one, especially as it seems to be a direct sequel. I am, however, somewhat excited for the rumored TV series, because TV is kind of where this franchise belonged from the very beginning.
Yes, they’ve touched the untouchable. A new TV adaptation of The Exorcist is officially on the way. And who knows, it might actually good. Bates Motel worked out that way and Damien shows promise (Look out for my review next week). But that’s kind of where my issue lies here, as both of those shows did their own thing with the mythology and were not direct adaptations. This one is and there’s no real reason that it needs to be. It doesn’t make sense for it to be. Why not ignore the sequels, give us a teenage Regan worried about the resurgence of her possession, or an older Regan trying to raise children and move on from the past. Maybe the early days of Father Merrin, like what The Beginning could have been. Hell, Exorcist III could provide perfect inspiration for a TV series, just by giving us a season long detective plot.
I adore both the novel and the film. Hell, I even like Pet Sematary Two, but a lot of what’s been said about this one rubs me the wrong way. First of all, it’s really hard to pinpoint whether or not the people involved are fans of the material. They say they are, but then they say that it’s going to be scarier than the original dreamed of being. For a long time—and I don’t know if this is still the case—the plot was supposed to focus on a teenage Ellie Creed and her friends. Not because it was a sequel, but because they needed a teenage element to lure in the main demographic. Of course, making the book’s one surviving character a teenager changes the entire story from top to bottom. Whether that happens remains to be seen.