Many horror sequels don’t live up to the original. Many more are simply bad. But nobody sets out to make a bad sequel. Things just get in the way, whether it be time budget or any other considerations that have to be made. Today, we will be looking at some sequels that didn’t turn out great, but had the potential to be something special. These sequels dealt with numerous factors, from studio intervention down to extreme budget cuts and simply not knowing how to please the audience.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
Dream Child may be the least-effective of the Elm Street films because of its completely inconsistent tone. The movie tries to be a dark, serious story but Freddy is completely over-the-top funny. The movie had the potential to be one of the better, more imaginative sequels. It has a stronger core concept than Dream Master. The story is topical, with Freddy trying to invade the dream-space through the dreams of the lead character’s unborn child. The characters are fleshed out, but not terribly much is done with them. It could have been the perfect opportunity to return Freddy to his darker roots which were explored in the first three films, but instead he became a wise-cracking clown and wound up feeling almost out of place.
Seed of Chucky
The comedy in Seed of Chucky is not the problem, as the franchise had always held a sense of humor. Nor is there a problem with the gender-bending plot, that’s more inventive than anything else. The true problem with Seed of Chucky is how unfinished it feels. It was clearly a lower-budget Chucky movie, which is odd considering the enormous success of the previous sequel, Bride of Chucky. There are funny moments and funny subplots, but they all run over each other. Seed of Chucky feels almost like at least three movies at once and none of them are altogether whole. It’s good for the occasional laugh, but isn’t as enjoyable on the same level as the other movies in its series.
There was a lot that went into Hellraiser: Bloodline in order to make it one of the worst entries in its series. The studio wanted to make it much cheaper than the story would allow. What could have been a great, ambitious tale instead became a sad, rushed production. The movie needed a healthy run time in order to work, but instead a story meant to be nearly three hours was cut down to around 80 minutes. Pinhead still got some great one liners but his scenes didn’t add much to the overall quality of the film. The space sequences that were meant to be bookends wound up taking much too much time when most of the middle was cut out.
Texas Chainsaw, the most recent film in a series with an apparent fear of direct sequels, started out promising. It offered an ambitious new direction. With a little more focus on the math and the smaller details, it could have worked. Instead it feels almost like a project that was accidentally released theatrically. Everything about it feels straight-to-video. It doesn’t know entirely what it wants to be, at least not until well into the second act. With just a bit more polishing and a bit more money, it could have been one of the most memorable in the Chainsaw franchise. Instead, it’s a silly, sort of half-assed attempt at doing something new and original. Even the respect paid to the original movie feels half-hearted after the opening scene.
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
Jason Takes Manhattan isn’t a bad movie simply because of its concept. But it’s a bad movie for numerous other reasons. One of its greatest problems is that it can’t even deliver on what its title promises to a satisfactory extent. Manhattan doesn’t enter the film until over an hour in. But the original script used much more of the New York sights. Both the Statue of Liberty and Madison Square Garden were chief factors in the first drafts. But these things all had to be cut for budgetary reasons. There was no way they would be able to film that much in New York, so instead we have a final film with only one scene actually filmed in the city.