If you haven’t seen part 1, you can find it here.

With most horror films, sequels come about because the original premise brought in enough interest. Horror sequels are rarely done out of passion, and because of this, many of them end up turning out completely rubbish. And I mean serious garbage. If Paranormal Activity didn’t show you how money-grubbing sequels can get, another prime example would be the ever popular Friday the 13th series, which is blieved to have been made to capitalise on the success of the film Halloween. The first film, though poorly scored, has gained a cult following, and the series has churned out… how many films, again?

12 films

12 FILMS

NO

Bad Jason. And don’t drag Freddy into this, he knows what he did. At least he didn’t go INTO SPACE.

If there was ever a series that people begged to continue, I doubt it was this one. I think the major complaint for me going forward was this (Slightly gory, you’ve been warned):

I mean, really? Robocop goes bad? I appreciate that they tried getting away from previous films, an indeed, most slashers. But Robo-Vorhees? It’s like a borg got all pissed and a hockey mask a machete were all he had to work with. (I hope people know what a Borg is, or this’ll be awkward). The sheer humour of this, and the fact that it’s in space keeps the film afloat for about 5 minutes, at that point, I’m afraid the film fails at the first hurdle: It’s not even scary. It’s about as enjoyable as being shot into space. Which is the problem with the series as a whole. It’s not enjoyable, the repetition of it is astounding, never mind the change of scenery. It became ridiculous, and unfortunately, it suffered greatly for it.

I can’t stress enough how horrifically cheesy and awesome this is.

Now, a good sequel is easily possible, as long as the director (who is hopefully quite competent) puts a little passion into it. Films like Predator 2, Aliens, Silence of the Lambs (Yes, that’s a sequel), all off these films bleed character. They seem like everyone involved believed wholeheartedly that this project could succeed, and every inch of effort they had was put into it. It may not be the case, but with enough intelligent and well-crafted design, you can certainly make it look like it was a blockbuster.

This brings me along to my final example. One which pretty much incorporates a lot of the sins I despise to see in horror, and then some. A series which, to my surprise, people enjoy the hell out of.

Good old gory Saw.

It took seven films, but finally, we’re about to finish this monument to the elderly.

If you enjoy horror in any form, chance are Saw has popped up in the conversation at least once. 2 video games, a comic book, 7 films. I won’t lie though, I actually quite enjoyed the first film. Despite it getting trashed a lot, I think it gets bonus points for ‘innovation through limitation’. With it’s budget being relatively low for a modern day film, only a few takes could be shot, which resulted in some at-times bad scenes. However, scenes shot through still photography and surveillance cameras are examples of how good cinematography can be achieved with little money. And no matter the criticisms, I still enjoyed it.

Everything else in that franchise though? Lemme help you tear that down. I really don’t mind.

Perhaps 2 and 3, while still under the supervision of the original director, had their small merits. Perhaps. And that’s a big perhaps. After James Wan left, it was a bit of a nightmare, made even worse by the fact that Saw is so well known, Horror can be, at times, quite a niche genre, and Saw was extremely popular for something like it. I think it’s fame(or infamy, I dunno) is what kept the series alive for so long. It was always profitable enough to warrant more movies. Despite it’s very noticeable flaws (and for the life of me, I don’t know how this happened), Saw lived on for 7 films, each one adding a little piece to the lore, requiring you to have at least seen some of the previous ones to get the references, kind of like a torturous Easter egg hunt. That is, until you get to the last film, in which case, you ad to have seen pretty much all of them to have a complete an utter understanding of it all. You can fill in the gaps here and there, but many of the characters that appear only appear in select films. It’s a reasonably good payoff for die-hard fans of the series. For those of us who aren’t, sorry, you’re on your own.

Considering gall the damn notes I have on this franchise, I should just leave the rest for a whole other post, but anyway…

I like horror. really, I do. I sound so much like a crotchety old man in these posts, but I love the genre to death. Some people get thrills riding rollercoasters, I get mine from staying up at the dead of night watch terrifying films. There’s a point though where there’s simply too much of it. I don’t want to watch most sequels for the simple reason of, well, I’ve already seen the first. If there’s no progression, why bother? If there’s no innovation, the series stagnates, and at that point, there is very little hope for it.

BUT. (I’d put an image here for a corny ‘butt’ joke, but Google images is far too NSFW for some reason XD)

Like I said, a sequel born out of passion, done with the idea of improving the original concept through tweaks and changing it into something new, appeals to me. I’d love to see something like that. If only there was such a film, with which I could end this post on a generic cliffhanger for a future episode…

Hmmmmm…

-Fiachra

 

 

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