What’s common between the movies Home Alone, Final Destination, Basic Instinct and Scream. They are all members of what I call, the “Sequel Brigade”. They have more films in their franchises than the number of times Robert Pattinson showers in a year.
A sequel is the continuity of a story told in the previous movie. So by this definition, the purpose of a sequel is to continue the story and augment the movie’s impact. This is something that 90% of sequels don’t follow. So we have to come up with a new definition.
“A sequel is a movie with the same story, actors, director and producer which piggybacks on the success of its parent to:
- Provide employment for an actor after which he/she fades into oblivion.
- Make money for the producer/production house.
- Admire the original and beat our head with the DVDs of the rest.”
Home Alone gave Macaulay Culkin his share of fame, Basic Instinct pushed more than boundaries and Saw, Scream etc continue to scare, albeit mildly. I ask you. Was it really necessary to make Exorcist II: The Heretic? In some cases the original is no good but still a sequel is made. Sex and the City anyone?
The one thing sequels lack is quality. They are never on par with their predecessor. As the series stretches itself, the movies become less funny, less scary and more annoying. How many times will teenagers have intuitions of impending death (Final Destination)? How will Kevin be left home alone again? These are not questions we should be asking.
But not all sequels are bad. Some are enjoyable and fun to watch like Shrek. Though each movie is independent of the other, it is still a watchable affair. That’s why there is a convenient solution to all of this called “direct-to-video” where we can waste time watching something we wouldn’t really care about and turn off the T.V when we’ve had enough.