Sequels, The Movies We Love To Hate

I originally published this article on my other column, the Indianapolis Movie Examiner; But since the content is relevant, I thought I'd share it here as well.

Whether it is a sequel, prequel, reboot or a remake, moviegoers and studios alike love a good movie franchise. Usually foreshadowed by a "to be continued..." or a cliffhanger ending, there is no mistake to be made, we love sequels. Now this is in no way a knock on original features or stand-a-lone movies, but there is just something special about revisiting characters and settings that we have already been introduced to in a previous film.

The general consensus on sequels seems to be rather blunt: sequels suck; But they do not have to, and they certainly do not always suck. Now, there are plently of examples of franchises who just do not seem to realize that enough is enough ("American Pie Presents", "Scary Movie" and a giant batch of horror franchises). But every once in awhile a movie sequel is made that actually far surpasses its predecessor ("The Dark Knight", "Spider-Man 2", "The Devil's Rejects"); And though those are few and far between, it is that precise reason that audiences clamor for more.

The sad truth and motivation behind most sequels and prequels is simple: money. Money drives Hollywood, that is not a surprise, nor is it anything new. Writers and directors alike are constantly putting their careers and reputations on the line when a sub-par sequel is produced. That is just the nature of the beast. The 1980s were a breeding ground for sequels; And yes, they were all lacking genuine quality for the most part.

And in the new millenium a new fad hit. The remake. The idea of a remake to filmmakers was genius. "Hey, we can keep milking this franchise without coming up with new material!" While, sadly, this trend is still churning, we moviegoers are also being treated to good old-fashioned sequels again, some even continuing stories that were started 30-plus years ago ("Tron: Legacy", "Texas Chainsaw 3D", "Evil Dead"). And thus we enter the sequel/reboot territory.

Fortunately, for me anyway, sequels, prequels and remakes will always have a place in cinema. So regardless of what is being produced, we will always have something that we will love to hate. Because let's face it, once is never enough!

To be continued...
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