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The Rules For Horror Sequels and Remakes: Upcoming Horror

Thursday, October 27, 2016 0:13
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(Before It's News)

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For some movies, sequels were the kiss of death. 



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The Halloween series comes to mind when I think about the kiss of death. 

Number one and two were straightforward awesome, continuing our favorite heroine and her desire to outlive her ghastly murderous brother.

Then, came the odd Season of the Witch #3 that had nothing to do with 1 and 2, and after that a series of attempts to bring Michael back in an ongoing assault on teens. 

What the series didn't realize we were invested in the first movie that went into cult favorite status. To skew us off that path is to make us apathetic. 

Public demand finally called for H2O to help us resolve some issues with Laurie Strode and her bro. It could have ended there with a bit of respect reinstated. But, no….

Resurrection sequel put a wooden stake into the heart of fans with the killing off of Laurie – why even bother going on? And, then there was the godawful reality TV show concept thrown in, as if they hadn't already insulted us enough with our heroine's demise…. 

There are, however, some upcoming sequels and even remakes that have caught our curiosity and attention as horror genre aficionados. Let's take a look - 

Jeepers Creepers 3 
(sequel)

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When a movie catches our eye, we might forgive them a bad sequel in their desire to cash in on the frenzy of the first one, but if the third one doesn't satisfy our desire to move from the first movie to the next sequence of events with our beloved heroes, then they are on permanent “screw you!” status. Such is the case with Jeepers Creepers that gave us a ridiculously convoluted plot in the second installment with a bus load of teens we just wanted to be gone, a girl who was suddenly psychic, and a whole better plot happening on the farm (which only got a few minutes' of movie time). 

Talk so far about #3 is that it is tentatively called “The Cathedral” and takes place with the lead character Trish from the original movie. She is a successful woman with a teenaged son named Darry. And, she finds herself having to protect him. Now, there's a plot that makes sense, especially since the Creeper can probably smell the bloodline in him. 

If #3 manages to give us the darkness and the chills that the first one did, with scarecows, cornfields, dark rides on the highway, a church basement, a creepy truck on the road and shooting inside a closed in police station, we will seriously be in for a pleasure. My personal hope is that it's heavy on the farm location – perfect for fall and Halloween shivers and remote enough to be feasible to put on a fight and not have a lot of available help.

When word gets out about the release of this movie, you can be sure I'll be on top of it. The original movie I thought was one of the best horror movies ever for my personal creep factor, up until the end where I felt bitch slapped with the comedic punch and seeing the hero with his eyes torn out like a piece of paper on a string. I was devastated that the director didn't just end it with Trish seeing them fly off, going out into the parking lot, stealing a cop car and giving chase – leaving us with an ongoing suspense and determination to save her brother.

Most moviemakers would be better served to learn self edit and look at what they expose and back up just a bit to keep us from seeing it full on. A good example is “Signs.” It was believable and creepy as hell even up to seeing the alien holding the kid in the reflection of the TV set. But, then the director just had to show us the alien full frontal and everything fell seriously flat with jerky CGI. If he had only showed us the alien in the TV set, perfection! Such is the case with Jeepers Creepers. I sincerely hope the director gets how to back off an ending. 

Trick 'R Treat 2 
(sequel)

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Michael Dougherty really won my heart with his ability to capture Halloween night in Trick R Treat the original movie. He sealed my fascination with him as a horror director when he made “Krampus.” I am not a fan of tongue-in-cheek horror in the least, so that is my only issue with him. I don't want to see terror replaced with unbelievable moments and campiness. It just breaks it for me. He's nearly my biggest crush in horror movie making in many decades, if he would just get rid of the campy stuff.

That said, I look forward to Trick 'R Treat 2. I understand that the director wants to explore that creepy Sam character (burlap sack head) a bit more in the next anthology, but not give it all away. Sam must remain a bit mysterious. The director also hinted that the next anthology might take on another aspect of Halloween, either how it is celebrated elsewhere or in different time periods. Now, I'm intrigued.

One thing Dougherty got right about this movie series is that there simply are not enough movies that take place on actual Halloween night and yet that is the night that defined for us all the love of the dark season, festivities, costumes, and horror. Very few capture a truly deep autumnal feel either and that is part of the anticipation of the shorter days and the chilly season.

I will definitely be updating as more is known. I have a wee crush on this director's work, mind, storytelling and artistry, so I will definitely be up on it!


Rules for Sequels

1. If the original ended midway through an action with no resolution, you better continue that plot or you lost a devoted audience. “Phantasm” series had an ending that left us going “huh?” but we wanted to know what became of the kid. 

2.  If the plan for the sequel is to reenact the entire plot from the first one, just with new people being killed, please inform your investors ahead of time, as this is a dud. “Friday the 13″ was notorious for this. We even became utterly apathetic for Jason Voorhees compared to Michael Myers. Viewers do not want to see the same plot with new bodies over and over again. That isn't a sequel; it's a repeated remake. The killer must have an agenda, not just mindless repetition with random strangers.

3.  If we are invested in a character that shows up in a few installments, do not kill them off. That is a sacred thing. Have the hero/heroine move on or find a new passion or even decide to leave the playing field, but end the series at that point. We do not identify with another new character's passion to end the killer, as the original hero/heroine had that dedicated reason to kill off the bad guy and we gladly followed their trek. This is the Laurie Strode syndrome.

4.  If you plan to deviate completely from the series (like Halloween 3), consider just giving it a different name and not calling it a sequel. Just make it a stand-alone movie by the same moviemaker. Do not try to insert it into a chronology it does not fit into.

The Creature From the Black Lagoon 
(remake)

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We knew that Universal Studios meant to redo the Universal Monsters series of the past into new remakes. The Wolfman (cough) was, I think, a horrid tribute to the series and the dependence on CGI way too heavy handed. I have hopes for “Creature From the Black Lagoon.” It was simply one of my favorite movies ever. 

Talk is that Scarlet Johansson and Bill Paxton may take the lead parts. That's an unusual mix. He's easily old enough to be her papa. Seems two people of the same generation might be more appropriate. I'd like to see someone less glamorous and more earthy like perhaps Evangeline Lilly from “Lost” and Chad Michael Murray (“House of Wax” and “One Tree Hill”).

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Some impressive directors like John Carpenter and Guillermo Del Toro have toyed with the idea of doing a remake of this original classic, but ultimately Universal didn't give its rubber stamp. Perhaps, the studio was seeing a potential for the movie monsters to be relaunched in more modern times.

This is definitely one I am keeping my eyes on because it is a favorite and I am curious to see if they could treat it with the same feelings of isolation and entrapment that the original had. 


Dog Soldiers: Fresh Meat 
(sequel)

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Dog Soldiers was an exceptionally good werewolf movie and one that was very beloved by many viewers. Although many various plans were underway to make a sequel, “Fresh Meat,” in 2015 it was commented that there would never be a sequel. I suppose the original is going to satisfy henceforth.


Cujo 
(remake)

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In it's time, “Cujo” was a gritty terrifying movie. It had its time and place. Some people are excited about a remake of this classic, but I have to wonder at the wisdom behind making remakes of certain movies. This is one of them.

I think that a movie that involves harm to a dog or a child in terror is probably going to fall flat with today's world. This is the “Pet Sematary” dilemma. Many of us wouldn't even sit through that movie because it was depressing for those who love children and pets (and Facebook postings shows we are obsessed with both).

CUJO has been listed with a release in 2017 and a title “CUJO: Canine Unit Joint Operations.” Vaguely, this has been referred to as trained dogs for soldier applications turning on their trainers.

Some folks look forward to this one, but that was one movie that one viewing of was more than enough for me. 


RULES FOR REMAKES

1. Remakes of movies that were done over 30 years ago are usually a bad choice. Too much technology has gone between the two times and the plot may be infeasible. I remain hopeful but skeptical that “Creature From the Black Lagoon” can be done in these days of cell phones and encroachment of civilization. 

2. Remakes of movies done within 10 years ago are just ridiculous. Why would you mess with a movie that the young generation hasn't even had time to be sentimental about? “Friday the 13th” was already remade within 10 years ago. Redoing it again???

3. If a movie was a sensitive subject, it may be coming upon a generation of people who would find it distasteful. This was the situation following 9-11 and folks no wanting to see anything about terror or airplanes. A movie like “True Lies” might not cut it today because it's a bit too close to home.

4. If the original movie was not a success, it wasn't because it just needed a better director – it needed a better plot. “Chopping Mall” is slated to be remade, but what a disaster. Malls have all but died off and the mall rat population that enjoyed it vaguely in the 80s is all grown and moved on. 

5. It is always best to use unidentifiable actors and actresses – bring in new blood. Usually the original movie had a star showcased and if you try to find another star of equal weight, it becomes comparison. A face we don't know will wipe away comparisons and allow that person to make the role their own. If someone decided to remake “Silence of the Lambs” (heaven forbid), casting Hannibal as any identifiable popular actor would be box office suicide. 

6. If you plan to either expose too much information about a character from the original movie or completely and totally retell the story in a way that is utterly disrespectful, go home. (Rob Zombie and Tim Burton). You will only make people hate your work. 

7.  Remakes of beloved movies are destined to be killed. “Halloween,” “The Amityville Horror,” “The Omen,” and more  - bad choices! 



Remakes and Sequels to roll our eyes at -

Child's Play 7 
Candyman 4
Flatliners (remake)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (remake)
American Psycho (remake)
An American Werewolf in London
Gremlins (remake)
Friday the 13th (remake – already remade)

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For more info on upcoming horror movies of all kinds - UPCOMINGHORRORMOVIES.COM 

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