13 Days of Sequels: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2

With 13 Days of Sequels I’ll be reviewing horror sequels every weekday for the last two weeks of October. You can view all entries HERE.

It’s funny how you can watch a movie ten or twenty times – blindly enjoying it more and more with each viewing – before you start picking up on certain stuff. When I re-watched A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge this past weekend, I came to realize two pretty big things.

Firstly, the whole movie is really bizarre, to the point where I almost think it’s intended to play as a legit horror-comedy, like Student Bodies or Evil Dead II – not “so bad it’s funny”, but a horror movie with an intentional comedic streak. And no, I’m not talking about the whole gay subtext thing – while that does illicit a few chuckles, I actually really like it as a running theme, even in its not-so-subtle read between the (very obvious) lines approach. It gives the movie layers.

No, the oddness I’m talking about is much more consciously goofy. Continue reading 13 Days of Sequels: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2

13 Days of Sequels: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2

With 13 Days of Sequels I’ll be reviewing horror sequels every weekday for the last two weeks of October. You can view all entries HERE.

Believe it or not, Friday the 13th Part 2, like many a sequel, was borne of financial motivations. That is to say, the version of Friday the 13th Part 2 as we know it.

Originally, producers had intended for the Friday the 13th franchise to continue, but in an anthology-style format where each successive movie follows a different storyline, the only constant being that they all take place on that unlucky day. (If this sounds a lot like John Carpenter’s approach to the Halloween franchise, it’s because, well, it is. You’ll notice a lot of parallels before this is over.)

In fact, the infamous ending of Friday the 13th wherein Jason pops up out of the water wasn’t even in the original script – it was suggested last minute by make-up effects maestro Tom Savini who was working on the picture. He had just seen Carrie and thought Friday could benefit from a similar last minute jolt. Victor Miller, who wrote Friday the 13th, was against the idea – he wanted only to focus on Pamela Voorhees, the mother who would do anything for her child – even kill. According to Miller, “Jason was dead from the very beginning. He was a victim, not a villain.” Continue reading 13 Days of Sequels: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2

13 Days of Sequels: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2

With 13 Days of Sequels I’ll be reviewing horror sequels every weekday for the last two weeks of October. You can view all entries HERE.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that innocent, wide-eyed naïveté of which all outside stimuli is consumed and filtered through when you’re a child. The uncritical, accepting fondness for something, simply from not having the knowledge or reference point of anything else.

I enjoy being a somewhat jaded, somewhat snobbish free-thinking adult who is able to analyze and interpret the art and media he consumes – but man, I do look back on those early days of watching movies without judgment fondly. That sort-of unrealized thought process of, y’know, “just throw whatever at me now and let me figure it out in 15 or 20 years when I’m all grown up”. And it’s clear to me now that my open-minded opinion on certain films exists only because I devoured them on an empty head – for which I’m incredibly grateful. Continue reading 13 Days of Sequels: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2

13 Days of Sequels: SCREAM 2

With 13 Days of Sequels I’ll be reviewing horror sequels every weekday for the last two weeks of October. You can view all entries HERE.

“There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel.”

This is what Scream 2‘s resident horror nerd (and proxy survival-anecdotalist), Randy (Jamie Kennedy), utters when it comes to light that a copycat Ghostface killer is murdering the residents of Woodsboro once again. And with the utterance of this line, the already-meta Scream franchise instantly protects its sequel from any trope or pitfall sequels usually fall victim to. In fact, it’s so smart and savvy of a movie, that it’s almost more fun to watch for the playful, self-referential material than it is the murder mystery at the core of the picture. Continue reading 13 Days of Sequels: SCREAM 2

13 Days of Sequels: SLEEPAWAY CAMP II

With 13 Days of Sequels I’ll be reviewing horror sequels every weekday for the last two weeks of October. You can view all entries HERE.

Thanks in part to the massive success of Friday the 13th, the early ’80s saw a surge in horror movies set around the campfire, lovingly known as “backwoods slashers”. The Burning, Mother’s Day, Madman, Don’t Go in the Woods…Alone!, Just Before Dawn, The Forest, The Final Terror, and The Prey were all released before the decade had even reached its halfway point. The trend would all but dry up by the end of the ’80s, the only real notable exceptions being the franchises that had fostered the sub-genre and had outlived the random copycats.

One of those enduring films was Sleepaway Camp, the cult shocker from 1983 that became a surprise success (making $11M off its $350K budget) thanks largely in part to its bizarre climax – which is still being talked about today. Continue reading 13 Days of Sequels: SLEEPAWAY CAMP II

13 Days of Sequels: HALLOWEEN II

With 13 Days of Sequels I’ll be reviewing horror sequels every weekday for the last two weeks of October. You can view all entries HERE.

Sequels are historically hard to pull off – especially when it’s that first one out of the gate (meaning Part 2), and especially if the first film was an incredible success. (I clarify this, because at one time films actually had to be successful in order to warrant a sequel.)

Following the original film, that first sequel is under major scrutiny: the pressure to not only replicate the success of the first film but exceed it in every way possible isn’t just expected, it’s really expected. Part 2 has to be bigger, faster, and smarter, upping the ante in every conceivable way. Continue reading 13 Days of Sequels: HALLOWEEN II

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