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The curse of horrible sequels

Olivia Barone

Anchor Staff Writer

Photo via Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels

A vicious cycle has ensued; again and again fan favorite films are rearranged into lackluster follow-ups that almost ruin the original. Is this an unbreakable curse or might there be hope for future series in the movie industry?

Large production companies are prone to producing sequels to their highest-paying films. It seems that merchandise, musical adaptations and theme parks can not satiate the desire for another blockbuster. Whether or not a sequel will add to these beloved stories is hardly ever taken into account, thus leading to the release of half-hearted films that are missing the charm that helped the originals capture the hearts of audiences across the globe.

Sequels are designed to be profitable, leading to their mass production. Once a character becomes popular enough to be marketable, their appearance in a second movie is going to quickly attract the attention of die-hard fans. Regardless of an audience’s opinion on sequels, the urge to see a familiar face grace the big-screen again is no easy temptation to curve. This high demand leads to the endless march of sequel after sequel, giving way to a scheme built expertly by the film industry: Turning the audience’s love for a film into profit.

It can not only be the fault of production. Human nature also contributes to poor movie sequels. Upon falling in love with a film, people are prone to creating their own assumptions about what happens to their favorite characters after the end-credits roll. Using the final scenes of the story provided, audiences instinctively piece together their preferred futures for the aforementioned story-line, whether it be a happily-ever-after or otherwise. Watching a sequel with this already established idea of how the story should have been conducted sets the second-installment to any series up for failure.

There is nothing higher than the expectations of a fan, and satisfying these great heights is no small feat. If a story is not portrayed in the same way that an audience fell in love with it, it will unfortunately never be up to par. Neither the audience nor the production teams behind these beloved films will ever be satisfied, allowing this vicious cycle to begin anew.

It appears that sequels are doomed to the shadows of their predecessors. As production companies lose the passion for their work in their hunger for cash and audiences’ expectations continue to grow, progress is out of reach.

However, there is an exception to every rule and some series have shaken themselves of his putrid curse. The astounding release of “Incredibles 2” in 2018 had long-time lovers of the original floored with its success. Other series such as “Back to the Future” and the more recent “Spiderman” have excelled for their worthy sequels.

These promising sequels provide a glimmer of hope within the film industry as fans across the world pray for an end to this wretched curse.


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