Friday, January 23, 2009

A subject I was bound to tackle eventually

"Can you believe they're making a sequel to The Descent? What's next, The Shining 2: I'm Thawed Out But Still Nuts?" -Andrew (used with permission).

My friend Andrew makes an excellent point (and may I again offer him thanks for his copy of The Descent, and his wife probably thanks me for getting it out of the house) and brings us to a subject near and dear to my heart: sequels, which will also inevitably bring us to remakes. (To know me is to know this post could get heated and rambling; deal.)

Now, some sequels I will cheerfully stand behind--Rocky 4, anyone? Here's the thing that the fine folks in movieland need to realize: grounds for a sequel. The end of a good movie often leaves you wondering, what would come next? Here's the don't always ACTUALLY want to know. You don't want someone to come along and say, oh here, let me show you! Sometimes you want to be left with your own thoughts. In cases of, say, Rocky or the Godfather fam, sequels work because the story has more to be told, or the character warrants further development. Of course it's also good to know when to stop, I'm talking to you Rocky 5 and 6--clearly, you should have gone out on the high note of ending the Cold War. And offing Adrianne? Unforgivable. And why I will never view your last installment.

Here's the thing: horror movie sequels. Yes, it's cool that you made a really excellent scary movie. LET IT GO. Go make up another new one. Again, some character it's cool to develop more, even though we all know where it will ultimately end up. But just because people keep going, please--show some restraint. Stop at 5 or something. (No, I'm not talking to you, Saw, you should've quit while you were ahead.) Same thing with remakes. Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery. Was it excellent the first time? Yes. Did it inspire you as a filmmaker? Sure! Why not! It should inspire create your own thing. YES, I am most certainly talking to you, Micheal I Don't Have An Original Bone In My Stupid Body Bay.

Which brings us full circle to the beginning of the post and the point made by Andrew: some movies simply should not have a sequel because when they ended, THEY ENDED. They ended quite well. In the case of The Descent: do I want to know what happens to Sarah? Sure. And by sure I mean no. It's an extra head scratcher as pointed out in this article which addresses the fact that by region release, this movie has 2 endings--the original of which does not in fact leave the door open for a sequel.

In conclusion, grudging sigh, all of this will probably not stop me from seeing it. What do you say, Andrew? For old time's sake? We can wear matching t-shirts again!


Traci said...

Thank you for keeping me out of this, and for getting that DVD out of my house. Sneaky cave zombies not really my thing.

Andrew said...

One more thing about sequels that personally bothers me is the now rampant use of after-credits scenes. They did it in not only Constantine but Iron Man. A scene they didn't really know how to make it work in the rest of the film or maybe it just seemed kind of thrown-together or it was a scene that happened to be filmed when a celebrity guest was around. Which, I honestly think was the basis for the Sam Jackson Nick Fury cameo. They feel like deleted scenes and the only people that sit through the credits are the people that made the movie. Well, those and us weirdos who want to know who sung a certain song since song credits are almost always dead last.

And another thing! The use of colons in titles is annoying to the point of parody. That Aqua Teen movie actually had the word "colon" in it, spoofing how bad the use of a colon in a title is. I hate those stupid secondary titles. Terminator 2: Judgment Day or Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. And numbered sequels need to stop at 3. Nothing is more depressing than going to a sequel to have it numbered something like XXIIVIVIV. Blarg. That is all.