The Sunday Scaries are upon us once again! Yes, as the weekend concludes, most of us feel an oncoming sense of anticipatory dread about the week ahead. Anxiety about work manifests itself into a feeling that’s known as the Sunday Scaries. However, we at Awards Radar are here to combat that, by taking back the name. Now, we want you think about a horror-centric piece on the site when you hear the term. So, let us continue on with another installment of the Awards Radar Sunday Scaries!
Something has been on my mind. More often than not, horror sequels are made to things we’re, at best, indifferent to seeing continue on as a franchise. The amount of horror sequels that excite folks, as opposed to one that either result in a shrug, or worse, pales in comparison. Sequels by nature are usually financially motivated, but it helps when something can generate excitement. So, today I’ll be talking about horror sequels, and specifically, what we want out of them, when we want them.
Recently, we’ve seen Spiral: From the Book of Saw and A Quiet Place Part II be successful horror sequels. The former impressed me a lot, and I might say more about it below, while the latter was unnecessary yet undeniably effective. These are the exceptions, rather than the rule, of course. Just this weekend saw Escape Room: Tournament of Champions opt to come out, to a fairly significant shrug of indifference. Sure, Escape Room exceeded expectations, but did anyone need to continue that story? The answer was a resounding no. A few weeks ago, The Forever Purge seemed to finally end the series, long after anyone cared about it. That’s just the norm, sadly.
Something like A Quiet Place Part II at least is so well made that you don’t mind that it only exists because of money. Spiral came from Chris Rock being a fan, so that’s kind of a unique situation. Mostly, however, horror sequels are shameless cash grabs, they’re almost never on the level of what came before, and can even sully a franchise, to some degree. So, that gives me pause about suggesting too many things. While I love It Follows, for example, more of the same would be diminishing returns. Independent fright flicks could always scale up, but often, what worked about them was their small nature. As you can see, it’s not simple math.
So, what do we actually want out of a horror sequel? In short…a reason to exist. Yes, just give us something to grab on to. Either improve on the formula or tell a new story. It can be a risk, and we’ll see whether Don’t Breathe 2 succeeds later on this year, but playing it safe is never the way to go. You may please some fans, but the more discerning ones will be let down, without question.
There are three things that immediately jump to mind as horror sequels I’d actually be pumped to see. What might they be? Well, you can see that next…
A sequel to Spiral: From the Book of Saw – I’ve already mused here on the future of this franchise. In short, I think it’s actually pretty bright. Whether it’s a true Saw IX (which would be harder to pull off) or a Spiral sequel, this is the rare series that almost always leaves you at least curious for more.
Kevin Smith finishing his True North Trilogy with Moose Jaws – As many of you know, I’m a big Kevin Smith fan. In fact, my next Sunday Scaries piece is actually likely to be on his horror flicks. Red State is one of his most underrated works, with Tusk being better than its reputation, by far. Hell, even Yoga Hosers is fun. So, Moose Jaws, his Canadian Jaws homage, with a killer moose, is one I really want to see. You certainly can’t claim to have seen anything like it before, and that counts for something.
A sequel to You’re Next – Finally, here’s a curveball. Sequels to indie horror could go either way, but taking something like You’re Next, which introduced a fascinating character, could offer up a lot of potential. It would take a creative filmmaker or filmmakers, but I believe it can be done…
What horror sequels do you actually want to see? Let us know!