10 Times a Movie Sequel Completely Ignored the Original

10 Times a Movie Sequel Completely Ignored the Original
Image credit: Disney, Legion-Media, MGM, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Showtime

The thing is, not a single movie on this list actually needed a sequel.

1. "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" (1982)

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Steering away from the well-trodden path of the previous two films, Halloween III jettisoned Michael Myers and his spooky shenanigans to focus on a diabolical plan involving Halloween masks, Stonehenge, and a hefty dose of witchcraft. The plot shift left fans and critics alike scratching their heads in confusion.

While the film tried to redefine the franchise by becoming an anthology series, audiences just couldn't get behind a Halloween film sans the iconic, knife-wielding Myers. It reeled in a measly 42% on Rotten Tomatoes, and the audience response was so poor that subsequent films hastily brought back Myers and completely ignored this anomaly.

2. "The Beast Within" (1982)

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This little-known horror movie centers around a man named Michael who transforms into a monstrous cicada every 27 years. Its sequel, "Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor" (1990), bore the same DNA of grotesque transformation, but there's no trace of poor Michael or his insectoid plight. Instead, we have a new character mutating into a completely different creature in a plot bearing zero connection to the original. The audiences and critics were largely unimpressed, with a Rotten Tomatoes score resting at 22%. It seems that the series' metamorphosis wasn't received well, with the sequel getting sidelined in horror movie history.

3. "Road House 2: Last Call" (2006)

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Dalton, the beloved bouncer from 1989's "Road House," is a no-show in its sequel, and Patrick Swayze's tough-as-nails charm is sorely missed. Instead, "Road House 2: Last Call" introduces us to Dalton's alleged son, who tries to fill his father's combat boots, literally and figuratively. The film casually dismisses Dalton's fate with a line about him being shot dead years prior. The film was met with a collective groan from fans, and it performed poorly in terms of ratings, scoring a lowly 35% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

4. "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" (2000)

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When "The Blair Witch Project" debuted in 1999, its found-footage horror set a new trend in cinema. But its sequel, "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2," scrapped the original's format, opting instead for a traditional third-person perspective. The film disregarded the mythos built by the original, baffling fans with its plot about a group of tourists exploring the Blair Witch's legend.

The behind-the-scenes drama was just as perplexing, with rumored studio interference leading to last-minute changes that muddled the film further. This shift led to a resounding thumbs down from fans and critics alike, earning it a disastrous 14% on Rotten Tomatoes.

5. "The Birds II: Land's End" (1994)

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Hitchcock's classic "The Birds" (1963) is a masterclass in suspense, but its made-for-TV sequel, "The Birds II: Land's End," lacks the original's finesse. It not only ditches the original characters but the chilling subtlety of Hitchcock's vision too.

The plot vaguely mirrors the original, with a family terrorized by vengeful birds, but the connection ends there. Interestingly, the film's director, Rick Rosenthal, was so disappointed with the final product that he chose to credit it to the infamous pseudonym "Alan Smithee," a moniker often used by directors who wish to disown a project. The film's Rotten Tomatoes rating is currently unavailable, which might be for the best considering the overwhelmingly negative reviews.

6. "American Psycho 2: All American Girl" (2002)

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"American Psycho 2" takes a drastic departure from the stylish, satirical horror of its predecessor. Rather than following Patrick Bateman's blood-splattered escapades in Wall Street, it centers around a criminology student, played by Mila Kunis, with a penchant for murder.

Bateman himself is unceremoniously killed off in the opening scene, much to the dismay of fans of the original. Critics were equally unimpressed, leading to an abysmal 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Even Kunis has expressed regret over her involvement in the film, calling it one of her biggest mistakes.

7. "Shock Treatment" (1981)

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As the follow-up to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," "Shock Treatment" had big fishnet stockings to fill. However, it sidestepped any direct narrative connection to its predecessor. Instead of carrying on the adventures of Brad and Janet, the sequel opts for a bizarre satire on TV consumer culture.

The behind-the-scenes drama didn't help either, as several original cast members declined to return due to script issues. While the film has gained some cult status over the years, its initial reception was a resounding disappointment, evident from its lukewarm 50% Rotten Tomatoes score.

8. "Texasville" (1990)

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This sequel to Peter Bogdanovich's 1971 hit "The Last Picture Show" might be set in the same town and feature some of the original characters, but its tonal shift is jarring. Instead of the bleak drama of the original, "Texasville" opts for a comedic take on the mid-life crises of its characters. Critics felt the film lacked the emotional depth and rawness of its predecessor, with Rotten Tomatoes assigning it a middling score of 55%. While it didn't completely ignore the original, it did seem to forget what made "The Last Picture Show" so compelling.

9. "Day of the Dead 2: Contagium" (2005)

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A supposed prequel to George Romero's iconic "Day of the Dead," this film takes a nosedive into narrative incoherence. Instead of further exploring the zombie apocalypse from the original, it introduces a separate viral outbreak with tenuous links to Romero's universe. Fans of the original were left nonplussed by its lack of continuity and subpar production values. It currently sits with a 0% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes – a telling testament to its failure to carry the legacy of Romero's masterpiece.

10. "S. Darko" (2009)

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"S. Darko," the sequel to 2001's mind-bending "Donnie Darko," is an enigma wrapped in a mystery, albeit not in a good way. The film focuses on Donnie's younger sister, Samantha, but it ditches the intricate narrative puzzle that made the original a cult hit. Critics and fans alike were baffled by its disjointed storyline and lack of depth. Richard Kelly, director of the original film, disowned the sequel, and it seems the critics agreed with him – "S. Darko" languishes with a dismal 13% on Rotten Tomatoes.