Like the saying that “lightning doesn’t strike twice,” it’s rare that a sequel will attain the same level of admiration from fans as the original. However, there is another saying that goes “when you assume you make an ass out of you and me,” and there have been a number of sequels that have not only been more beloved by the masses but have far surpassed their original in all ways, shapes, and forms. Here’s a list of sequels we wholeheartedly agree are superior to the original.
- Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)
- Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (2020)
- Jaws: Revenge (1987)
- Sadako DX (2022)
- Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence (1991)
- 1-Ichi (2003)
- Alien: Resurection (1997)
- 964 Pinocchio (1991)
- The Birds II: Land’s End (1994)
- Female Prisoner No. 701 Sasori (2011)
Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)
Gamers playing an MMORPG based on the “Hellraiser” films find their lives endangered after being invited to a rave, the host of which intends to show them the truth behind the Cenobite mythos.
Finally shooting the series out of the dark age, Hellraiser: Hellworld features some top-notch CGI effects, amazing writing, as well as some outstanding performances from the cast. It could easily be argued this entry in the series was the entry that caught the attention of horror fans and dragged this little-known series into the public eye.
Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (2020)
A zombie virus has in the last 4 years spread to all of South Korea. 4 Koreans in Hong Kong sail through the blockade to Incheon for USD20,000,000 on a truck.
Reworking the relatively slow and uneventful story of the first film, Train to Busan 2: Peninsula provides an atmospheric survival horror full of undeniable creepiness and slow-burning tension that’s prolific throughout Asian cinema. Implementing some restrained, yet impressive CGI effects, diligent writing, and credible performances that certainly outweigh the tedium felt throughout the previous film.
Jaws: Revenge (1987)
Chief Brody’s widow believes that her family is deliberately being targeted by another shark in search of revenge.
The first two entries in the Jaws franchise were abject failures in that their settings were New England, where nobody actually wants to go to the beach, thus breaking any sense of realism. Jaws 3 did a bit better by being set at an amusement park (albeit a boring marine biology-themed one), but it’s not until Jaws 4, where the vengeful shark follows our protagonists to the sunny Bahamas, that there’s any sense of plausibility to the premise.
Sadako DX (2022)
People who watch a cursed video suddenly die. These deaths take place all over Japan. Ayaka Ichijo (played by Fuka Koshiba) is an extremely smart graduate student with an IQ of 200. Her younger sister happens to watch the cursed video for fun. Ayaka Ichijo tries to reveal the mystery of the cursed video.
The original would have been much more enjoyable with the addition of comedy!
Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence (1991)
Two doctors are trying to stop a rampant epidemic of zombieism. They fend off zombies spilling many a gallon of blood in the process.
One of the finest displays of filmmaking of this generation, Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence is the epitome of the long-running Zombi series (beginning with Dawn of the Dead). Successfully encompassing the overarching story of its 89 prequels, the film delivers an astoundingly constructive ending to the series – Effectively tying up the story’s loose ends into an impeccably concise and streamlined narrative that is a perfect bookend to a remarkable series.
We follow Ichi during his high school years. Mr. Dai is the best fighter in school… whenever he fights Ichi is there and has a huge smile on his face. Mr. Dai thinks that Ichi is laughing at him but in fact, he enjoys watching the violence that goes through the fights. Everyone is bullying, taunting, and making fun of Ichi… even little kids from his karate class. Yet Ichi refuses to let go of his anger and fight others. Just when Mr. Dai is about to get Ichi, a new transfer student starts to make his own laws… by beating up everyone and breaking their bones! In a fight with the new student, Mr. Dai ends up on the ground, beaten and broken up from almost everywhere. It seems like this new guy wants to fight Ichi because supposedly he is the only one that could give him some challenge.
A superior display of budget, cinematography and well-written dark humour of its prequel, 1-Ichi is, by and large, the adaptation the source manga truly deserved. Additionally, with Nao Ômori reprising his role as Ichi, he was able to correct his mistakes in the past and give the role his all this time around.
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Two centuries after her death, a powerful human/alien hybrid clone of Ellen Ripley aids a crew of space pirates in stopping the aliens from reaching Earth.
After a disappointing ending to Alien3, Fox undoubtedly made the right decision to bring the series back to correct this faux pas. Ultimately superior to the original in building tension, quality of writing, and general cinematography; the film also finally introduces a strong female character with Call (played by Winona Ryder) which is a breath of fresh air to the predominantly male-orientated series.
964 Pinocchio (1991)
Pinocchio 964, lobotomised cyborg sex slave, is thrown out onto the street by his owners because of his inability to maintain an erection. He is befriended by a criminally insane, memory-wiped, homeless girl. Meanwhile, the corporate entity who manufactured and sold him plots to kill him because of his malfunction.
A considerably more adult continuation of the Walt Disney classic, I would wait a few years before letting your kids watch this intense sequel.
The Birds II: Land’s End (1994)
Still haunted by the memory of the son they lost to an accident years ago, Ted and Mary Hocken take up residence with their two young daughters on the remote, windswept reaches of a tiny East Coast island. The Hockens are determined to forget their painful past and spend a quiet, uneventful summer. But as immense flocks of birds begin massing around the island, it becomes clear that something is very wrong in this isolated, deceptively calm oasis. Before long, the sky is darkened by a hideous onslaught of screeching, winged creatures. It’s an assault unlike anything in the history of man or beast – or is it? One old timer recalls a similar, horrific outbreak that gripped the West Coast decades ago…
If sir Alfred Hitchcock is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of cinema, they better make room for Alan Smithee! The simple fact that he was able to elevate Hitchcock’s original film to new heights is remarkable, with nail-biting suspense, incredible performances—Tippi Hedren is a stand-out for sure—and jaw-dropping special effects that rival even some of the most recent blockbusters. It’s a shame that this 90’s gem is not as well-known; it’s definitely the best Hitchcock film he never directed!
Female Prisoner No. 701 Sasori (2011)
The story follows a betrayed Nami Matsushima, prisoner #701, who is sent to a women’s prison for attempted murder. Nami is placed in cell Number 2 notorious for deaths, suicides, and reports of unnatural phenomena.
Although more a remake than a sequel, Female Prisoner No. 701 Sasori is an overall increased display of competent filmmaking compared to its practically unknown basis from the 70s (eww). Removing the unnecessary arty-farts crap and replacing it with what everyone really wanted… shot-on-video simulated sex.