Putting together a follow-up to any massively popular project is not an enviable task. Many great filmmakers have fallen victim to Difficult Second Movie Syndrome, failing to follow up an innovative original despite their best attempts.
However, this is not a list of those noble failures. Instead, what we’ve compiled is a set of flicks which looked at the much-loved original and decided to follow it up with as little effort as possible. Taking much-loved titles and dragging their names through the mud, these are sequels which didn’t even offer an ounce of their predecessor’s charm.
Some are late-in-the-franchise instalments which ran out of steam and soiled the reputation of earlier films. Some are second films which lost their way and ruined any chance of further adventures for their characters. All of them are the sequels which were the worst smack in the face for fans of their instant classic originals.
10. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
If a horror franchise survives long enough, you can be sure every iteration will have its own defenders. Some fans love former Rorschach Jackie Earle Haley’s interpretation of Freddy Krueger as a grim, unsmiling presence; some refuse to acknowledge any Freddy not played by horror icon Robert Englund.
Despite this discord, every once in a while, a sequel comes through which unites every warring fandom faction in their absolute disgust, and the sixth instalment of the phenomenally popular Nightmare on Elm Street series did just that. Where to start with this one—the inexplicable Roseanne cameo? The Goo Goo Dolls’ theme song? The Power Glove product placement?!
No scene better encapsulates the derided fifth sequel better than the sight of Springwood’s adults losing their marbles, reacting to the wholesale death of the town’s adolescent population by… riding around in bumper cars and rewriting history books so they star the titular menace. Mercifully the title was as misjudged as the rest of this movie, and the next sequel managed to pull the franchise out of the doldrums with an injection of meta-horror in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.