From psychiatrist to cannibal. Mummy's boy to slasher in the shower. Jedi to Sith Lord. Kiddie-killer to Dream Demon. No matter how iconic the villain, everyone has to start somewhere. And there's a particular fancy, particular in horror movies, to pore over every aspect of a monster's rising, no matter how mundane.
And so, as the recent Wolf Creek TV series allowed us a brief insight into outback bastard Mick Taylor's earliest days, so spook 'em up Ouija: Origin of Evil will go back 50 years into the history of Ouija's haunted house. Next up, Texas Chainsaw Massacre man Leatherface is set to explore his upbringing in 2017's Leatherface.
Whether it's the beloved TV series Hannibal, the smart Saw III, or the intriguing Prometheus (yes, really), there's no denying a place in horror history for the prequel. Letting us get to know our heroes and villains better, a good horror sequel can show how certain elements came to fall into place (thematically, like Prometheus, or historically, like Hannibal) and enrich your franchise and its heritage.
In other cases, however, it's simply a way for studios and filmmakers to wring a little bit of extra cash out of a character they foolishly killed too early in the series, or wrote into in a corner.
In the case of the next ten movies, we'll learn that some stories might be better left untold...
10. Red Dragon
Where to go next? Everybody loved The Silence of the Lambs, and we quite liked its sequel, but Hannibal wrote itself into a bit of a corner with the good doctor lopping off his hand and essentially retiring abroad (again). Thankfully, there was one book they hadn't adapted yet: Red Dragon.
Previously made as Manhunter with a different Doctor Lec(k)tor, Red Dragon is Silence of the Lambs-lite: all of the ingredients are there, but not of the finest quality. Lecter in a cage, serial killer on the loose, detective consulting. A miscast Ed Norton stars as Will Graham, on the case of a serial killer known as The Tooth Fairy. You know the story - we've seen it three times now.
In this case, director Brett Ratner finds himself unable to capture the lightning-in-a-bottle feel of The Silence of the Lambs, this prequel simply going through the motions to little purpose. Everyone looks as tired as they do old (much older than they did in Hannibal!) and poor Hopkins is terrible as Lecter, his screen time duly amped up to cater for audience demand. Were it the only adaptation of the story, Red Dragon would be serviceable enough. Unfortunately, it isn't, and it isn't.
Still, there'd be worse to come...