Sequels are always a hard sell;
for every Godfather Part II, there’s a million Hot Tub Time Machine 2s: low-effort
cash grabs designed to drag the unsuspecting public back into the multiplex in
the hopes of seeing lightning strike twice. Despite this, some sequels manage not
only to match their originals, but to become classics in their own right.
Whether shifting tone for a
darker, more mature style and deepening the series mythology or taking the opposite
route and delving into lighter, sillier territory, these sequels prove that the
original is not always best. Providing potential for endless re-watches, these
follow ups may have been one-off surprises or the start of long-running franchises.
For the purpose of this list, we’ve
limited ourselves to “true” sequels; that is no Godfather Part II or any other instalments
of pre-planned trilogies (sorry, Twilight: Eclipse). Instead we’re running
through the movies which followed up an unexpected success with an even rarer
beast: a fun, solid sequel which develops on the promise of its predecessor.