Whenever awards season rolls around every year, the conversation inevitably turns to how the bindweeds of blockbusters, sequels and adaptations is choking the life out of Hollywood innovation. And despite the fact that we saw lots of unique, beautiful movies released in 2017 (and more will follow this year), it's hard not to agree that there's an uneven representation of such movies on the upcoming slate.
But when you sit back and think about it, there's a reason for that, and it doesn't just come down to the fact that studios know that we'll spend on a sequel if the original did well. It's because audiences will genuinely want to see a sequel if the original did well. No cynicism, no audience manipulation... It's a matter of giving people what they want.
It's no accident that the biggest and best franchises continue to pull in viewers into high numbers, or that major brands have a tendency to burrow their way behind our collective eyes if they're even halfway good. We WANT dependability, we want stability and we want to know that the movie we're shelling out for isn't going to be a disappointing unknown quality.
So, really, there's nothing wrong with sequels. And there's lots of them to be excited about this year...
25. The First Purge
As well as taking aim at the quickly spiralling decline of Western civilization in their political commentary horror series, Blumhouse and Universal are using The First Purge - their prequel to the successful mainline films, newly renamed - to get a little of that delicious Trump heat with their delightful poster.
It's a bold move, being so brazen, but it should definitely pay off given the attention it's already attracted. The only worry is that some people might see the cap and think this is genuinely a documentary.
Which it might be in retrospect in a couple of years.
Anyway, the film will tell the story of - you guessed it - the first Purge, to chart the story of how it became a yearly tradition. Hopefully, that means it will get back to what made the first film so good, rather than it getting too bogged down in the politics or rebellion. Allegory shouldn't be too far away, but a purer horror film would be very welcome.
Release Date: July 4th