Have you ever been watching a horror movie and thought to yourself “What a great film I would really like to know the origin story”. Well chances are probably not, because we hope the director and writer have conveyed enough in the film to either help piece together a proper backstory or the plot is done in a way that an origin doesn’t even really matter. With horror being inundated with a plethora of horror remakes the prequels are at times far and few between. Instead what we usually end up with is a sequel that either hints at an origin or shows flashbacks that the viewer fits together in order to explain a back story. But, sometimes you just get a prequel for the sake of a prequel or in our case trying to make a quick buck off an already established franchise or classic horror film. Here are just a few examples that make you think what was the point of it all.
The Thing (2011) - I am really not sure what they were trying to do with this film other than making a statement a female can lead a horror movie by switching out Kurt Russell’s character, McReady with Mary Ann Winstead's character Kate. Which I hate to break it to them, women have been leading horror movies for years. John Carpenter did a great job laying a foundation that told the current situation in the isolated research station as well as the events that lead up to what is currently happening in the film. Therefore, I have yet to come across any horror fans touting the need for a prequel to explain what happened to those poor Norwegians. There is no better way to put it than it’s utterly forgettable due in part because no one asked for it and it’s all but a copy of Carpenter’s The Thing they just added a slower more boring and predictable pace sprinkled in with some super shitty CGI. This is the film should have never been chiseled out of some producer's head.
Exorcist: The Beginning - Have you ever been watching a movie and it’s so painful for the actors on
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning - Leatherface is actually one of my favorite slashers and it pains me to see him being done this way (trust me New Generation is a completely different rant). As a fan I never wondered what made Leatherface….well Leatherface, nor did I want to see him literally being born. This just felt like Michael Bay’s TCM remake, just not as good and really lacking in all departments. I do give them added bonus points for returning R. Lee Emery as the menacing “I’m not a cop (Uncle Hewitt), but I’m cop (Sheriff Hoyt)” and spoiler alert for all you sensitive souls out there Jordana Brewster although good, but unrealistic death scene (sorry you’re going to hear that chainsaw before it plows into your chest). But, just those factors alone couldn’t save this unwarranted addition. Just put the chainsaw down and back away from the franchise.
Rob Zombie’s Halloween - I understand this can be argued that it’s not a prequel it’s a re-imagining, remake or re-zoning, well you can church it up however you want, but when it goes into the origins of Michael Myers it plays to me like a prequel. I do have a love/hate relationship with this movie although I love the cast (yes, even Sheri Moon Zombie) I just hated Zombie’s take on Myer’s childhood. It’s fine if you want to white trash it up, although the Carpenter film doesn’t lend itself to Michael having that kind of childhood, but at least give him a better progression to a slasher then his breaking point being his sister not taking him trick r treating. Sadly as we know the sequel didn’t lend anything better to this film either so just stick a knife in it because it’s done.
Annabelle - I will admit that I was interested in a prequel to the actual The Conjuring film, but not so much the doll whose story (at least to me) ran parallel through the movie. Had they set up Annabelle like The Conjuring you would have got a more justiciable prequel. However, what you got was a drawn out set up to a lackluster character. The first 10 minutes of The Conjuring set up Annabelle better than the entire Annabelle movie did. One of my biggest ponderings of this film is why was it rated R? I guess you could argue suspense and scary images, which would hold true if you had never watch a horror movie in your life! But, for us regular horror folk the scares were standard and the only “jump” scares were shown in the trailer. The (few) deaths also looked as though they had been edited for television. I understand the desire to want to “cash in” with the success of The Conjuring, but sadly googling info on Annabelle is way scarier than this cursed movie.