Any person who is an avid movie-goer at some point has developed an opinion on a movie and (if it has one) its sequel. Movie sequels have developed a reputation for being a hit or miss, with some becoming more famous than the original and some being forgotten entirely. Here are ten movies you didn’t know had sequels.
1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 cult classic that features Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss, and Barry Bostwick as Brad Majors. Initially created as a parody of science fiction films of the 1930s through the 1960s, it is famous for being the longest-running theatrical release in film history. Audience members participate with the film and performers will act out the film onstage as it is playing, creating a different experience that people continue to flock to. Its much lesser-known sequel is titled Shock Treatment, a dark comedy about a town in America that is entirely encased in a TV studio released in 1981.
Several actors from the original film made a return: Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Little Nell, Jeremy Newson, and Charles Gray. The only one to reprise his role was Newson as Ralph Hapschatt, but none of the big names from the original returned. The majority of the film’s failure came from the expectations of the production team for it to be equally good as the original, even though audiences were confused by the new leading actors and the lack of Tim Curry. It was developed as a satire of reality television, which could have worked at a later date but had too many factors working against it. It did eventually develop a cult following of its own but never measured up to the success of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
2. American Psycho
American Psycho is a film released in 2000 that features Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, a murderer who keeps up appearances as a businessman. This movie was polarizing from its release, but mostly well-received by audiences. The sequel is titled American Psycho II: All American Girl, which was only released 2 years after the original film. It stars Mila Kunis as Rachael Newman, a criminology student who begins killing her competition to succeed.
The film ties into the original by showing Rachael Newman first as a 12-year-old whose babysitter is killed by Patrick Bateman, and Newman is able to stab Bateman with an ice pick. Aside from that, the film focuses on Newman and her actions, mostly due to the film originally being written with no association with American Psycho. Because of the original film’s success, it was incorporated into this film at the beginning of production. Kunis has since spoken against it, stating that she didn’t know it would be a sequel at first and calling it bad. The author of American Psycho also denounced the sequel, comparing it to another potential failure, The Pink Panther films.
Carrie is a horror film adapted from the novel by famed horror author Stephen King, released in 1976. It centers on Carrie White, a 16-year-old with supernatural telekinetic powers living with her intensely religious and abusive mother Margaret, played by Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie, respectively. It has been hailed as one of the greatest horror movies ever made, and the prom scene has been separately praised as one of the best horror scenes of all time. King, who is notoriously hard to please with movie adaptations, has admitted that the film is good. The sequel, The Rage: Carrie 2, has not done so well with critics.
The sequel was released in 1999, with a plot following Rachel Lang, Carrie’s half-sister played by Emily Bergl who takes revenge against two football players responsible for her best friend’s suicide. While the plot could have been compelling, critics described the film as a failure because it could not achieve the level of believable horror that the original film did. It was also criticized for adding nothing to the original story but simply copying the arc and adding no value. The film was labeled a forgettable B-movie and was left at that without much argument.
Titanic is a 1997 film directed and written by James Cameron based on the sinking of the RMS Titanic with a romantic subplot added in of a rich woman and a starving artist. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, the film was highly praised and received many awards. It was also the highest-grossing film of all time until it was topped by Avatar, which was also made by Cameron. While Titanic II is not a direct sequel of Cameron’s, it still takes place 100 years after the first Titanic sank.
Titanic II is more of a mockbuster of Titanic that was direct-to-TV in 2010. The plot follows a new ship, the SS Titanic II, taking the reverse route of the original Titanic with more intense weather. It predictably ends the same way as the original, making it another of a series of sequels that add nothing to the original story. It was torn apart by critics for being filled with disaster movie clichés that is neither good enough nor intentionally bad enough.
Caddyshack is the famous sports comedy released in 1980 starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O’Keefe, and Bill Murray. The plot revolves around an exclusive golf course with a bold new member and a gopher attempting to destroy the course. It is described as the funniest sports movie ever made and is filled with slapstick humor and highly quotable lines. However, Caddyshack II did not receive the same praise.
Chevy Chase reappeared as Ty Webb in Caddyshack II, and some other big comedians such as Dan Aykroyd, Jackie Mason, Robert Stack, and Randy Quaid joined the cast. The sequel’s plot surrounds Jack Hartounian, played by Jackie Mason, and his daughter Kate, played by Jessica Lundy, attempting to become members at the same exclusive course from the original film. When they are rejected by current members, Hartounian buys the club’s stock and turns it into an amusement park. It was criticized for a lackluster script and for not living up to the comedic standards established in the original film.
Psycho is a famous psychological thriller from 1960 directed by the more famous Alfred Hitchcock. Marion Crane, played by Janet Leigh, goes on the run after taking money from her employer and ends up at Bates Motel which is run by Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins. This film is hailed for its artistry and is ranked among the greatest films of all time, also being selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. So, it is no surprise that a sequel would come, aptly named Psycho II.
Psycho II, released in 1986, takes place 22 years after the events of the original film and follows Norman’s return to the motel, where he once again begins to hear the voice of his mother. Anthony Perkins returns to his famous role, along with Vera Miles who reprised her role as Marion’s sister, Lila. This is the first sequel in this list to receive acclaim and success at the box office but was still not as popular as the original. It was described as an imitation of Hitchcock’s work, especially considering that Hitchcock had died before this project was ever talked about. It has some popularity for bringing back some of the elements that made Psycho great and encouraged Psycho III and Psycho IV: The Beginning to be created, garnering mixed reviews.
Jaws is a 1975 thriller directed by Steven Spielberg that is about the hunt for a man-eating shark that is attacking a beach town. It features Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw as the crew who goes to capture the shark. This film established the summer blockbuster and was the highest-grossing film until the release of Star Wars: Episode IV– A New Hope in 1977. It has been hailed as one of the greatest movies of all time and was also added to the United States National Film Registry. Its sequel, Jaws 2, also proved to be somewhat successful.
This sequel may be the best known of the list, but it pales in comparison to the film giant that is Jaws. Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, and Murray Hamilton all reprise their roles as Martin Brody, Ellen Brody, and Mayor Larry Vaughn, respectively. Spielberg refused to direct the sequel, feeling that it would be cheap and that he had already made the ultimate shark movie. Scheider very reluctantly reprised his role due to contractual obligation to Universal Studios and the production was met with similar technical problems faced in the first film that made it difficult to shoot. It is reviewed as the best of the Jaws sequels, as there are three, but still does not measure up to Spielberg’s original. It is labeled a weak imitation and not nearly as captivating as the original film.
8. The Karate Kid
The Karate Kid is the 1984 martial arts film starring Ralph Macchio as a bullied student who is taught karate by Noriyuki “Pat” Morita to compete against his bullies in a tournament. It is praised for the chemistry between Macchio and Morita, along with the heartwarming plot and sincerity of the film. The film was widely inspirational to the point where it popularized karate in the United States. The Karate Kid Part II had less of an impact and mixed feedback regarding the film.
The sequel had Macchio and Morita both reprising their roles, but this time the film takes place in Okinawa with Miyagi’s father about to die, only for the pair to become entangled in drama from Miyagi’s past. The film was praised once again for the chemistry between the two actors and Morita’s performance as Miyagi. On the other hand, critics felt that the movie was corny, pointless, and redeemable only by the performances of the actors. It had become much more catered towards children because of the impact of the original film, but that did not stop director John G. Avildsen from making The Karate Kid Part III and the eventual production of The Next Karate Kid, both heavily criticized.
9. The Mask
The Mask is a 1994 comedy starring Jim Carrey as Stanley Ipkiss, a bank clerk who stumbles upon a magical mask that turns him into a cartoonish playboy. While the film itself is not exactly a Best Picture candidate, it was very popular with audiences and cemented Jim Carrey and previously unknown Cameron Diaz as popular 1990s actors. Regarding international gross compared to the film budget, The Mask was the most profitable comic book-based film of all time until it was beaten by Joker in 2019. Its sequel was not nearly as successful.
Son of the Mask was released in 2005 with no returning cast members from the original aside from Ben Stein, who portrayed Dr. Arthur Neuman. The plot follows a cartoonist named Tim Avery, played by Jamie Kennedy, who lives with his wife Tonya, played by Traylor Howard, their baby, and their dog, Otis. Otis discovers the mask and Tim begins wearing it, attracting the attention of Loki, played by Alan Cumming. It was torn apart, especially with the absence of Jim Carrey and his specific brand of comedy that gave the original film the right energy. It had no true redeeming quality, even with the performance of Alan Cumming, and was denounced by Kennedy who felt he had no control over choices in the film.
10. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is a comedy film starring Jim Carrey released in 1994. It features Carrey as an animal detective who is hired to find the dolphin mascot for the Miami Dolphins. This film did not do so well with critics, being described as homophobic with a tasteless plot. It was reported that the film gained a cult following of mostly teenage boys due to the content and type of jokes written. The only true redemption this movie received was the undoubtable skill of Jim Carrey to bring his constant energy and wackiness to an otherwise poorly conceived film. With that, the sequel was ill-fated from the start.
Ace Venture: When Nature Calls was released in 1995, only a year after the first film. This film’s plot involves Ace Ventura, reprised by Carrey, coming out of a soul-searching retirement in the Himalayas to find an endangered white bat. It is a wedding dowry gift, and if he does not find it the rival tribes from which the betrothed come from will break out into civil war. The film is criticized for its reliance on crude humor and the inability to live up to what was already a flawed original film. However, it maintained its popularity with children and teenage boys, earning the movie mixed reviews and keeping Carrey in the limelight.