Poorly Crafted Sequels
I absolutely hate when a story is ruined by poorly crafted sequels. The examples that you mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other books and movies that have been ruined by a crappy sequel. I cannot off the top of my head think of even one sequel that was better than the original. I am sure one must exist.
One of my favorite movies of all time was Jaws. This movie scared the crap out of me for the whole first half of my life, every one of the many times I watched it (probably over 100 times).
Jaws just hit home for me as a kid. I come from a family likes to vacation at the beach on Cape Cod. And the bulk of this movie Jaws was filmed in Martha's Vineyard just a few miles from where I used to spend some of the best summers of my life.
I remember as a child my parents going out on date night to see Jaws at the out door drive-in theater. I remember my mother coming back horrified by the movie. That next summer she would not let us swim in the ocean.
This level of horror was definitely before it's time. I like to put in the same category with other movies like the original Alien movie. These might not seem very scary by todays standards but in their day were the scariest movies ever made. This is my opinion, and I am a scaredy cat! That wants to write horror, yikes!
So, the original Jaws was awesome, I don't think very many people would ever argue that. Even the second Jaws movie was half decent, although it was yielding diminishing returns on quality and it was nowhere near the caliber of the first Jaws movie.
What drives me absently bonkers is the fact that they decided to make third Jaws movie, Jaws 3D. You've probably heard me mention this in other assignments earlier in the semester. This movie just downright sucked. And even worse it was in 3D. I'm not talking about the realistic modern-day 3D we have glasses that look like Ray bans. I'm talking the old school white cardboard 3D glasses, with one cellophane lens that was blue and one that was red.
This movie made all of the amateur mistakes that ruin the sequel and send the franchise of a great movie into a downward spiral. Let’s look at each of those one at a time.
Oh did I mention that Jaws 3D sucked? (Yes, I still watch it once in a while).
So just to be clear, I love consuming sequels of movies. Even if they are crappy to the core.
Here are some things NOT to do if you want to keep your story franchise from sucking.
Writers should keep their mouth shut stop giving us so many damn details about the monster, it just ruins the story. Trust us as readers that we are smart enough to let our imaginations fill in the blanks and create a very powerful story.
Don’t’ show us more of what the monster looks like. This should be a pretty basic concept. Stop showing so much of the monster, we don't need to see how fake it is in the movie and we don't need to see every intricate detail of what its teeth look like. The more you let us use our imaginations to fill in those dark gaps the scarier the story becomes for each of us as individuals.
Don’t give us more details of where the monster came from. We don't need a back story for the monster. In Jaws 3D, I did not really care that there was a shark that wanted to get revenge and seek out and destroy the bloodline of whoever killed its ancestors, stupid concept.
Stop making it so easy to kill the monsters. This one drives me crazy also. Usually in the first movie the writers always make it so damn hard to kill that monster it's almost possible and I love that. But then the sequels make it so damn easy, especially if there's more than one of monsters showing up. For example, in the first predator movie, do you remember how hard it was for Arnold to kill that damn predator? But then in each subsequent predator movie it got easier, even when there was multiple damn predators, it was way too easy to kill them. What's up with that?
For God’s sake, why make it 3D for the sake of 3D in a sequel. Enough said!
So, will I continue to watch sequels, hell yes! I'll watch a sequel more than once even if I don't like it just because I like the original or the franchise. Will I make those same mistakes when I do my own writing? I hope not. I hope I can be objective and leave my ego at the door. In my own writing I do not want to be making the same mistakes that drive me crazy. If I do a SQL or if I write a series, I must have my checklist of how not to suck!