I enjoy a good sequel just as much as the next guy, especially if there is more story to tell or cool characters to tag along another round of events with. For horror fans, our criteria of what is required for a sequel is actually pretty low: a single character (Freddy, Jason, Chucky, Michael, Pinhead, etc…) can be the only reason to have sequel after sequel after sequel (after sequel), or even something like a location can be a good reason to revisit the film’s universe once again (HOSTEL PART 2, VACANCY 2, the AMITYVILLE HORROR movies). And yet, even as we’re open to these excessively loose criteria for sequel justifications, we’re getting assf*cked this year by not just one, but two seemingly unrelated sequels that simply scream “cash grab” and “sequel by name only”, which has to be the biggest slap to the face there ever was.
First, there’s A HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2: GHOSTS OF GEORGIA, which is a bitch slap to the face just by title alone, as how could there be another haunting in Connecticut when the whole movie takes place…. In Georgia? And they’re not even ashamed to admit it, they put it in the f*cking title because the title is a “name brand” of which they (studios, producers, marketers) think that just because it shares the same name, fans of the first movie (which sucked donkey nuts, BTW) will be more open to see this trash. Which, again, is just another way they’re saying “f*ck you!” to the audience.
But let’s look beyond just the atrocity that is the title (worst title of the year, by far) and let’s take a look at the film itself. From what we’ve seen in the trailer, there’s a new family being haunted, there’s a new state that’s being haunted, and just about everything about this movie screams “stand alone movie” and not a f*cking sequel to anything at all. It’s a ghost story about some haunted shit—let it be that! Don’t try and force this sequel down our throats and pretend that it’s something that has anything to do with another movie. Even if, by chance, there’s a character (on a road trip from Connecticut) passing through Georgia at the same time from the first movie… does this warrant to be a sequel of any kind. What a f*cking cheap trick to bamboozle the audience. Not only that, but who gives a f*ck if there is a sequel to A HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT anyway? Were there that many people who liked that garbage???
Then there’s THE LAST EXORCISM PART 2, a movie that on its own shits on the original by clearly telling the world that that shit wasn’t the last exorcism, but the first of a couple of movies. But whatever, I’ll let that slide. It’s about the same chick who was possessed from the first movie so at least it has a common character to hold the two movies together… so I’ll give it that. But here’s my problem with the whole thing and why it’s more or less unrelated. First, who even remembers nor gives two f*cks about that chick from the first movie? Seriously, she wasn’t the main character (the preacher was) and she wasn’t the reason why the movie was good… she’s really nothing more than just a random character that they’re trying to build a sequel around because it doesn’t make much sense to try and build it around anyone else you might have cared about from the first movie. Lame!
The real “F*ck You” culprit of LAST EXORCISM PART 2 has to lie with the style of film it chose to tell its story this time around. The first one was a found footage / documentary style movie based in our reality with a preacher talking to the camera (i.e., the audience), and having us follow him around on this really f*cked up journey to exorcise a demon. And now the sequel… is taking on a “regular” film format? What the hell? Wasn’t the whole thing with the first movie the fact that it was a found footage movie? And now, they’re dropping that completely and going with a standard film. I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but goddamnit, it does. It pisses me the f*ck off.
When has switching formats worked? Ok. I’m a liar. It has worked a couple of times… QUARANTINE 2: TERMINAL was pretty good (but it was cheap and straight to DVD) and REC: GENESIS had its moments (but it did its switch 20 minutes into the film itself, which was at least interesting). When has it not worked? THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT: BOOK OF SHADOWS was somewhat of a disaster (even though it’s not as bad as people make it out to be), but honestly, looking how other movies handles this shit means nothing to be in the case of THE LAST EXORCISM. Because of the fundamental reason to have a sequel in the first place: there’s more story to tell. And at the end of the first film, there was no more story to tell! It wrapped things up pretty well… and no one has been asking for a sequel since, making this yet another pointless force-fed sequel to shove down the throats of genre fans everywhere.
Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but f*ck these two unrelated sequels… right in their goddamn ears! They’re money-grubbing cash-cows that I hope fail miserably at the box office, that fail miserably on home video, and that both become examples of what not to do when making a movie that could be sold and viewed as original: don’t make it a sequel to something that has no real ties to the first movie! If a movie is found footage… then the sequel should be found footage as well (and don’t get me started on the fact that there’s a sequel to a movie called THE LAST EXORCISM). And if a movie tells the audience that there’s a haunting in Connecticut… don’t have the movie tell a story about a haunting in Georgia! What if the title was A HAUNTING IN SPACE and the whole movie was about a haunting at a farm house in the middle of Kansas (even if it had a silly subtitle like GHOSTS OF KANSAS. That shit wouldn’t make sense!). Anyway, don’t go see A HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT: GHOSTS OF GEORGIA On Demand February 1st and in theaters March 14th or THE LAST EXORCISM PART 2 on March 1st.