What do Nightmare On Elm Street 2, Hellraiser 2, Jaws 4: The Revenge, Friday The 13th Part 3, Pet Sematary 2, The Exorcist 2: The Heretic, and Beware! The Blob all have in common? If you said they’re sequels you’re technically correct but missed the fact that they’re all terrible sequels.
I know it’s easy to dismiss sequels as the product of a cynical Hollywood machine that turns every idea into a property and is determined to milk it as long as it remains profitable, mainly because that’s the only reason sequels get made, but there are numerous good sequels. Aliens was an excellent follow-up, mainly because it remained faithful to the source material while also taking a completely different direction. Terminator 2 follows the original so well the two are basically one great film. Gremlins 2: The New Batch was so brilliant with its fourth-wall breaking it effectively killed any chances for a third installment because, honestly, where do you go from there? Star Trek 2: The Wrath Of Khan wisely pretended the first film just didn’t happen, except in its title, but went back to the source for inspiration—a formula that worked again for Star Trek: First Contact. And, hey, Shock Treatment has some catchy songs.
Horror as a genre seems especially well-suited for sequels because scary things never really go away.
Anyway seven years ago I wrote a post about something that wasn’t scary but odd: a hole formed by two trees in our backyard that I kept filling with rocks because the rocks kept getting out of the hole. What was responsible? There are deer and coyotes in the neighborhood but they never seem to get in the fenced part of our yard where these trees are. Raccoons are possible. I’ve only seen them in our yard once but they were passing through, and they prefer running water. And whatever was removing the rocks eventually gave up.
Then I mostly forgot about it until recently when I went to take a look. The trees have grown together so much at their base the hole is almost gone and they’ve absorbed the rocks. And that makes me think what was originally going on was tree growth forcing the rocks up and out of the hole.
It’s a moderately interesting end that looks back and helps explain how the whole thing began. So, you know, it’s like Tremors 4.