Looking at the title of this article I’m tempted to just type these words: ALL OF THEM. That would be too easy (and also a contrea also too easy a way out would be to fill this list with the assorted abominations from the obvious masked slasher sources. So, let’s spread the net a little wider than the eighties and look at the worst horror sequels in recent memory.
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death
The Woman in Black is one of those rare ghost stories that seem to work in every medium. Like such iconic novels as The Turning of the Screw and The Haunting of Hill House, The Woman in Black translates itself into a brilliant TV movie, one of the scariest stage shows ever made, and Hammer’s most successful film to boot. The Woman in Black is one of my favorite horror movies, but its sequel, entitled Angel of Death, is a poor follow-up that has less dread, less atmosphere, and altogether less sense. I’ll give it one point in its favor, Phoebe Fox as the lead nearly saves it with a performance this movie does not deserve, but she’s not enough to elevate this schlock out of the pile of diminishing returns in which it langushes.
The Ring 2
I could have gone with the abysmal Rings, but that’s more of a soft reboot – The Ring 2 really should be a winner when it comes to this franchise: it brought back Naomi Watts, and was directed by Hideo Nakata who made the Japanese original, but Ring 2 feels more like a straight-to-video rush job than it does the loving reply to the first remake that it could have been. It does connect Samara’s mother to the story in a way that should be much better than it is, before it falls down the blind alley of a bland possession story and cheap, obvious scares.
There are a lot of shoulds on this list – and Hannibal is no exception. Because this should have been better – but the truth is that this particular part of Hannibal Lecter’s history is a stumbling block in every medium. As a novel, it was a deeply disappointing follow-up to The Silence of the Lambs, it’s adaptation to television is the weakest part of Bryan Fuller’s superb show, and the movie, while slightly better than the novel, feels just as pretentious and self-indulgent, as The Silence of the Lambs was masterful. Hannibal is a dud, an example of a director (in this case, Ridley Scott) falling into the trap of giving evil too much attention therefore sapping it of its power.
By Kevin Boyle
Header Image via The Independent