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Booth's Blog: Is The Original Always The Best?
By Emily Booth, Friday 16th January 2015

BB 1One of the most controversial, opinion - dividing issues amongst us horror fans, (second to the dreaded remake!) is the horror franchise. Those films that just keep on reinventing themselves with sequel after sequel, new spins, new directors, prequels, going into space, going 3D - you name it, if a cash cow can be milked, the milk will flow.

Tonight and tomorrow on Horror sees the screening of two movies from a popular and successful slasher franchise, Wrong Turn. Now this got me thinking, does the original horror film always trump the sequels? Or do some franchises get better with each sequel. And so to Twitter (and my faithful gore gang) I turned to get the low down on the original versus the sequel.

Folks had this to say on the Phantasm series:
“The Phantasm series is the only one that stands out as consistently improving with sequels for me. Harder to follow, but deeper.” (Night-Cat)

On the nature of the killers in horror franchises:
"trouble with most franchises is in the 1st one your against the killer by the 2nd or 3rd the killer has become the anti-hero" (Simon Roberts)

But in response Aiden Half-Troll makes a good observation on Friday the 13th:
“the Friday the 13th franchise should get special consideration considering Jason wasn't the antagonist until the sequel”

Graeme Hall thinks this is the pattern:
"Evil Dead goes 2,1 then 3. Romero's Dead trilogy also 2,1 then 3. Coincidence?" #TheHorrorGrail

Tim Jenkins on Saw:
"Saw 2 is a little better than the first. 3 maintains the momentum, but 4-7 go predictably wrong."

Most twitter fiends agreed that Friday the 13th did get more entertaining as the series progressed and that while Aliens often trumped Alien it’s effectively a Sci Fi not a horror as with the first. In my mind the original is often the best as it’s fresh, new, it’s the first time a particular story / villain / monster has been realized and so it’s got to be more exciting or at least respected than any sequel, right? I think, with the odd exception the pattern seems to be numbers 1 and 2 are great fun, 3 is a bit stupid (except Nightmare On Elm Street 3!!) and 4 claws it back but 5 – 7 are hanging by a string!

So what of the Wrong Turn movies?! The first one in 2003 starred big name Eliza Dushku and started the whole – gang of young guns make a ‘wrong turn’ and wind up as cannibal fodder. My friend and Frightfest regular Joe Lynch was at the helm of Wrong Turn 2 and REALLY upped the ante on the gore/comedy front and fans loved it! Tonight (Friday) we are screening Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead at 12.40am and tomorrow we have the network premiere of Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings at 10.50pm. Hell if you like your hillbilly cannibals and bigtime nasty gore than you can’t really go wrong and people do love to reconnect with their favourite baddies!

Thanks to all my twitter followers for joining in on the debate and contributing to the blog. Let me know your thoughts on the Wrong Turn movies or anything discussed above @horror_channel and @emmybooth


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