Quite often movie sequels can get a bad reputation. They are seen as a way of making profit off of a successful piece of cinema. Sometimes this may be the case when too many films are made in a franchise, but today I'm going to be looking at sequels which have lived up the the original film, or possibly even out done it! Please note that this can be any film in a franchise, and does not have to be part 2. These are not in any order. :)
Scream 2 (1997)
I think what makes this one work so well is that most of the remaining characters from the first installment returned for the second. It doesn't feel like it's copying the original in anyway, and we also get the death of one of the main characters - which shows that anything could happen in the series. Scream 2 has perfect character placement, and a perfect yet insane vengeful killer.
Replacing Jodie Foster was a dodgy move, but I think Julianne Moore pulled it off pretty darn well. Some may disagree that Hannibal was anywhere near as good as The Silence Of The Lambs, and then some people even think of it as the worst of the series. Guess we can agree to disagree? The star studded sequel turned up the gore, especially with the infamous 'brain cooking' scene with Ray Liotta. This film gave us a really disturbing disfigured bad guy played by Gary Oldman, and the movie in general had more action, due to Lector being hunted whilst he is loose in the world in stead of being locked up in a cell.
Referred to more as an action film than a horror, Aliens was quite possibly better than the 1979 Sci Fi classic Alien. (But that is obviously open to debate!) I would say that Aliens is faster paced than the original film, putting Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) front and center.
Terminator 2 - Judgement Day (1991)
I have honestly seen this more times than any other movie on the planet. I think it's fair to say that this one was undoubtedly better than the original Terminator film. In my opinion it is one of, if not the best action movie ever made. It has very impressive CGI for it's time and a pretty kickass bad guy. I'm not saying that The Terminator is a bad film, because heck it's a great film - but T2 surpasses it.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
This was the perfect follow up, as it could almost have just been part 2 of a very long film and made perfect sense. Starting up where Hellraiser finished, it does absolute justice to the original and carries on the story perfectly. This film starts up a lot quicker than the first installment, as there is no need to introduce the new characters. In Hellbound we get to see more of the cenobites and are shown a little of their back story with Captain Elliot Spencer. This is, in my opinion one of the best follow up movies that I have ever seen!
A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 - Dream Warriors (1987)
"Welcome to prime time, bitch!" Named the fan favorite of the Elm Street series, Dream Warriors was pure awesome. Bringing back the sole survivor of the original movie (Nancy Thompson) this is arguably as good as the original. Nancy has grown up and become a psychologist, and tries her best to help the kids at the local hospital fight off the Dream Demon Freddy Krueger.
Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)
Introducing the now infamous villain Jason Voorhees, Friday The 13th Part 2 is quite possibly better than Part 1. Although Jason doesn't get much screen time (or his well known hockey mask) until part 3, I still think that Part 2 is probably one of the best in the 12 film series.
Halloween II (1981)
Although I won't go as far as saying it was better than the 1978 classic Halloween, it was definitely more brutal. Nonetheless it was a brilliant follow up, continuing on the same night as the first movie, where we have Myers stalking Laurie in the hospital.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Now this one was DEFINITELY better than it's previous installment! With Heath Ledger's legendary performance as The Joker, this is one of those awesome superhero movies that you just have to see. Named the 4th best movie ever made, this one stands out as the best in an already brilliant trilogy.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
I would have to say that the agent Smith fight in this film is the best movie scene ever! This film is home to one of the best highway chase scenes ever (which by the way, used mainly practical effects and very little CGI) and had non stop action and twists. Although it wasn't quite as good as the original Matrix, I think it was a great sequel.
It's a long scene, but if you haven't seen the movie then it's definitely worth the watch!
Do you agree with my list? Tell me in the comments! :)