1. You Have Corey Feldman In It
I know, I know, he used to be a heartthrob of the 80’s, but like whole milk, Corey Feldman has not aged well. As the very definition of an “anything for a paycheck” actor, he’s debased himself to the point where either street prostitution or Lost Boys: The Tribe were the only options. I can’t say he chose well there. Also, Meatballs 4? Toxic Avenger IV? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III? Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter? Oh, yeah, he’s king of the world, baby.
2. You’re A Sequel In Name Only
We can’t tell you how many movies we’ve seen (Black Belt 2? Day of the Dead 2?) that has absolutely nothing to do with the former film(s), and in fact inherited the moniker just because someone thought it’d sell a few more tickets. When the studio thinks that there’s no way your film can stand on its own merits and requires a sequel title crutch to hold it up — you’re in for agony.
3. You Kill Off The Previous Cast And/Or Make Them The Bad Guys
Sure, we get it, it’s a “shocking” development that’s a bit of a “game changer”. But guess what? There’s a reason we liked the original movie, and it was probably because of the characters, and we probably won’t take too kindly to you ruining our memories of them.
4. You Are Rushed Into Production To Capitalize On The Original’s Surprise Success
Remember when The Blair Witch Project took the world by storm and made a billion more dollars than any indie film before it? Remember how they honored that success by scurrying to push a sequel into theaters, promising a whole line of Blair Witch movies? Remember how well that worked out. Yeah. Hollywood, you need to learn from that.
5. You Employ 3-D
While currently enjoying a revival of sorts for no great reason I can see, 3-D has always stunk of “cheap gimmick” that sequels (particularly threequels) roll out. Friday the 13th part 3? Jaws 3-D? Spy Kids 3? Amityville 3-D? It’s as if the filmmakers know in advance the movie won’t be enough, and have to lure you to see it with promises of optical illusions.
6. You Star Kids and Animals
There’s nothing that will degrade a film’s memory faster than forcing the franchise to lean on the two most hoary go-to’s: little smart alek kids, and uber-intelligent (but still crotch-sniffing) pets. Ace Ventura Jr., you’re guilty on two counts of this!