29 Movie Sequels You Never Knew Happened

We live in an era of sprawling cinematic universes. Within a week's span, Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League are coming to theaters. On a regular basis, protagonists from one Marvel movie stroll into other ones, this time as supporting characters. About once a year, characters from the D.C. Universe unite to brood. Then, we have franchises like Ridley Scott's Alien series — after exhausting the options for sequels, Scott has moved on to create in-depth prequels.

Not all sequels become blockbusters, or get a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score, as Thor: Ragnarok did. Many sequels are wholly unnecessary, so unmemorable that you forgot they even existed. Others are actually pretty good, but were always overshadowed by their older siblings, the original movies.

So get ready, because we're about to blow your mind with some of these forgotten cinematic works.

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Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) is now 16 years old, and though she seems cured, she's still possessed by more demons than adolescent mood swings typically entail. Critics did not like this movie. With British charm, the BBC's Mark Kermode wrote, "Exorcist II is demonstrably the worst film ever made. It took the greatest film ever made and trashed it in a way that was on one level farcically stupid and on another level absolutely unforgivable."
Grease 2 (1982)

Set two years after Grease, this movie features another high school clique-crossing romance. Pink Ladies leader Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer) moves on from her relationship with the leader of the T-Birds by starting something with a British exchange student (Maxwell Caulfield). He's Sandy's (Olivia Newton John) cousin. And like Sandy, Michael is eventually incorporated into one of the two cliques — he becomes a T-Bird. The movie was panned, but Pfeiffer was praised.
Staying Alive (1983)

Fun fact: the sequel to Saturday Night Fever was actually directed by Sylvester Stallone. Six years after the last movie, Tony (John Travolta) moved to Manhattan, lost his Brooklyn accent, and is still looking for his big break. Why did it get a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes? The website reads, "This sequel to Saturday Night Fever is shockingly embarrassing and unnecessary, trading the original's dramatic depth for a series of uninspired dance sequences."
2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

You've probably heard of Stanley Kubrick's 1968 sci-fi staple, 2001: A Space Odyssey, even if you haven't seen it. Lesser known is this sequel, written by the same screenwriter. 2010, which centers on a mission to find out just what happened to the failed mission Discovery One, is widely considered to be a great space movie, and unfairly overshadowed by the original film.
Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

This Jaws sequel purports that Great White Sharks capable of carrying out elaborate revenge plots. In this movie, a shark deliberately seeks out members of the entire Brody family, venturing as far south as the Bahamas. The movie was actually supposed to be even stranger — the shark was supposed to be controlled by magic, not by a sense of revenge.
The Two Jakes (1990)

Jack Nicholson directed and starred in this sequel to 1974's Chinatown. The film was regarded as a decent, but uninventive, sequel, which mostly just restated the ideas found in the first movie.
Teen Wolf Too (1987)

In Teen Wolf, Michael J. Fox plays a teenager who discovers he's inherited the werewolf gene. And two years later, his cousin, played by Jason Bateman, undergoes the same lupine transformation. See what they did with the title? He's a teen wolf, too.
The Return to Oz (1985)

A young Dorothy Gale (Fairuza Balk) returns to an utterly changed Oz, now threatened by extinction by the devilish Nome King. Compared to the saccharine original, Return to Oz is downright scary. At the time of its release, The Return to Oz failed at the box office. It's become a cult favorite among Wizard of Oz fans, though, because it adheres more closely to the L. Frank Baum books.
The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter (1991)

Another young boy travels on the wings of his imagination to the same land featured in the original Neverending Story. There was supposed to be a third movie, but it never happened.
Weekend at Bernie's II (1993)

Guess what? In this sequel to Weekend at Bernie's, Bernie Lomax (Terry Kiser) is still dead. In order to get their hands on Bernie's wealth, Larry (Andrew McCarthy) and Richard (Jonathan Silverman) take his corpse to the Virgin Islands, where his money is stored in offshore accounts. The movie makes unfortunate forays into Voodoo.
The Return of Jafar (1994)

The Return of Jafar, which came two years after Aladdin, was the first of the direct-to-video Disney sequels. As it turns out, cast of characters – including Robin Williams back again as Genie – didn't actually rid themselves of Jafar. Jafar has been freed from his magic lamp, and is set on ruining their lives.
The Next Karate Kid (1994)

Yes, that's Hilary Swank starring as Mr. Miyagi's (Pat Morita) next karate protege. This is the fourth installment in the Karate Kid series, and the least successful by a long shot. Despite being critically panned, The Next Karate Kid launched Swank's career.
An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)

When it came out in 1981, An American Werewolf in London was almost universally hailed as a fantastic (and gory) horror movie about an American backpacker who undergoes a gruesome transformation into a werewolf. The movie franchise lost its magic when it moved to another European city, and replaced Oscar-winning makeup artistry with shoddy CGI.
The Evening Star (1996)

Bet you didn't know Terms of Endearment had its own sequel, which centers on Audrey Greenway's (Shirley MacLaine) difficulties raising her dead daughter's three children.
Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

Speed's premise was truly novel when it came out in 1994: A cop (Keanu Reeves) and a civilian (Sandra Bullock) are trapped on a bus that will explode should its speed drop below 50 mph.

But as Speed 2: Cruise Control shows, what works once might not work again. Annie (Sandra Bullock) finds herself on a hijacked cruise ship that's heading straight for an oil tanker unless she and her cop boyfriend, Alex (Jason Patric), do something about it. To match the Caribbean mood, the soundtrack is mostly reggae. This sequel's Rotten Tomatoes score is a whopping 3%.
Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)

So many of these sequels are the products of overeager studios trying to recreate a phenomenon. Well, Blues Brothers 2000 recreates only a fraction of the magic of 1980's The Blues Brothers.
Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002)

This movie came 12 years after the first Home Alone, and Kevin McCallister is as relentlessly badly behaved as ever. Only this time, Kevin has a different face — he's played by Mike Weinberg instead of Macaulay Culkin. Another change from the typical Home Alone formula? Kevin's parents, who are also played by different actors, are in the midst of a divorce.
Ripley's Game (2002)

Set 20 years after the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley, Tom Ripley — this time played by John Malkovich – is back to his psychologically manipulative, murderous ways. This thrilling caper-meets-psychological thriller actually got better reviews than The Talented Mr. Ripley, and it's absolutely worth watching.
Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True (2002)

In which Cinderella completely fails at her queenly duties, and loses touch with her old magic. It's depressing!
Mulan II (2003)

Mulan deserves a better sequel than this one. In the movie, Mushu tries to break up Mulan and General Shang's engagement, and Mulan gets sent on a mission to escort the emperor's three daughters to their arranged marriages. At least Mulan teaches her community's young girls how to become warriors in this scene.
Wild Things 2 (2004), and the entire Wild Things series

Like the first Wild Things, this movie used its crime storyline as an excuse to have women prance around in bikinis. The purpose of the Wild Things franchise became more clear in the next two sequels, which include the most recent Wild Things: Foursome (2010).
Son of the Mask (2005)

No one should be subjected to seeing a little baby roam around with the powers of the Mask.
Kronk's New Groove (2005)

Patrick Warburton's wonderful and deep voice as Kronk is probably the best part of this movie, which has a whopping 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Leroy & Stitch (2006)

Granted, there are a lot of Lilo and Stitch spinoffs, including a TV show and a sequel, Lilo & Stitch 2. But only Leroy & Stitch, set entirely on a space ship, is truly baffling. In the movie, Stitch is faced with an army of his feral evil twins.
Road House 2: The Last Call (2006)

In Road House (1989), Patrick Swayze's character had the glamorous job of being a bouncer in a road side bar in Missouri. This movie is about the son of that character, who became the bouncer at his uncle's bar in rural Louisiana when his uncle disappeared. Guess the profession runs in the family.
Basic Instinct 2 (2006)

We're baffled that law enforcement couldn't catch ice pick murderer Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) in the 14 years between movies. In this movie, psychiatrist Michael Glass (David Morrissey) tries to understand Catherine as a suspect, but he's too distracted by her as a sex object. That left Catherine alive at the end. Is there room for a sequel? Probably not, considering this movie got a 7% Rotten Tomatoes score.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (2008)

You may have already seen The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, which centers on Ariel's sea-loving daughter, Melody. But what about this sequel, which tells the story of why Triton banned music in the underwater kingdom of Atlantica, and how Ariel brought it back? If you've ever been super curious about where the heck Ariel's mom is, this movie will address your question.
S. Darko (2009)

Samantha's (Daveigh Chase) older brother, Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal), got his own movie in 2001's Donnie Darko. And that should have been enough. But this sequel to Donnie Darko gives Samantha her own movie, in which she too faces a countdown to the apocalypse and a series of strange supernatural phenomena.
Ace Ventura Jr: Pet Detective (2009)

Looking at The Son of the Mask and Ace Ventura Jr: Pet Detective, a common thread on this list to be taking a '90s Jim Carrey comedy and making a sequel for kids. Watching kids do Jim Carrey impressions is mostly just unsettling.
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