Requels are an entirely new beast for filmgoers, and they have a whole set of rules that ensure they operate differently from a simple sequel. To make matters even more confusing, some of the movies that fall into this garbage trend are actually pretty good.
To be a requel, the film can't simply act as another entry in its franchise - it has to either undo some of the franchise (or just ignore it) while simultaneously attempting to jumpstart a new franchise.
An important part of requels is bringing in someone, or something, from the original film. Without that connective tissue, a requel just won't work.
- Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing
Spider-Man: No Way Home brings an end to the third series of Spider-Man movies in the last 20 years. It not only pulls off some seriously cool multiverse shenanigans but also brings together three different Spider-Men.
It's cool to see their different suits and compare how the three different actors play Peter Parker, but the really important thing that No Way Home does is settle a debate about the best way to shoot webs. In the film, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland's Spider-Men love that Maguire doesn't have to mess with building web-shooters or inventing web fluid. It's such a weird thing to do in this multiverse requel - and it shows just how much is possible with the ol' Web-Head.
- Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is nowhere near as groundbreaking or fun as the first Ghostbusters film. Nothing can be. The film hits many of the same beats as the original, and it has some moments that are just pure nostalgia, but it's in those moments that Afterlife captures the feeling of watching Ghostbusters for the first time.
For all the olds in the audience, it can be hard to wrap one's head around the idea that Afterlife is someone's first Ghostbusters movie. Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, Afterlife throws itself into the nostalgia of the moment and actually manages to find a middle ground between a pastiche of the original and something sort of, kind of new. It makes sense that this movie appeals to young viewers who've never experienced the original, and you've got to respect that.
- Photo: Universal Pictures
The continuation of the Jurassic Park series is definitely all about keeping the IP alive. There are no metatextual references or sly winks at the audience about picking up the story over a decade later, which is the very least that a self-respecting requel can do.
Jurassic Park is so much about the wonder of science and discovery, and none of the sequels capture that - especially Jurassic World. However, the thing that Jurassic World does do well is make the actual park look like a cool place to visit. In the first film, the park looks like any natural park with a gift shop attached. That's perfectly fine, but the park in Jurassic World looks like the kind of place that you'd happily plunk down a couple thousand bucks to visit. You know, until a pterodactyl swoops in and gobbles up your family.
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
The Suicide Squad is a textbook example of a requel. It doesn't erase anything from the previous film, but it doesn't really mess with it, either. Both this film and the 2016 original coexist, but writer/director James Gunn has a much better take on the concept (villains who are tasked with carrying out some government BS), as well as the lynchpin of both movies: Harley Quinn.
Rather than turn Harley into a walking cheesecake calendar, Gunn gives her an actual arc and makes her the focal point of the final boss battle. It's genuinely fantastic. The rest of the film is equally as rad, with characters who actually have conversations about why they do the things they do and scenes that breathe rather than jump around like they were edited on a sugar high.
- Photo: Universal Pictures570 VOTES
'Halloween' (2018) Simplified The Timeline
Mileage varies with David Gordon Green's Halloween requel series, but the first Green Halloween does accomplish a couple of things that are really impressive. The best of those? It simplifies the overly complicated timeline of the night Michael came back (and the other night he came back, and then the other nights he came back with a mysterious Celtic cult).
Rather than try and smoosh all of the ridiculous (albeit fun) plot points from Halloween II through Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers into the film (specifically Laurie's relation to Michael, her niece, and the weird magic stuff), Green just picks up 40 years after the end of the first film in the series. This not only makes the film easier to follow, but also makes Laurie's obsessiveness believable. Of course she's got a shooting range and a murder basement - she's been thinking about Michael since he disappeared to a sanitarium four decades ago.
- Photo: Paramount Pictures669 VOTES
'Scream' (2022) Brings Back The Intensity Of The Original
As strange as it is to have a Scream movie without Wes Craven, Scream (AKA Scream 5) really captures the essence of the original film in the franchise. Not only does the film bring the story back to Woodsboro in a very personal way, but it also recaptures the intensity of the original.
The kills in Scream are brutal. One death that occurs in an empty hospital wing (IYKYK) is one of the more upsetting moments in the entire franchise, and the film's take on toxic fandom is prescient as always.