The worst film prequels seem to have something in common: most people have never heard of them. Did you know that there was a prequel to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? Have you ever heard of the prequel to The Flintstones? How many decent films can studios really get out of Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates?
Talk about unnecessary prequels - who thought the world really needed to see the story of how Harry met Lloyd in special education high school classes? Are the characters from Dumb and Dumber really that complex to warrant such exposition?
Prequels are universally known to be bad. Of course, there are exceptions, but chances are, if the backstory was that important, it would have been told in the original film. These worst franchise prequels are clearly geared to be a money-grab, a chance for studios to make more money off popular movies and film franchises, instead of coming up with fresh ideas. Everyone's looking at you, George Lucas!
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Nine years after the original Dumb and Dumber (2003), we got the opportunity to see the origin of Lloyd and Harry's friendship. In case you're wondering, it was in high school, when the pair was deemed "special" by the school and placed in class together. While the original film certainly had its charm - and the comedic talents of both Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels - the prequel is simply not funny, and totally unnecessary.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10%
Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Rachel Nichols, Bob Saget, Mimi Rogers, Eugene Levy, + more
Initial Release: 2003
Directed by: Troy Miller
Screenplay by: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, Troy Miller, Bennett Yellin, Robert Brener
Genres (Film): Screwball comedy, Teen film, Slapstick, Comedy, Buddy film
Rated: PG-13 (USA)
Sequel: Dumb and Dumber
Also Rankedsee more on Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
Fans of the Hanna-Barbera television cartoon got an okay adaptation of their beloved Stone Age characters from Bedrock in 1994. At the very least, the film brought baby boomers back to an age of nostalgia and John Goodman's performance as Fred Flintstone made the comedy watchable. Just six years later, the unwanted prequel came along to bore audiences to death with silly puns and stale humor.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 25%
Actors: Kristen Stewart, Rosie O'Donnell, Joan Collins, Alan Cumming, Jane Krakowski, + more
Initial Release: 2000
Directed by: Brian Levant
Screenplay by: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont, Jim Cash
Genres (Film): Fantasy, Family, Slapstick, Comedy, Romantic comedy
Tagline: Get ready to rock!
Rated: PG (USA)
Sequel: The Flintstones
Also Rankedsee more on The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas
The original The Exorcist (1973) is considered one of the most iconic horror films ever made. The film has two sequels and then, interestingly enough, two versions of the prequel. Exorcist: The Beginning is the version that went wide in 2004. After a 30 year wait, audiences finally got to see the very first time the pesky demon Pazuzu and Father Merrin first duked it out in what looks like a cartoonish battle of good and evil.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 11%
Actors: Stellan Skarsgård, Izabella Scorupco, James D'Arcy, David Bradley, Alan Ford, + more
Initial Release: 2004
Directed by: Renny Harlin
Screenplay by: Caleb Carr, William Wisher, Jr., Alexi Hawley
Genres (Film): Horror, Cult film, Supernatural, Historical period drama, Psychological thriller
Tagline: A New Chapter of Evil
Rated: R (USA)
Sequel: The Exorcist
Netflix Format: DVD
Also Rankedsee more on Exorcist: The Beginning
This Wolverine origin story from the X-Men franchise answers the question of the Marvel superhero's youth: Why is he so angry? Unfortunately, not even Hugh Jackman can save the banal narrative and predictable story arc. If you're looking for a standalone Wolverine movie, the 2013 installment (simply titled, The Wolverine) is much better than the unnecessary 2009 prequel.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 38%
Actors: Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Patrick Stewart, Liev Schreiber, Will i Am, + more
Initial Release: 2009
Directed by: Gavin Hood
Screenplay by: David Benioff, Skip Woods
Genres (Film): Thriller, Science Fiction, Adventure Film, Action Film
Rated: PG-13 (USA)
Sequel: The Wolverine, X-Men: First Class
Netflix Format: DVD and Blu-ray
Also Rankedsee more on X-Men Origins: Wolverine