From the even alien-er Aliens to the even more uproariously awful Troll 2, a look at some noteworthy sequels that don’t make us want to gouge our eyes out.

Slasher chic with the gals from Scream 2

PROFESSOR: So, you’re suggesting that someone is trying to make a real life sequel?
RANDY: Stab 2? Who would wanna do that? Sequels suck! Oh please, please! By definition alone, sequels are inferior films!
MICKEY: It’s bullshit generalization. Many sequels have surpassed their originals.
RANDY: Oh yeah?
CICI: Name one.
— Scream 2

If you Google “Why sequels suck,” you’ll get over 5300 direct hits from people who are eager to explain why the Electric Boogaloo version never reaches the high bar set by the original (even, apparently, when the original is a cinematic classic like Breakin’). Sequels are invariably naked cash grabs on the part of the studio, people say. The story concluded in Part 1 and didn’t really need a follow-up. Characters who were beloved in Part 1 become unrecognizable strangers with inscrutable motivations doing unexplainable things in Part 2. The rush to film profitable sequels means studio executives have no time or – more to the point – money to spend on original ideas, so sequels have a chilling effect on creativity. Sequels are the product of a lazy, money-grubbing system and they represent everything that’s wrong with Hollywood today.

The thing is, though… some sequels aren’t bad. Some sequels are – dare we suggest it? – actually good. And while it’s true that for every Empire Strikes Back there’s a Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, it’s also true that for every Spider-Man 3, there’s a, well, Spider-Man 2. Here, for your consideration, and in honor (we hope) of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, are thirteen sequels that don’t suck. Not completely, anyway…

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