THREEQUEL TRIPLE FEATURE! A look at three horror sequels

I’ve seen the previous films, so why not check out the sequels? Here are my thoughts on For Jennifer, American Slasher Part II, and Slasher House 2.

FOR JENNIFER (2018)

I’ve been watching and blogging about each new installment of the “Jennifer” series (here and here) because they build on each other and always manage to bring something different to the story. For Jennifer ties together aspects of every previous installment while poking fun at itself and the found footage genre in general, and once again incorporating some queer stuff into the mix.

In short, a young horror fan named Jennifer gets drawn in by clips from the Jennifer films, so she decides to make a new installment of the series with her friends.

In between campy audition montages (Felissa Rose has a return cameo), Jennifer begins hunting down those involved with the previous installments to get their blessings and some deeper insight into the creative process. Her interactions with them become surreal because none of them has broken character since making their movies. Awesome.

Nothing new here in terms of found footage, and it’s not scary at all, but it is a treat for those who have been following the series–actually it’s really only for those who have seen the other installments.

I thought the opening scene here starts things off right (with a kill and a glimpse of man butt), and the meta madness is great fun.

However, my favorite entry remains 2 Jennifer—which makes it all the more thrilling that the director/star reprises his sexually confused role in this sequel.

AMERICAN SLASHER: PART II (2019)

Was this sequel to a low budget indie slasher necessary? No. Does it add anything to the subgenre or the legacy of the first film? Not really. But the filmmakers do seem to have fun doing it.

Billy Creed, the gardener killer from the first film, is back to kill a bunch of campers in the woods with a variety of gardening tools (and perhaps to recreate the poster art for The Burning while he’s at it?).

There’s a fireside story about his past, a lot of walking around in the woods, forest POV, and occasional appearances of the killer, all in daylight.

It’s kind of hard to believe filmmakers that now have some experience would make a sequel that is inferior to their first attempt, but that’s what happens here. I much prefer the first film to this one.

Things get better and feel a bit more like a genuine slasher when day turns to night, but this is really just a sloppy series of events rather than a carefully planned and presented slasher. Plus, there’s one character that is apparently supposed to be funny but is instead so unbearably annoying that he’s more a caricature than a genuine character.

The film is only an hour long, then the end credits are followed by fifteen minutes of bloopers and outtakes.

SLASHER HOUSE 2 (2016)

     

The first film was about a young woman who wakes up in a madhouse filled with serial killers she must fight to survive.

Just like that film, this sequel is essentially another hack ‘n’ slash action horror where she does the same thing. Only this time the role is played by a different actress, and she has a stripper companion with her. It adds a little something different to the proceedings, but not enough to warrant the rehash.

Drenched in the same palette of neon horror colors, Slasher House 2 feels like a video game, complete with a final boss. The action and baddies weren’t compelling enough to keep my interest and lacked the intensity of the baddies in the original film.

The only part that really caught my attention felt like a different movie—a bunch of kids in a cemetery drenched in neon blue and cloudy with fog machines is hunted down by a corpse killer.

It features one of the best BJ interruptus kills ever, which is the one thing I will remember most about the film.

I hope that director MJ Dixon, who has made several films I’ve covered (Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown, The Legacy of Thorn), revisits this graveyard killer and makes a full-length slasher out of him.

The sequel may be short in plot, but it does come full circle to connect with the first film and ends with the promise of another sequel. It literally says after the closing credits that part three is coming.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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