An archaeologist and a nightclub singer find themselves facing an ancient occult evil. Though this prequel starts and finishes well, it’s hampered by an absence of narrative causality, two annoying sidekicks, and unfortunate treatment of gender and ethnicity throughout. Some great stuff remains, but this is too awkward too often.
Members of a Norwegian Antarctic research base find an alien specimen. Prequel/remake of the 1982 John Carpenter-directed movie. Okay as far as it goes, but perfunctory plotting and reliance on CG over practical effects mean this doesn’t really compare, despite good efforts from the cast.
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In 1979, a student has romantic adventures in the Med; this links with the present. Both sequel and prequel to Mamma Mia!, this ABBA-based jukebox musical is part-reprise, part deconstruction. More fun than the first, and as impermeable to criticism as its predecessor. You’ll either love it, or be baffled.
An FBI agent comes out of early retirement to catch a serial killer. Competent adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel (already filmed as Manhunter), here styled as a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs. Over-familiar material means diminishing returns though, despite good work from cast and crew.
Elise Rainier returns to her childhood home to face her fears. The fourth in the Insidious franchise is a prequel which loops back to part one. For series fans only, but well-enough handled in its jumpscares and creepy moments, plus one great idea, decently handled.
Staten Island is chosen as a Purge trial zone; residents have to fight to survive the night. Effective prequel (and fourth in the series), upping the social commentary and overtly satiric elements while drawing also on blaxploitation and action/horror tropes. Perhaps the best in the series yet.
A group of orphaned girls find a possessed doll in their new home. Superior prequel to Annabelle; this jump-scare offshoot from The Conjuring has some flaws in its script, but delivers in both period setting, design and some neat boo moments.
Sidequel to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, minus the first film’s lead. Oddball attempt to craft a continuation; good casting in depth helps a bit, but the story’s a secondhand grab-bag of old tales that have been better retold by others.