Thursday, 10 October 2013

30 Days of Horror | Day 10

A Bad First Movie With A Great Sequel
The Devil's Rejects

Sequels are a tricky business because they are immediately met with high expectations and as a result have a history of being disappointing. I'm not convinced that I have ever come across a bad original/great sequel pairing within the horror genre, so I have settled on a terrible original/good sequel pairing instead.

House of 1,000 Corpses is a mess. It is unfocused, unpleasant and a film that I don't believe I will ever feel the need to revisit. It holds some great ideas and fleeting hints of a stronger film, but was just too much of too many things to be successful as a whole. The sequel to House, The Devil's Rejects, is superior in practically every way, focusing the story, style and tone to make for a more coherent and engaging film. It follows on from it's predecessor with Captain Spaulding and his children Otis and Baby on the run from the police after a shoot-out, depicting them as anti-hero protagonists.

The characterisation is the films most successful component. It is common within horror for the antagonists to be much more interesting than the protagonists, and that is true of the villainous family of these two films. By reigning in both the plot and the style of the film for the sequel, director Rob Zombie allows the actors to really shine, delivering much more watchable and enjoyable performances with the only weak link being Leslie Easterbrook as Mother Firefly.

I'm still not completely sold on this film, which is purely down to my tastes being different that those of the intended audience, but this is a huge achievement when compared to House of 1,000 Corpses.

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