Top 10 Bad Movies With Good Sequels
Top 10 Bad Movies With Good Sequels

Top 10 Bad Movies With Good Sequels

VOICE OVER: Patrick Mealey WRITTEN BY: Thomas Koehler
Second time's the charm! For this list, we'll be looking at films that missed the mark with critics and audiences, but somehow managed to pull off a decent sequel. We'll be discussing some major plot details, so a spoiler alert is in order. Our countdown includes "Suicide Squad", "Annabelle", "The Expendables" and more!

Welcome to Watchmojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Bad Movies With Good Sequels. For this list, we’ll be looking at films that missed the mark with critics and audiences, but somehow managed to pull off a decent sequel. We’ll be discussing some major plot details, so a spoiler alert is in order. What’s your favorite sequel? Or prequel? Tell us in the comments.

#10: “Suicide Squad” (2016)

“The Suicide Squad” (2021)
The DC Extended Universe has suffered from tonal whiplash, and 2016’s “Suicide Squad” best encapsulates this. Following DC’s ragtag band of criminals as they’re forced to fight other Big Bads, the movie bounces back and forth between wacky dark humor and gritty psychological trauma. While the first act in Belle Reve is promising and the hair and makeup earned an Oscar, the story was rushed, the action was uninspired, and Jared Leto’s Joker left fans divided, at best. Five years later, James Gunn took the reins for “The Suicide Squad”. The sequel doubled down on the ridiculous premise, with over-the-top but well executed action, humor, and storytelling, and subtle political commentary that better fit the pulpy comic book theme.

#9: “House of 1000 Corpses” (2003)

“The Devil’s Rejects” (2005)
Rob Zombie found fame as a heavy metal musician before venturing into filmmaking. However, his directorial debut, “House of 1000 Corpses” was regarded as a chaotic, exploitative, and gory mess. It has since gained cult status, but Zombie’s approach would arguably have worked better for a music video than a full-length feature. Three particular characters did stand out though - Otis, Baby, and Captain Spaulding. For his 2005 follow-up, Zombie capitalized on these three breakout characters and made “The Devil’s Rejects,” which many now consider to be a grindhouse classic of sorts.

#8: “The Angry Birds Movie” (2016)

“The Angry Birds Movie 2” (2019)
Most video game movies fall short of their source material’s success, and the same can be said for “The Angry Birds Movie.” Adapting the mobile app that took the world by storm, the story follows the peaceful Birds going on the warpath after the Pigs steal their eggs. While a box office success, critics and audiences were not impressed by the thin plot and hit-and-miss humor. While the sequel made a lot less at the box office, it enjoyed much more praise, with critics and audiences preferring its brand of slapstick comedy, and praising the performances of the voice actors.

#7: “Annabelle” (2014)

“Annabelle: Creation” (2017)
The first spin-off in the Conjuring Series, “Annabelle” is meant to be an origin story for the possessed doll that stole the show in the first film of the franchise. Instead, the film fell flat on its face, with critics and audiences unimpressed with its cliche jump scares. While the cast earned some praise, “Annabelle” left much to be desired, as it played directly into the old tropes that “The Conjuring” had broken away from. After “The Conjuring 2,” another Annabelle origin story came out - “Annabelle: Creation.” Considered superior in every way, Creation is closer in tone and quality to the original “Conjuring,” and for the better.

#6: “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009)

“Logan” (2017)
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine was one of the best things to come out of the X-Men Franchise, so he was readily given a spin-off at the end of the original trilogy. Unfortunately, Wolverine’s first solo flick was a critical bust. The scenes showing Logan’s origins were highlights, but the ending famously featured subpar CGI and the butchered debut of Marvel’s iconic Merc with a Mouth. The second installment, in which Logan travels to Japan, was better received. But it was a case of third time’s the charm, with 2017’s “Logan” hailed as a gritty, but also thoughtful and even poignant conclusion to the trilogy.

#5: “The Expendables” (2010)

“The Expendables 2” (2012)
Sylvester Stallone brought together some of the greatest action stars of our time to form "The Expendables," a team of mercenaries who specialize in the extreme. A love letter to 80s and 90s action blockbusters, “The Expendables” is a classic shoot’em’up. However, the one-liners are seldom as funny as intended, and the second act drags. The sequel keeps it all action all the time, with sprinkles of self-deprecating humor, and ramps up the cast by adding Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger. Putting all efforts into the action and the one-liners, “The Expendables 2” knows exactly what kind of movie it is.

#4: “Ouija” (2014)

“Ouija: Origin of Evil” (2016)
Coming out amidst the Horror Movie Renaissance of the 2010s, “Ouija” was a critical failure of unbearable proportions. Based on the supposedly ‘supernatural’ toys of the same name, “Ouija” was almost a parody of supernatural horror. The characters were stereotypical teenagers played by actors who were clearly adults, the plot and dialogue were by-the-numbers, and the pacing was a slow crawl to an unsatisfying ending. Despite this, “Ouija” was a major financial success, thanks to its low budget. That money was put to good use making the prequel, "Ouija: Origin of Evil," which surpassed the original in all aspects and scored a very respectable 83% on Rotten Tomatoes - compared to just 6% for the original!

#3: “Star Wars: Episode I -The Phantom Menace” (1999)

“Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith” (2005)
The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy aged better than most would have expected, but it’s still far from perfect. “The Phantom Menace” was a weak launchpad for the series after 16 years of anticipation. Even though it had a well rounded cast, an amazing soundtrack, and one of the greatest lightsaber duels in the entire franchise, the film suffered from a slow pace, dated CGI, and poor humor delivered by a less than lovable Gungan. “Attack of the Clones” wasn’t much better. Despite this, the Prequel Trilogy went out in a blaze of glory with “Revenge of the Sith,” which saw the bloody conclusion of the Clone Wars, the destruction of the Jedi Order, and the birth of Darth Vader, himself.

#2: “Fast and the Furious” (2009)

“Fast Five” (2011)
The Fast & Furious Franchise has many highs and lows. But the fourth installment in the series, “Fast & Furious,” was the lowest when it came to critical consensus. While none of the films are lacking for action or stunt work, “Fast and Furious” suffered some of the weakest writing, storytelling, and character development in the franchise. Mostly just a loose framing device for the action, Dom Toretto and his crew had yet to become the ‘family’ they’re known as. This was fixed in “Fast Five,” with Toretto and team having to go up against none other than Dwayne The Rock Johnson. The franchise has continued to cruise ever since, even hitting a new peak with “Furious 7”.

#1: “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1979)

“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”
Star Trek's impact on pop-culture is beyond measure. Their first motion picture, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Mostly playing as a talk-filled drama, the “The Motion Picture” was more like any given Star Trek episode extended to feature length. It won over hardcore Trek fans, but most newcomers were disappointed with the lack of action on the screen and slow pace. The second feature film, “Wrath of Khan,” was a big leap forward, with an amazing story, updated visual effects, and an iconic villain. It brought the franchise to new heights, with some of the most memorable scenes in sci-fi history.