10 Movie Sequels That Completely Changed Genres

The trick to pulling off a great movie sequel is to stay true to previous films while being original enough to engage audiences. If a sequel is just a rehash of the first, it might feel forced, but if it’s too different, it might alienate fans in the long run.

Some series, however, decide to take extremely sharp turns in their sequels. Not content to simply fatten up, these movies massively changed not just the tone of the show, but the entire genre of their films. For better or worse, these sequels didn’t just change the formula, they completely threw it away.

Mad Max 2: Road Warrior

Given that the series is known for its outlandish villains and high-octane post-apocalyptic action, it’s easy to forget that the first madmax was a relatively small-scale revenge thriller. The film is set in a near-future, but all-too-realistic Australian town, where the titular Max hunts down the criminals who murdered his family.

The road warrior throws things straight until eleven o’clock. Instead of a familiar hometown, it takes place in a post-nuclear wasteland. Former cop Max is now a half-savage, leather-clad killing machine. Instead of seeking revenge, he battles warlords in heavily armed battle cars. All of the violence and mayhem of the first movie morphs even further into a non-stop, diesel-fueled deathmatch that still holds up today.


Aliens 1986 Ripley battles a costumed xenomorph alien

Similar to The road warrior, aliens took everything from the original and made it even bigger with it. The first one Extraterrestrial The film was a claustrophobic horror with a small cast and a single unstoppable alien to hunt them down. It took a less is more approach and it’s still quite unsettling.

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In the sequel to James Cameron aliens, that a xenomorph is now an entire planet full of them, and Ripley is recruited into a group of space marines sent to wipe them out. There are massive explosions, shootouts, and a finale where Ripley fights the alien queen in a mech suit. Although it still retains the mythos and scares of the original, aliens is an explosive ’80s action flick through and through.

Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier

Captain America 2 was a rare case of a movie sequel taking the exact opposite approach and pulling things off for its second outing. Cap’s first cinematic release was a full-scale action-adventure that was part superhero movie and part war movie. The sequel toned things down a bit.

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While this is still unmistakably a Marvel movie, The Winter Soldier was much more of a spy thriller in the vein of Thick headed series than a full-fledged superhero movie. Instead of hitting the Nazis, Captain America and his allies must solve a government conspiracy in a much more grounded story. The Winter Soldier stands out not only for its different tone, but also because it is one of the best MCU films.

Cars 2

Speaking of spy thrillers, when most moviegoers think of action and espionage, Pixar Cars the series is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. The first one Cars The film was a beloved character study of a brash race car who learns compassion after being stranded in a city in the middle of nowhere.

Cars 2 on the other hand, a cross-country spy adventure reminiscent of a James Bond movie. Mater, the comic relief from the first film, is caught up in a global conspiracy to sabotage an international race and discredit synthetic fuel. It’s also surprisingly violent for a children’s movie, with a higher body count than some horror movies. Audiences were divided on the film, but it was something new.

Return to Oz (1985)

Back to Oz Wheeler

To call The Wizard of Oz a classic almost would, that’s a disservice. The film was a cultural phenomenon that continues to this day. The fun musical numbers, whimsical tone, and genre-defining use of color cemented its place in movie history.

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Back to Oz, on the other hand, is simply disturbing. Released nearly 50 years after the original, Back to Oz takes away the whimsy and joy of the original and goes incredibly dark with scary monsters and electroshock therapy. While it’s more faithful to the book and not a bad movie, it’s a far cry from the original. If anyone thought flying monkeys were scary, wait until you see this.

Hi Terminator

T-600 wielding a chaingun in Terminator Salvation

the terminator is one of the most iconic sci-fi franchises. terminator 1 and 2 combined slasher and sci-fi flicks as the heroes battle a killer cyborg while trying to prevent a global war on the machines.

Hi Terminator finally gave fans what they wanted by focusing entirely on this war after it had already begun. John Connor is no longer a resourceful child, he’s a seasoned veteran who leads what’s left of humanity in a desperate war for survival. The move to a full war movie could have been a fascinating change from the early films, but sadly it didn’t quite resonate with fans.

army of darkness

Ash describes his shotgun to villagers in Army of Darkness

Sam Raimi’s cult classic evil Dead has become hugely popular among horror fans for its ingenious use of its impossibly small budget and campy charms. Some of the movies were silly, but it was still unmistakably a horror movie and very effective at times.

evil death 2 on the other hand was almost a satirical semi-sequel, a semi-remake of the first. The series was now in its jokes, and it was even harder for the third film. army of darkness. Protagonist Ash has gone from a scared college brother to a wise demon slayer with a chainsaw for his hand. Throwing ashes in the Middle Ages, army of darkness is a far cry from the original.

The Raid 2

The Raid 2 Kitchen Fight

The now legendary Indonesian martial arts film The Raid: Redemption was a relentlessly brutal action thriller that never lets up on its violence. Simple yet masterfully done, the film follows a SWAT team as they infiltrate the stronghold of a drug kingpin and is a non-stop showcase of incredible martial arts choreography.

The equally phenomenal sequel morphed from a standalone struggle for survival into a full-scale crime thriller. Protagonist Rama becomes a mole in the criminal underground and navigates perilously through multiple warring factions and power struggles. It still features the same dramatic fight scenes and one of the best car chases in movie history, but sets it on an exciting stage. Deceased– background.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2

Leatherface with his family in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Many iconic slasher franchises ended up becoming self-aware parodies as their series dragged on, but few did it as intentionally or as shockingly as Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. the original Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most iconic horror films ever made. It has even been banned in some countries because it is too disturbing.

The movie’s first sequel was about as different as the two movies could get. Part 2 was meant to be a comedy, albeit very, very dark. The fear of the first movie is completely replaced by the dark, gory humor that proves the original was tame enough. When it comes to sequels, it doesn’t get much different than that.

Rambo: First Blood Part II

Rambo saves prisoners of war in First Blood Part II

Rambo has become synonymous with over-the-top action and cinematic machismo. The saddest thing is that it was never meant to be. Rambo’s first film, and the book it’s based on, are tragic character studies about a broken Vietnam veteran who is pushed to the limit by a twisted city.

first blood is emotional and not terribly violent, but First blood part II and every sequel since has moved on to insane action. Completely ignoring the horrors of war that were key to the original, the Rambo sequel sends its hero back to Vietnam to rescue hostages and take down as many enemies as possible. On its own, the film is still fun and iconic, but compared to first blood it’s practically a different series.

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