“We gotta get right back to where we started from…” so sang Maxine Nightingale, thus with all the sequels out of the way, we’re pushing the clock back, waaaay back to the before-land of prequel city…
A comparable rarity in slasher movies, but occasionally ideas have run so low, killers killed with such finality, that it’s all that’s left to do…
Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990)
I’ve only ever seen this once, on cable, back in the 90s, so memories are hazy at best, but from the power of recall (and clips from YouTube), I can remember Norman Bates harking back to his formative years during a radio phone-in about matricide. Mrs Bates is played with unhinged gusto by Olivia Hussey, and Norm’s early forays into murder are examined. Hussey vs Vera Farmiga? Can’t possibly call it.
Platinum Dunes followed up their phenomenally successful 2003 TCM remake with this origin tale which, other than showing Leatherface’s birth n’ stuff, is pretty much a retread (pre-tread?) of the other film, with a quartet of teens stranded in Texas and captured by the Hewitt clan. Notably gorier demises all round, with a horrendous death for Matt Bomer, and a good turn as final girl from Jordana Brewster.
Cold Prey III (2010)
In 1986, twenty years before the events of Cold Preys I and II, seven Norwegian younguns go camping in the wilderness and cross paths with the deadly Fjellmannen. Little snow this time, but some excellent action scenes, though cynically speaking, there’s no real purpose to it other than to fill out a trilogy boxset someday.
Final Destination 5 (2011)
Another everyday guy has another premonition of another catastrophic accident – this time the impressive collapse of a suspension bridge – and saves a handful of shoulda-dieds. Brutal, bizarre accidents soon begin claiming them, Tony Todd says cryptic things, and it all turns out to have occurred in 1999, with the last couple boarding Flight 180, naively thinking they beat Death!
Technically, the first of three prequels in the Wrong Turn canon, as two of the main trio of cannibals were done away with at the end of the original movie. Some months before those events, college kids wind up taking shelter in an abandoned asylum where guess who lives? Lots of sex, CGI-bloodletting, and cheap rubber masks ensue…
With so little to play with this time, it’s relatively easy to knock Wrong Turn and Psycho out of the ring, leaving three pretty evenly matched films in the running… Next, I booted Texas Chainsaw due to its practical remaking of a remake, and so it’s between the Fjellmannen and Death itself; Norway vs the USA.
In terms of intent to innovate (or at least surprise) and stamping all over the damp squibs of the previous, rubbish installment, the logical victor can only be…