The Best Movie Threequels of All Time

Joined by Michael Keaton as the voice of Ken the doll and with Ned Beatty as the film’s memorable antagonist Lotso the not so friendly bear, Toy Story 3 was a funny thrillride with genuine heart, which touched upon the very human emotion of learning to let go. The Toy Story movies have always been funny and clever, but this one had another layer of emotional intelligence to it that has helped it emerge as arguably the best loved of the franchise.  

Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Halloween creators John Carpenter and Debra Hill never envisioned Halloween as a franchise, instead believing that the final shot of Donald Pleasance’s Dr Loomis realizing Michael Myers was still on the loose should have concluded things there and then.

They only agreed to work on a sequel when the studio threatened to make it without their involvement and, by the end of the film, had hoped to have laid Myers to rest with an ending that saw him and Loomis exploding in a ball of emolliating flames. Instead, the powers that be came knocking with plans for yet another film. It was then that Carpenter hatched a plan that would have seen each of the subsequent Halloween movies center on a different story set around the spooky season.

The anthology was supposed to begin with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, co-written and directed by long-time Carpenter collaborator Tommy Lee Wallace. It was unconventional to say the least, with the story centered around a boozy, sleazehound doctor investigating a mysterious Irish-American toy factor which, he discovers, is plotting to quite literally melt the brains of young kids across America. Bizarre, inventive and highly intelligent, the film drew criticism on initial release for failing to focus on Myers but has rightfully garnered a cult following in the years since.

Army of Darkness

Evil Dead II always danced the line between out-and-out body horror and absurd comedy in a way none of its sequels have ever managed to capture, aside from Army of Darkness. But to suggest Army of Darkness is a horror film would not be entirely accurate. In fact, it’s much more of a comedy or action adventure, designed for fans of Bruce Campbell’s Ash, than anything else.

The decision to take things in this direction was a shrewd one though, with Sam Raimi opting to mix up genres with a tale that sees Ash travel back in time to find an evil zombiefied version of himself. Full of the same inventiveness that made the original Evil Dead and its sequel such a treat, Army of Darkness feels like the sweet treat dessert at the end of a glutinous two course of gore and scares served up in the first two movies.

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