Whenever a new movie prequel is announced, even the core audience that loved the original work sometimes responds with a resounding ugh. Who can blame anyone for dismissing out of hand the marketing formulation that gave us 2007’s Hannibal Rising, 1979’s Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, or 2004’s Exorcist: The Beginning? Prequels tell stories where the end has been predetermined, often without beloved key actors, prompting unflattering comparisons to inimitable classics. (Like what happened with the Star Wars prequel movies.)
But once in a long while, prequels can also tell new stories that experiment with stylistic shifts and new characters. At their best, they can deepen an existing story, or offer additional dimension and insight into familiar characters. (Like what happened with… the Star Wars prequel movies.)
Prequels have become an overly familiar go-to move for anyone hoping to reverse-engineer a hit. But maybe the form has gotten a bad rap. A good prequel can be an escape hatch from dead-end sequels and tangled continuity. Sometimes they’re just baggage-shedding fun. With that in mind, let’s have a look at 10 prequel movies that actually are surprisingly worth your time.
A few ground rules: No Star Wars movies, because at this point, nearly half the Star Wars feature films in existence are prequels, and they’ve been discussed to death. Also out: alternate-timeline reboots (like the 2009 Star Trek), retellings with ambiguous relationships to previous films (likeRise of the Planet of the Apes or the 2006 James Bond movie Casino Royale), and movies set years before an iconic original film, but with no particular narrative or character connection to the earlier film (like the Predator prequel Prey). In otherRead more on polygon.com