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What Is a Requel? Movie Terminology Explained With Examples

What is a requel? Example
Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

What Is a Requel? Movie Terminology Explained With Examples

Are requels the new norm in Hollywood?

Requels have become increasingly popular in recent years, thus you might have come across the term. Either if you’re a confused but passionate movie fan or just a curious person, allow us to explain how a requel fits in movie terminology with some popular examples.

What Makes a Movie a Requel?

Essentially, a requel is a movie that is both a sequel and a reboot at the same time. In other words, it takes a subject matter from a previous movie, usually a franchise, yet, it’s not to be confused with a remake, a sequel or a prequel. There are three primary traits for a movie to be considered a requel. Firstly, a requel doesn’t continue the main plot of a previous movie in the way a sequel does. Secondly, a requel focuses on new characters but may nod to previous ones either in mentions or supporting roles. Thirdly, a requel may discard events from previous movies so it can go through a different and unexplored root, but maintains enough so it’s not a straight-up reboot.

Let’s now consider some examples:

  • Scream (2022): 25 years later, Ghostface comes back to terrorize a new group of young adults who have some connection to the original gang. OG characters like Sidney, Gale, and Dewey play a part in how these new victims navigate the repeating events in Woodsboro. In a way, this helps pass the torch to the new characters who will lead the new era of the franchise.
  • Halloween (2018): After a few remakes, Michael Myers returns in 2018, forty years after the original events of the 1978 movie, as Laurie Strode lives through post-traumatic stress as a survivor of Michael’s killing spree. This film fits as a requel because it introduces new characters like Karen Strode, Laurie’s daughter, and Allyson, her grandaughter, who intertwine their fates with Laurie’s by getting involved.
  • Matrix Resurrections (2021): Matrix’s tale was told and finished through its trilogy, but then came a requel to the series, where Neo is not himself but Thomas Anderson, a video gamer designer who creates a game called The Matrix. While he gets confused because of the game’s realism, he also feels an inexplicable connection to Tiffany, who’s actually Trinity. In a way, this is a retelling of the legacy characters through a new and different lens. On top of that, there are new characters that seem to fit the OG trilogy and the new movie.

Other examples of requels include Jurassic WorldGhostbusters, Creed, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The term “requel” dates back to the mid-2000s and while it’s not clear who coined it, it’s used by cinephiles in online forums such as Reddit or 4chan. In the end, requels captivate the original franchise audience through nostalgia and, additionally, pass the baton to a new generation, which looks like a recipe for box-office success.

Now that we’ve explained what a requel is and how it fits in movie terminology with some examples, you can apply it in your online discussions as well. Before you leave, make sure you check our other movie-related content at Twinfinite.

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