Sequels occupy a strange and paradoxical place in movie culture. Clearly, most sequels are financially successful. After all, if sequels didn’t make money, Hollywood would stop producing them. Yet when you ask moviegoers about sequels in the abstract, they mostly say they’re sick of them; that they wish they studios returned to making more original films and fewer retreads.

And with sequels like the ones on the list below, who can blame them? For every decent sequel, it feels as if there are at least 10 bad ones. And among those 10 bad ones, there’s always at least one that’s beyond bad, that’s so excruciatingly awful that it could make viewers wonder whether the cinematic medium was a mistake in the first place.

In compiling a list of the worst sequels ever, I was faced with a key decision: Should I rate the films purely based on their individual quality? Or does the quality of the sequel relative to the original movie matter more? Ultimately, I decided on factoring the latter heavily into my decision. When you make something out of garbage — like, say, Baby Geniuses — you can’t be surprised if your end product — like, say Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 — stinks to high heaven. A truly awful sequel, in my estimation, is one that takes a good (or even great) film and turns it into garbage, and maybe even makes the original movie look a little worse as a result.

And with that in mind, here are my picks for the 20 worst sequels ever made, listed from almost watchable to unmitigated disaster...

The Worst Sequels Ever

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