Worst To Best: Movie Prequels

Ring 0: Birthday (2000)

The Prequel: Set 30 years before the first Ringu , this prequel looks at how poor old Sadako Yamamura (Yukie Nakama) became that VHS-haunting nasty.

Why It's Great: Emphasis is more on psychological drama than all-out horror here, but three films in, we're so attached to Sadako and her story that, frankly, we'd watch her washing up for two hours.

Best Link To The Original:
At the end of the film, Sadako crawls to the family well - except now we know what drove her there. Tissues handy.

Cube Zero (2004)

The Prequel: Going right back to the beginning, Cube Zero delves into the creation of the cube - and is notable for its use of exterior scenes, previously a big no-no in this franchise.

Why It's Great: Though the first rule of sequels/prequels is don't reveal everything, Cube Zero does a decent job of delving into the 'hows' and 'whys' of the cube, while delivering the expected thrills and spills.

Best Link To The Original: There's a cube in it…

Infernal Affairs II (2003)

The Prequel: Before the events of the first Infernal Affairs, Chang Wing Yu (Anthony Wong Chau-Sang) becomes an undercover cop set to work on the triads, and Lau Kin Ming (Edison Chen) signs up for the police force.

Why It's Great: The music's to die for and we get some welcome insight into our lead duo's backstories. Meanwhile, Hong Kong has rarely looked more stunning on film.

Best Link To The Original: Laud picks up a case for a young woman who will turn out to be his wife in Infernal Affairs.

Red Dragon (2002)

The Prequel: Anthony Hopkins returns as a more youthful, pre-incarceration Hannibal Lecter. Meanwhile Ed Norton's FBI agent is on the trail of a serial killer.

Why It's Great: The cast's to die for, and though Dragon doesn't have quite the same emotional punch as Silence Of The Lambs , it's a deliriously grim and involving crime drama - with Lecter swimming through every scene like a beady-eyed shark.

Best Link To The Original: Lecter hosts his own dinner party. Wonder what's on the menu?

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

The Prequel: Set before the events of David Lynch's cult TV series, Fire Walk With Me follows the last seven days of doomed high-schooler Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee).

Why It's Great : It completely and utterly befuddles expectations. Fans were expecting a sequel to the series; instead they got this bizarre cauldron of weirdness - and pivotally, it injected '90s horror with a little much-needed chutzpah.

Best Link To The Original: The film ends with Laura's body washing up on the shore…

The Rainbow (1989)

The Prequel: Director Ken Russell's follow-up to Women In Love , loosely based on DH Lawrence's novel, in which Ursula (Sammi Davis) navigates the perils of being a young adult.

Why It's Great: Sammi is a fantastic heroine - headstrong, smart, and completely her own person. She refuses to let society define her, which is something we can raise a pint to. Especially when it's this sexy.

Best Link To The Original: Glenda Jackson, who plays the mother of her Women In Love character. Nifty.

Another Part Of The Forest (1948)

The Prequel: Set before the events of The Little Foxes (1939), Michael Gordon's drama charts the rise of the evil Hubbard family in the 1880s.

Why It's Great:
It's a fantastic, loyal adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play - though there's a lot of dialogue to get through, Gordon's film tackles it brilliantly, turning what could have been stilted, static scenes into riveting entertainment.

Best Link To The Original: The presence of the Hubbards, who are equally vile in Little Foxes.

Final Destination 5 (2011)

The Prequel: Death's back (alongside creepy coroner Tony Todd) to cut a bloody path through another set of youngsters.

Why It's Great: If you're clever, you'll spot little clues throughout Final Destination 5 that tell you it's a prequel - despite the fact that it wasn't marketed as one.

The film's shocking central 'disaster sequence' on a bridge is also the series' best since part two's highway pile-up.

Best Link To The Original: Huge spoilers alert - the film climaxes on a plane that turns out to be the doomed Flight 180 that opens the first Final Destination film, only shot from different characters' points of view. Chilling.

Fast Five (2011)

The Prequel: Basically, a sequel to a prequel, as Fast Five follows on from the events of Fast & Furious , which was itself a prequel to Tokyo Drift . Simples.

Why It's Great: It's a beast at 130 minutes, but every single frame of Justin Lin's film is juiced for adrenaline. The action scenes are gloriously OTT, and there's not a single bit of grey matter in sight. Which is exactly how you want your F&F films, right?

Best Link To The Original: Well, there are cars…

Prometheus (2012)

The Prequel: Ridley Scott spent ages telling us this wasn't a prequel to Alien , but when it landed, that's exactly what it was, as Noomi Rapace goes ET-hunting in space.

Why It's Great: Alright, so characters do stupid things despite being scientists and there's a noticeable lack of scares, but the sumptuous art design just about makes up for that.

Then there's Michael Fassbender, stealing scenes left, right and centre as android David.

Best Link To The Original: The giant alien spaceship - plus we get an insight into the xenomorph's genetic history, replete with GIANT facehugger. Phwoar.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.