The 10 (or 12) Best Movie Prequels Ever

There was a time when a “prequel” was such an unusual concept that nobody even knew what to call the danged things. We actually had to twist a real word around and add some fuzzy latin – adding “pre” to “sequel” – just to be able to have a conversation about them. But times have changed, and now a film like Snow White and the Huntsman can churn out a prequel like The Huntsman: Winter’s War in the middle of April and nobody even bats an eye. 

Truth be told, prequels are a tricky business. They take place before an established storyline, which means that most of the time audiences already know how prequels are going to end, or at least what the status quo is going to be like afterwards. And trying to beef up the prequels with lots of exciting action or overcomplicated plotting often backfires. (When we came up with our list of the best movie prequels, there was a Star Wars or a The Hobbit among them. Let’s just say that now.)

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But there are a lot of excellent prequels out there, which found new ways to tell familiar stories, and told us unexpected and fascinating things about characters we already loved. Some of these prequels aren’t necessarily for the greatest franchises, and some might only be “great” when taken as a whole, or when compared to the originals. Even so, they are the films that – to us – define the made up word “prequel” and set the standard by which all the other prequels are judged. Enjoy.

The 10 (or 12) Best Movie Prequels Ever

Top Photo: Universal Pictures

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.