A bad movie simply doesn’t deserve a sequel. When a film fails to captivate its audience with a compelling story, engaging characters or even basic entertainment value, the idea of continuing its narrative feels more like a punishment than a treat. A sequel implies that the original had some merit worth expanding upon, but a lackluster movie provides no such foundation.

Instead of building on success, a sequel to a bad film merely perpetuates the same flaws, wasting resources and audience goodwill. It’s like adding another chapter to a book no one enjoyed — unnecessary and unwelcome.

Watching the 1994 film, Nightwatch, was like waiting for a pot of water to boil — agonizingly slow and ultimately disappointing. The movie, which follows a law student working the night shift at a morgue, promised chills, but delivered yawns. The supposed scares were painfully predictable, and the plot dragged on like a bad first date. The characters were flat, making it impossible to care whether they lived or died.

By the time the credits rolled, I was more scared of how much time I wasted than anything that happened on screen. But I was desperate for something in the mid ’90s, and Scream, the film that revitalized horror, was still two years away. And now, writer-director Ole Bornedal has tried to revitalize the film with a sequel no one asked for.

Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever centers on Emma (Fanny Leander Bornedal), the daughter of Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Kalinka from the original film. Following her mother’s suicide, Martin is left a traumatized wreck, grappling with her death and the PTSD from nearly being murdered by Dr. Wormer (Ulf Pilgaard). To better understand her father, Emma takes on his former job as a night watch security guard at the local forensics center. Leveraging her connections, she visits the now blind and incarcerated Wormer, hoping that documenting his deteriorating state might help Martin find closure. However, a copycat killer soon emerges, launching a murder spree that threatens Martin’s family and his best friend, Jens (Kim Bodnia).

I realize my previous statement that Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever should never have been made might have seemed harsh. However, after watching both films back-to-back on Shudder, I stand by that assessment. Bornedal fails to craft a compelling story or develop engaging characters. Emma and her friends come across as completely self-absorbed, with dialogue that feels like an older person’s misguided attempt to mimic youth speech, rather than a genuine reflection of current culture.

In many ways, Emma is as unlikable as Martin was in the first movie, which suggests that Ole Bornedal has unintentionally maintained a theme –though it’s certainly not one to be proud of.

Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever takes itself seriously. However, the plot and revelations feel incredibly dull and unsurprising, as it repeats history in ways the characters should recognize. Unlike the predecessor, which had awkward and problematic humor that acknowledged its goofiness, this sequel plays everything straight.

Consequently, when Emma becomes involved in a murder mystery similar to her father’s, it’s puzzling why none of the characters, even Jens and Martin who have intimate knowledge of the first crimes, can see the obvious connections. I am not one who typically yells at the movie screen, but this one made me. Not because I was drawn into the story so deeply that I felt a part of it, but rather because the reveals are spot-on copies of the original. Maybe the two films were never meant to be watched back-to-back.

With nothing working well for Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever, I give it one out of five stars. No one asked for this sequel, yet here we are.

Perhaps Ole Bornedal created the film to give his daughter, Fanny, a starring role, but it might have been better served if she had also written and directed it. Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever serves as a case study in what not to do when trying to bring a movie to a modern audience. This film highlights how out of touch Bornedal is with his viewers.