Sequels take place in a universe where the events of the first movie exist. But are there sequels that take place in a universe where the first movie exists.. as a movie ? Yes basically, this is our universe. I have a movie that come to my mind that captures more or less this idea: Being John Malkovich, in which Malkovich exists both as a character and as the actor itself. I'm not looking for documentaries or biopic about a filmmaker.

For those interested in this subject, I found this article on Wikipedia which is related to my question: Metacinema with a list of movies using this technique.

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    The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011) will be one of many.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Jun 10, 2014 at 9:47
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it will generate multiple list answers and everyone of them will be accurate.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Jun 10, 2014 at 9:50
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    In all fairness, they asked if there were any, not for a list. Maybe they were unsure if any such thing existed and wanted to know. I vote to leave the Q open, but not to keep listing titles. One example is a "yes" to the question, and now there a a bunch. It won't be a list question if we stop making lists. (I know, I did, but it was before I thought about it being a list.) Jun 10, 2014 at 10:25
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    @MeatTrademark That's quite a literal interpretation of the question though. To take this further, you could reason that he didn't ask for any examples at all, and therefore "Yes." is a sufficient answer. In its current state the question will encourage people to just post more and more examples, because the spirit of the question appears to be "What examples are there?" Especially with the last sentence being I'm not looking for documentaries or biopic about a filmmaker. I think rewording could save the question, but I am not sure yet how that edit would look like.
    – magnattic
    Jun 10, 2014 at 12:35
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    @user3585425 Hello and welcome to our site! This question is very interesting but it is also very general and can generate unending list answers which is not on topic for this site. It's suggested that you edit to specify your question. If it is closed editing can reopen it. If you feel you need help editing then please comment and we will. Jun 10, 2014 at 13:21

3 Answers 3


This has happened a few times in horror films.

For example, Scream 2. It opens with two characters attending a preview screening of Stab, a film based on the murders by Ghostface in the first film.

This technique is also applied in Wes Craven's New Nightmare, a horror film where all the characters from the A Nightmare on Elm Street series appear as themselves. The idea is they are shooting a new movie and Freddie Kreuger comes to life in the real world. Wes Craven himself appeared in the movie, as himself. To break with the answer for one moment, it's definitely a movie worth seeing. Very bizarre and not a technique used very often!

  • You stole my example of nightmare from my mind ;P and again it proved my point.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Jun 10, 2014 at 9:59
  • @AnkitSharma: You're right. I hadn't even thought of that until I realised how many I could list. Anytime the word list comes into your head, you know you're probably doing something wrong :P Jun 10, 2014 at 10:06
  • Scream 2 doesn't really seem to work here as it's a different movie. New Nightmare is a great example and I can't believe I forgot it. I love that movie until the last 10 or so minutes when it gets too silly even for me, a devout horror fan. Jun 10, 2014 at 11:21

Yes. There are a few, at the very least.

The movie Grave Encounters 2 is about a fan of the first movie trying to prove it was real. So in this movie, the first Grave Encounters exists as a movie, while the sequel is "real."

A film student who is obsessed with the movie Grave Encounters sets out with his friends to visit the psychiatric hospital depicted in the original film.

For people who don't believe the events of Grave Encounters, film student Alex Wright is out to prove them wrong. Alex is as obsessed with the first film as the 20 million people who viewed its viral trailer on YouTube. While he and his friends research the events and visit the real psychiatric hospital depicted in the original film, they find themselves face-to-face with unspeakable evil, banking on the hope that their knowledge of the original film will help them survive the sequel.

Here is the trailer.

Also, the people in the movie Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 are visiting the area because of the popularity of the movie, The Blair Witch Project.

In November 1999, a group of young tourists arrive in Burkittsville, Maryland after seeing The Blair Witch Project. The group includes Stephen and his pregnant girlfriend, Tristen, who are researching the Blair Witch for a book they are writing; Erica, a wiccan; Kim, a goth psychic; and Jeff, their local tour guide.

Here is the trailer.

And as @AnkitSharma mentions, The Human Centipede is another similar scenario.

  • That's the reason i think its a list question.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Jun 10, 2014 at 9:52
  • Are list questions not a good fit on movies.stackexchange ? Jun 10, 2014 at 12:06
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    @user3585425 I suggest checking out the Tour to get a better idea of how to ask and answer questions. List questions are considered off-topic. Take the tour. (You'll learn, and even get a badge for doing so.) Jun 10, 2014 at 12:09
  • Could it be rephrased so that it is not a list question ? It seems tricky, as this question is essentially a list question. Maybe a question on why this technique is used (mainly, according to the answers) only in horror movies ? Jun 10, 2014 at 12:12
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    @user3585425 Try to edit it. But, if you're really just after a list, that's not going to fly. You asked if there were movies like that. We answered yes and gave examples. A question why it's mainly used in horror sounds speculative which is also off-topic. We're generally after solid questions with definite answers, not lists or opinions. Either try to edit it, or quit while you're ahead. (These topics are covered in the tour.) Jun 10, 2014 at 12:22

In The Last Action Hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger's character (and his arch nemesis) 'come out' of their own action movie and experience the real world. They are eventually exposed to all of the prequels to their current film. This has a major impact on their final show down.

In Back To The Future 2, Marty and Doc go back to the the timeline which took place in the first movie. Although they did not experience the first movie in film form, they were able to watch it in person.

Although Space Balls did not have a prequel, there is a moment in that film where they watch their own movie (using an advanced technology.) By doing this, they discover major plot points, as well as experience a space time paradox by watching themselves in real time, otherwise know as 'now now'

Eddit =================

HELMET: What the h--- am I looking at? When does this happen in the movie?

SANDURZ: Now. You're looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now, is happening now.

HELMET: What happened to then?

SANDURZ: We passed then?


SANDURZ: Just now. We're at now, now.

HELMET: Go back to then.





SANDURZ: I can't.


SANDURZ: We missed it.


SANDURZ: Just now.

HELMET: When will then be now?


HELMET: How soon?


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