I’ve been a lifelong fan of the long-running not-quite-so-integrated Halloween franchise. I would say a good portion of that was centered around the 3rd film of the series, the oddball Halloween III: Season Of The Witch: a flick almost completely outside of the continuity of the other films. I also used to watch the 4th and 5th installments every Halloween & kind of got into that whole developed sub-section of the mythos.
Having just written all that, it seems as if I’m not really giving the actual John Carpenter stuff a lot of love here, and that would be misleading. I do think the original 1978 Halloween was a film classic…but my tastes tend to drift towards the more idiosyncratic elements of any film franchise. Because I’m just annoying like that.
This is a longwinded way of introducing my thoughts on the newly-released trailer for the upcoming Blumhouse sequel-type thing for Halloween, called Halloween:
I. The Mask
They very distinctly use the “classic” Michael Myers mask here, which was originally a customized William Shatner Captain Kirk mask.
This, to me, reflects an intention on the part of the filmmakers to hearken back to the original movie; and indeed, this new Halloween was apparently made with John Carpenter’s blessing. Now, other films in the series—including the Rob Zombie reboots—would use masks that “approximated” that classic Shatner look. Well, the 5th film had a really weird “streamlined” mask, and the 3rd basically had nothing to do with the rest of the series, so…
But it just really struck me looking at the trailer how much the mask “felt” like the original. And maybe that’s also just the general “atmosphere” of the trailer, the original Carpenter score, etc.
II. Disowning “Halloweens” 4-6
Disowning…or, simply, “dissing.” It’s the line from the trailer where Laurie Strode’s granddaughter dismisses the “rumor” that Laurie was really Michael’s sister—dismissing, basically, the whole emotional/plot crux of Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers, and Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers.
In all those films, Laurie Strode is considered the “secret” little sister of Michael Myers—making her orphaned daughter, Jamie (get it: Jamie?), Michael’s niece. This all gets rather uncomfortable and sordid by the 6th installment of the franchise, where, at least in the Producer’s Cut, it’s implied that a demonic cult forced Jamie to be impregnated by her uncle.
But with one line in the trailer, that part of the Halloween franchise mythos seems to be stripped away. Which makes sense if this is supposed to be a more John Carpenter-centric faithful treatment, who I believe had little to do with 4-6.
That said, it should be noted that there is a bit of a fanbase specifically for that era of Halloween films but…certainly there’s enough room for everyone. (because fans aren’t crazy or obsessive, or anything…)
III. Laurie Strode
The last thing I want to mention about the trailer is just the character development of the Laurie Strode character at this point, and how it contrasts with previous incarnations.
In Halloween H20: 20 Years Later—which, as far as I know, is not connected to this new film (if for no other reason than Laurie was killed in its direct sequel, Halloween: Resurrection)—Laurie Strode has done everything to distance herself from that “terrible night.”
But in the 2018 Halloween, Laurie seems to be doing everything she can to tempt fate and not only bring Michael Myers back to face her—but to do it in her own damn neighborhood where her family lives. This is highlighted beautifully by the scene in the trailer where she says she “prays every night” that Michael breaks out of the institution; and the sheriff, truly horrified, asks “why the hell would you do that for?”
I love that exchange because it’s so…honest? I mean really—why the hell would she do that for, when it’s pretty much going to mean a lot of dead people by the end of this movie?
I suppose in the #MeToo era, having this type of movie heroine makes sense. But it also gives Laurie a bit of that maniacal Dr. Loomis quality—which, I guess, is kinda the point.
And there you go. It all seems pretty good so far, though I’ve learned over time not to get my hopes up too much for these “20-30 Years Later” sequels/reboots.