It’s been 40 years since John Carpenter unleashed The Shape, Michael Myers, on terrified audiences and paved the way for a golden age of American slasher films. In that time, we’ve been treated to a slew of sequels and even a reboot series courtesy of Rob Zombie. However, no outing for one of the most popular icons in the history of horror cinema has captured our hearts and imaginations quite like the classic 1978 original.
Of course, the first Halloween wasn’t all about the killer. Jamie Lee Curtis, who played the object of Myers’ killing desires, Laurie Strode, became iconic in her own right. When most of us think about the heart of the Halloween mythos, Strode and Myers are the beat that keeps its legacy alive (along with John Carpenter, of course).
The popularity of the series hasn’t diminished throughout the years. Some sequels didn’t live up to high standards and ventured down some random paths, but the world has always welcomed more Halloween in their lives. Now Myers and Strode are about to re-introduce themselves all over again, and fever for the franchise has never been hotter. With the new movie upon us, here’s everything you need to know about it going in.
David Gordon Green and Danny McBride Are Behind the Terror
These two are no strangers when it comes to collaborating with each other, but their pairings have always been in comedies like Pineapple Express and Your Highness. If you told us years ago that Green would someday helm a Halloween movie that he co-wrote with McBride, we wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are in 2018, and it’s happening.
Still, Green has flirted with horror in the past. Undertow is basically his homage to The Night of the Hunter and packs some effective scary thrills. McBride, meanwhile, has been getting acquainted with fright fare in recent times following his turn in Alien: Covenant. Maybe this duo making a Halloween movie together was unexpected at first, but that’s also what makes it exciting.
The Sequels Are Ignored
The Halloween series is no stranger to inconsistent continuity, but the new movie is going back to the beginning. This iteration is a direct continuation of John Carpenter’s 1978 trendsetter and ignores the events that were introduced afterward — like Laurie Strode and Myers being related, for example. As much fun as some of the old sequels are, they do not exist in this timeline.
As McBride and Green revealed during a set visit (via Coming Soon), they decided to retcon the other sequels because they wanted to take the franchise back to its roots and build their own story from there:
“We were trying to come up with what our take would be and really just found an original path that more or less takes the first one as our reality,” Green said. “(That film) kind of sets the tone for our story or history and then we jumped forty years into the future and we see how the world today responds to, was affected by, how we meet our characters in a different phase of their life under the reality of this traumatic event and have to come to terms with some of these issues horrifically, in many circumstances, how that is relayed and that’s kind of the fun of how we launch off.”
That being said, fans who enjoy the entire franchise can find solace knowing that the sequels weren’t completely ignored. In that same report, the filmmakers state that the new movie is littered with Easter eggs that pay homage to the franchise that came before. I doubt Busta Rhymes will show up to karate kick Myers again, but expect some nods to the sequels that pre-date this one.
Michael Myers is Mysterious Again
Another reason why the filmmakers decided to go back to basics was so they could make the killer the Boogeyman again. In the original Halloween, he represented pure evil. His power came from the fact that there was no real understandable reasoning behind his atrocities. Evil is random, and that’s what made Myers so chilling back then. As the franchise progressed, it lost its mystery.
The new film will bring back his unpredictability and honor the character’s original vision. The intention here was to make this outing the best portrayal of the Shatner-masked madman since the original movie. Check out the teaser below for more insights:
John Carpenter Is Back
These days, the Horror Master is more focused on making music than he is working on film projects. That’s totally fine with me as he’s excellent at making tunes and taking us to synth heaven. However, he’s on board for this sequel, serving as an executive producer, creative consultant, and composer.
Carpenter is also a big fan of Green and McBride’s vision, and he was keen to lend his support any way he could. As he told Rotten Tomatoes, “I like the director very much. I like the script. So, you know, stop throwing rocks from the sidelines and get in there and try to do something positive.” Amen to that.
I really hope this movie has given Carpenter the bug to direct again, though. The world needs at least one more true John Carpenter movie, and Halloween could be the encouragement he needs to get back in the chair.
No More Final Girls
Laurie Strode inspired a wave of slasher films about women in peril. Most of these culminated with a showdown between the killer and the last surviving woman, otherwise known as the “final girl.”
In this movie, though, Strode isn’t fucking around. She isn’t prepared to live the rest of her life as a victim. Here, our heroine is taking the fight to Myers. And the best part? Her daughter and granddaughter are also along for the ride. The idea of a group of women going up against a ruthless male predator couldn’t have come along at a more relevant time, either.
In an interview with Variety, Curtis noted the parallels between the film and the current climate about women speaking out against gross dudes: “I think somehow, the way all of it lined up, was this sort of perfect moment coinciding with #MeToo, Time’s Up, and all of this female empowerment, where women are taking back their narratives and saying, ‘Enough is effing enough, and it’s my turn to write the narrative.’”
It Won’t Be the Last Halloween Movie
No iconic franchise stays dead forever, and Blumhouse is a studio that loves producing prosperous sequels. If this movie is successful — and it will be — then we can expect more installments in the future. But don’t take my word for it. Check out what Jason Blum himself had to say when he chatted with Entertainment Weekly:
“Yeah, for sure, for sure, 100 percent. Let me tell you, if we got six movies out of [Paranormal Activity] — they found new footage five times in a row! — I feel like we can figure out the next chapter. But we’ll see.”
As long as there are people for Myers to slaughter and it makes sense, of course we’ll see more movies. Hell, it doesn’t even have to make sense. If Myers is alive and there are targets for his mayhem, there will always be room for some body count yarns. If the franchise goes off the rails after this and focuses on producing serviceable slasher fare, so be it.
Which direction that takes Myers and co. in, however, remains to be seen. Word on the street also suggests that a TV series could be in the works. Either way, you can bet that this won’t be the last we see of this knife-wielding maniac.
Halloween hits theaters on October 19th.