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Halloween 2018: What To Expect

By Rafael Perez (Strange Planet NYC) Mar 27, 2018 - 6:25 PM print

Michael Myers is considered by many to be the patriarch of the masked slasher films. In spite of other films like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre which was released a few years before the John Carpenter classic, Ol’ Leatherface isn’t exactly the first maniac the typical horror fan thinks of when the subject comes up. It’s usually either Jason or Michael. There are even those who confuse the two. Admittingly it quite irks me when that happens but I need to remember that not everyone is a horror fan.

But I am.

I’m more into the supernatural aspect of the horror genre. (The Exorcist, Amityville Horror, The Conjuring…), but I have a soft spot for the tragedy of the masked serial killer. The tragedy being not what their characters have gone through so much but more of what Hollywood has done to them. With the expected release of a new Halloween movie slated for October of this year, I fear the abuse Hollywood gives to our favorite killer ghouls will continue. But first some backdrop to my fandom.

My friend Vic introduced me to Michael Myers when I was in middle school. My mother feared that it was a bad influence on me. I have to give it to Mom….she hung in there. She even sat down with me to watch the films at the time. I suppose she wanted to meet me where I was at….and I spent a great deal of time reassuring her that I knew it was a movie, that I wasn’t going to become a psycho serial killer. At the time there were only two films…the 1978 classic and the 1981 sequel Halloween 2. I watched those two films countless times. When Halloween 3 Season of the Witch was released I was surprised to find out that it wasn’t about Michael Myers at all. Nonetheless I stayed a fan of Michael Myers throughout the years. I went through all the other sequels as well as the Rob Zombie remakes. Yet no matter what…no matter how good or how bad these later films were, I would always go back to the first two films. Those were classic. They still are. To this day I would watch them every Halloween night. My first daughter was born on November 1st. The night before I slept right by my wife in the hospital….laptop on hand…watching Halloween 2…. the original one of course. That Rob Zombie Halloween 2 hadn’t been released yet….but it was horrible anyway.

Michael Myers is more shrouded in mystery than other killers in the genre. No one still really knows why this 6 year old boy from Haddonfield decided on Halloween night to go and kill his sister while she brushed her hair half naked in her bedroom. A novel that was released tried to explain a supernatural element to the cause…that it was the tormented soul of a dead Druid from thousands of years ago condemned to walk the earth until he found a proper host to possess and continue what he started in life….on the Eve of Samhain…three thousand years ago….kill for Samhain..the Lord of the dead. This never made it to the movies. Not many people know of the novel. So we just accept it as it is. Still the questions remain….Why did young Michael do this? What’s this obsession with wanting to kill his other sister Laurie? Why won’t he die? How can a living breathing person take six shots at point blank range and keep going? Will this new film provide answers?

I don’t think so. Michael Myers will always be a mysterious character. We will never really know. The tragedy of Halloween 6 The Curse of Michael Myers (1996) tried and failed miserably. It was Donald Plesance’s last film and portrayal as Dr. Loomis before his passing. That’s the only memorable thing about that film.

Now they want to bring the franchise full circle. Danny McBride (Alien Covenant, This is The End, Land of The Lost), is writing the film with David Gordon Green who is also the Director. John Carpenter is back in his creation as executive producer and creative consultant. Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode. Nick Castle, the Original Michael Myers from the 1978 classic is back to don the mask again. Those facts excited me and made me think that this was going to be a great sequel. But then I found out a couple of other things.

For one, it has been revealed that none of the other sequels will be connected. They never happened. That’s not what bothered me. What was of concern was that it included 1981’s Halloween 2 which was amazing. That film has its setting as the same night of the original film…making it still 1978. It was directed by Rick Rosenthal and John Carpenter along with Debra Hill produced it. I have a problem with that because not only was it a great sequel, but that was the film that revealed that Laurie Strode was Michael Myer’s sister. That opens the possibility that the sibling angle will not be present in this film. What will Michael Myer’s obsession with Laurie Strode be 40 years after the events of the first film? Why go through the trouble? I hope they come up with a good angle to counter that.

The other problem I discovered was that they are also chopping out the last few minutes of the original Halloween. In the end of the first film, Dr. Loomis shoots Michael and he falls out of the house balcony onto the grass below. When Dr. Loomis looks out, the body is gone. It was such a great ending and of course it opened it to roll with the sequel. But now according to the writers of the new film, THAT didn’t happen either. So what happened? He stayed dead? He survived but got locked up again until another escape? In the realistic chronology of events based on the first film Michael Myers is at this point 61 years old. He was 21 in 1978. Of course Laurie Strode is older and the film depicts her daughter Karen Strode who will be played by Judy Greer. So this opens up a whole range of possibilities. If this film is to work…if it's going to live up to the hype to satisfy Halloween fans worldwide, a break of that kind of continuity is a big risk. The film is going to be released by Blumhouse, and Blumhouse has been experiencing enormous success with its horror movie department. It helps to know that. It also helps to know that John Carpenter is the executive producer. He created Michael Myers. The franchise exists because of his vision for a small low budget independent film that was released in 1978. I’d like to think this film is in good hands. There must be some kind of creative angle to have fans like myself appreciate and love the story that is coming to us this fall. We have to wait and see.

However, to eliminate the brother /sister angle as well as the potential of “Why won’t he die?” by removing the last few minutes from the first film, is as I stated….a risk. When Rob Zombie remade Halloween, he approached it with an angle more consistent with real life situations. Michael Myers lived in a broken home….his mother was a stripper and his step dad an abusive drunk. I got where he was going with that. Now that we are returning to the original storyline and getting the sense that Doc’s DeLorean flew in and changed the space/time continuum on The Shape, we have to press a reset button of sorts within us to prepare for this film.

They’re saying this is the last Halloween movie. This will close the franchise. But I think we all know better. Franchises are just like Michael Myers….the question is the same between the two….Why won’t it die?

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