HOLLYWOOD—I have not been this eager to see a horror flick in years. As a fan of the genre, which crafted my interest in the cinematic world as a child, it just seems the genre has been dead for years. Till this day, the 80s was the death of the genre as we know it because so many flicks emerged attempting to capture the same magic of movies before its time, to no success. Every now and then you’d see a gem arise, but it was short-lived.
“Scream” rebirthed the genre in 1996, only to see the same thing that transpired in the 80s happen yet again, only this time we saw the emergence of the remake. Yes, the remake totally became the modern version of what so many people call ‘horror’ not truly understanding what it actually means.
In 2017, news was released that a new entry was about to emerge in the popular “Halloween” franchise courtesy of funnyman Danny McBride and David Gordon Green. Now, I was super skeptical with the news, but when the script got the approval of John Carpenter, the man who crafted the horror genre in my opinion with his introduction of the boogeyman aka The Shape aka Michael Myers with “Halloween,” I immediately became intrigued. Why?
Carpenter has had very little involvement in the franchise since the second installment. There were rumblings of his interest in “Halloween: H20” which saw Jamie Lee Curtis return to the franchise after nearly 20 years. If you have access to the internet, you’re well aware June 8 was a big day as the first official trailer for the new “Halloween” was released. Now, I’m not certain how to coin the flick. It’s a sequel, but in some sorts it’s a reboot, so I guess the new term would be a ‘requel’ (combination of a remake and a sequel).
Stay with me because it gets slightly dicey. This new chapter is also called “Halloween.” So at this point, we’ve seen two reincarnations of the 1978 classic. First, with Rob Zombie’s 2007 version, which was not a horrible flick, but nowhere close to overthrowing the classic, and now we have McBride and Green’s 2018 version. McBride and Green are completely eliminating every single entry in the franchise except the first flick.
This is absolutely genius because it gives the narrative an opportunity for a clean slate. Yes, there are evident echoes of “Halloween: H20” all over the place. Michael and Laurie Strode (Curtis) coming face-to-face after a long time frame. This time 40 years literally, which means Michael Myers is 60 people. Yes, it sounds odd, but there is a level of realism that is coming back to the franchise. The series just became an utter disaster with the writers making Michael Myers this superhuman being who could not be stopped at any cost. Yes, the first flick played with that idea, but we’re going to actually see the aftermath of what transpired after Dr. Loomis, bless the great Donald Pleasance, who shot him six times before looking out the window to see his patient MIA.
A few narrative tidbits, this chapter sees a group of real-life crime investigators looking to dig a bit into Myers past by paying him a visit at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, where Michael has been locked away since that fateful night in 1978. Of course, as we all know, something transpires and Michael escapes and heads back to Haddonfield. Strode is armed and ready to take action. I mean I had echoes of Linda Hamilton from “T2,” but like next level with shooting skills, trap doors and so much more. Laurie has a daughter, no, not Jamie Lloyd, but Karen (Judy Green), who also has a daughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).
I love this dynamic because not only is Laurie in danger, but so is her daughter and her granddaughter. Have we witnessed this before? Slightly, but I feel just from the slight glimpse of the trailer, this family dynamic is very troubled and fractured because of Laurie’s fears. As a result, the skeptics soon learn Laurie was right to be prepared because Michael is about to unleash a new level of fear to several generations.
McBride and Green are going back to the basics and that focus on tension and suspense is what made “Halloween” to this day one of the scariest flicks in the genre. It didn’t rely on blood, excessive gore, violence to tell a story. The tension/suspense did that. The opening sequence is phenomenal and sets the stage for a movie that will have you on edge until those final moments.
This trailer does several things right; setting the stage of some of our primary players, giving a slight backstory and giving very little about the new narrative to the audience. We know for certain the fate of at least 2-3 characters, and I won’t spoil that too much, but it seems horror films can’t help themselves, but give a few things away to the audience. The trailer builds to see Michael putting on that iconic William Shatner mask, followed by John Carpenter’s bone-chilling music, not to mention the shear sense of dread this trailer presents. Something bad is going to happen; we know it, but we’re more enthralled by not knowing exactly how it will pan out as a viewer. There are so many Easter eggs the trailer drops giving kudos to previous entries in the franchise.
The fact that Carpenter is serving as an executive producer and composing the score on this flick is why I have such high hopes. To get this man who was ADAMANT about not wanting a sequel to the original to get involved yet again nearly 40 years (which will be the case, when the new film arrives this October) says wonders if you ask me. Am I setting the bar too high for the 2018 version of “Halloween?” No, because I’m doing so with an edge of caution.
Now that I’ve seen the trailer, I’m cutting myself off from any other news on the movie, I don’t want or need to see a second trailer spoiling further narrative plot points or giving away potential scares that will become expected. The less you know about a movie going into it, the better the result can be if it is a well-written story. I might finally get what I’ve been asking for nearly 20 years in the making: an actual horror film that sends chills down the spine and unnerves you to where you can’t sleep at night. Not because of the gruesome violence depicted on the screen, but because of the boogeyman who you know virtually nothing about. “Halloween” arrives on October 19. Mark your calendars!