Do you believe in the Boogeyman? Well, in 1978 John Carpenter made movie goers believe so with his cult classic Halloween. With an extremely low budget of $300,000, nameless actors and lack of crew, he was able to create one of the most iconic horror movies and film scores to date. Every year everyone must see the iconic white mask of Michael Myers or hears the catchy theme song at LEAST once in the fall.
The success of a small indie slasher film turned into a blockbuster hit, producing 6 sequels as well as two reboot films over the next several decades. Now in 2018, Michael Myers is back in theaters to scare a new generation of movie goers.
Some people have criticized Hollywood over and over for hashing out money-grabbing reboots or sequels of any movie, complaining that they can’t produce anything original anymore, but that isn’t the case for Halloween (2018). It is about to bring a new life to the franchise while trying to make it as true to the original that we all love, while spinning its new twists.
Rumors and production for this film have been going around the internet for years. It was reported that The Weinstein Company had plans to create a sequel titled Halloween Returns but Dimension Films lost the filming rights to Halloween, which stopped production of the movie. In 2016 Blumhouse Productions and Miramax, which is notoriously known for creating horror movie hits such as The Purge, Get Out, and Sinister, picked up the rights due to their success in horror films.
This was very huge news.
Back in 1978 John Carpenter wrote Halloween being a stand alone film. Due to the success he was forced (with a large amount of money) to write a sequel that became known as Halloween II (1981).
*original movie spoilers ahead*
Carpenter ended the second film with Michael “dying”, as he wanted to end the series. He vowed he will never work on another Halloween project ever again and that story would be over. Original star Jamie Lee Curtis also said she would not be in another Halloween movie after the 7th & 8th films (H20 and Resurrection), which is why her iconic scream queen character Laurie Strode gets killed by Michael himself.
Curtis states, “‘H20’ started out with best intentions, but it ended up being a money gig.”
However, David Gordon Green, Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride wrote a screenplay so brilliant, that John Carpenter wanted to sign as an executive producer and do the music for the film. Soon after Jamie Lee Curtis jumped onto the project to reprise her role as Laurie Strode. It took fifty different drafts and storylines before Carpenter liked it and after that, the film began production. Carpenter states, “thirty-eight years after the original Halloween, I’m going to help to try to make the 10th sequel the scariest of them all.”
The writers knew that remaking a movie would not be a good idea as a reflection of negatively received reboots such as Carrie (2013) Texas Chainsaw: 3D (2013) and Rob Zombie’s own Halloween films, so they created a direct original sequel to the original film. That means that in this new film, the plots for Halloween 2-9 don’t exist. This tactic has been done before in the franchise with Halloween H20: 20 years Later (1998), where the movie takes place directly after the second film, ignoring the plot lines of Halloweens 3-6.
The new film’s plot is centered on Laurie’s final confrontation with Michael four decades after she nearly escaped from his killing spree.
In June the world received the first trailer for Halloween (2018) and horror fans from all around can barely wait for October to come around. Within those brief two minutes you are drawn into Jamie Lee’s personal hell; its unnerving and looks absolutely terrifying. The trailer alone pays many homages to the first film while simultaneously upping up modern day horror movie tropes. According to McBride the writers wanted create a story of tension rather than graphic violence like the first film. In the trailer it can be argued differently, as you can see in one scene where Michael opens his hands and drops a handful of bloody teeth on the floor, yet it is a perfect combination of gore built tension as promised.
The trailer makes it evident that it is a direct sequel. In a scene where Laurie’s grandchild walks with her friends one of them asks, “Wasn’t it her brother who murdered all those babysitters?” to which her response is, “No. It was not her brother it was just something that people made up.” In Halloween II, it was revealed that Michael targeted Laurie because she was his brother, not the original film that people remember (Mandela effect, perhaps?). That could mean a major plot twist in the new movie is that Michael is Laurie’s sister (although we would already know that) or a fresh new motive to thrill the audience.
With a trailer that captivating, the newest installment in the series looks very promising. As well as John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis on board, it’ll be very hard to disappoint fans and critics as they finally end Myers’ story. To add, Curtis tied the movie to the #MeToo Movement at the San Diego Comic Con panel in July. “It’s tricky because,” she says, “any woman who fights back is a survivor and a champion, and we have a world right now where women are finally saying enough is enough, time’s up, #MeToo — and Laurie Strode is one of those women. She’s not an ass-kicker. She’s a survivor.”
Curtis also mentions how working on Halloween was “the greatest job [she’ll] ever have.”
With all that being said there is no reason why horror fans and critics should be discouraged to line up and buy tickets.
If you want to watch the Halloween series yourself in an order that makes sense (and personally the better movies of the franchise) watch:
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
optional: Halloween: Resurrection (2002) – certainly not the best but it happens right after H20 so makes it makes sense.
If you want to watch most of them watch in this order
Halloween II (1981)
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Halloween 5 (1989)
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
You can skip Halloween III. It has no relation to any of the Halloween films.
Or you can watch them all in preparation for Halloween, in theaters October 19th.