In 1978 John Carpenter and a team of unknowns created what would soon become one of the most iconic horror films of all-time. It wasn’t the first slasher by any means, but this one set up a template that would be butchered to death, no pun intended, throughout the 1980’s and really, still today. Halloween was a simple film made on a ‘dime’ that then became a long, messy series. This series is filled with films that try and forget movies prior, and reshape the idea of Michael Myers as well as try and make up for past mistakes that were made. The last of these efforts were Rob Zombies re-makes or re-boots whichever you’d prefer, and after his second Halloween film in 2009 it seemed that Michael Myers and the Halloween series was finally put to rest, until today.
9 years after the Rob Zombie films we get Halloween produced by Blumhouse and directed by David Gordon Green this re-boot wants us to just forget about every film in the series except for the very first one, which for many is an easy thing to do. Taking place 40 years after the original film we come into the film a day before Michael is scheduled to move to a different, harsher asylum. We’re introduced to Laurie, who for the last 40 years has been preparing for Michael’s return, as well as her daughters family who have tried their hardest to distance themselves from her and her Michael nightmare scenarios. While Laurie knows the possibility for Michael’s return in inevitable, her family thinks otherwise, but as Michael is being moved the bus crashes and Michael makes his way back into Haddonfield and returns to what he started in 1978.
This film was talked about, and even discussed multiple times as a piece that forgets the sequels and makes something out of the original film, but what we get is a film that is far worse than the sequels, and creates something that those don’t even do. We get no suspense, no build, no eeriness that Michael, or rather The Shape, brought in the original. Michael in this film is a brute, blood thirsty killer that rivals what Rob Zombie did to the character, not what Carpenter created. The film lacks any real plot, or drive and we are forced to sit through bland shots and awful dialogue that at times felt like parts were edited out as we wait for Michael to find some random person to stab a knife through, or beat with a hammer. This film doesn’t feel like it was a continuation of the horror classic, but a recreation made by the likes of Platinum Dunes. It doesn’t help us forget about the sequels, just helps us remember what we disliked about them and why people were excited that this was touted as a reconquering of a film franchise that was it’s own victim to the blue print it created. It doesn’t fit in with the original Halloween, but rather melds into the slue of rip off slasher films that came out in the 80’s.
At best this film is a trick, a well crafted serious spoof of what the series became through the years, which was really just a platform to over indulge in violence and body count. Although at the other end of the spectrum this film was to be taken at face value, and was actually how writers Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, and Jeff Fradley wanted to try and revive this franchise, and i’m not sure which one is better. And I can say that maybe I am bias, I love the Halloween series, all of them, of course for varying reasons but to me they’re all great and fun to watch when the seasons right. I came into this one ready to see something that takes the series and modernizes it, and unfortunately I think that, that might be what I got. Maybe there is no room for slasher films anymore, maybe all ideas and ways of portraying a killer have been done and making something like the original, at least in tone is impossible and out of style and body count is in, and the only way people think about making a ‘slasher’ or any horror movie that doesn’t involve a spooky house filled with demons and ghosts is to ramp up violence, but it’s not. Films can still have suspense that don’t end in loud, ear crushing jump scares, and killers and characters that aren’t a joke. Hopefully if this series, or any other series, is brought back for more whomever is in charge can actually take a risk and create a proper horror film like the original Halloween was.