John Carpenter’s 2018 Halloween

Guestwriter: Nick Monitto

As a fan of late 20th Century horror, I have seen both ephemeral one-offs and long-lasting series. High in my fanhood are the “Halloween” films, begun by John Carpenter in 1978. The series has wandered around in its time; while the sequel began literally at the end of the first, the third movie took an anthology route, with a different story around the titular holiday. When it failed, producers brought back the original monster but added a mythological backstory. That only lasted for three movies before being retconned away in the next two. “Halloween” even received a reboot, with Rob Zombie providing a different path in two of his own.

But sometimes, the simplest ideas are best, and that is where the 2018 version goes. For this storyline, they eliminate everything after the original, even the ‘minutes after’ second one, and go with the now popular ‘real-time sequel’ idea, 40 years after the original.
On a residential street, dozens of kids run around Trick-or-Treating. Two are talking when they bump into a tall man in dark pants. The camera pans up to reveal… that familiar mask! As the kids wander away, the man turns down a driveway. A woman at the end walks out of a garage into a house. We hear a woman’s voice-over, telling the history of Michael Myers.

The man (Myers) grabs a hammer from the garage and enters the house. Off screen there is a scream and squish. He then takes a large knife from the kitchen and walks out the front door. After a narrative jump showing the woman’s (Laurie Strode) plan for revenge, we return to Myers stepping onto another house porch, looking inside, and walking around. A woman in the house looks out & closes the blinds, as we see Myers standing behind her!

We learn that a bus crashed, letting Myers escape, and that he will return home to Haddonfield. Laurie is shown arguing with her family over their safety. There is a jump to a woman in a public bathroom threatened and attacked by Myers, as the classic movie theme begins. The trailer ends with a montage of high-tech lighting and weapons, along with Myers/Strode showdowns both subtle and violent.

The trailer shows what seem to be Easter Eggs to the ‘lost’ films. A truck stop reminds of “Halloween IV”, while that bathroom scene is much like one in “H20”. The often-maligned “Halloween III” gets a nod when Laurie warns off some children wearing the Silver Shamrock designed masks. With “Halloween II” having been erased, the Michael/Laurie ‘brother-sister’ angle is eliminated, though it is slyly referenced by her granddaughter.
I am very excited for this movie! Carpenter’s return as Executive Producer brings a note of authenticity. The trailer helps build itself up by slowly unrolling his classic theme music. I generally enjoy these real-time sequel ideas, and I believe this one will be very fun for the fans.

Nick Monitto is a gaming geek who came of age on the classic games of the 1970s and ‘80s. He is eager to enjoy the scares of the season at a certain major theme park’s horror event.

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