Holy smokes! We’re still in disbelief over last night’s
news that Michael Myers is coming home. And by home we mean here to Blumhouse Productions! Even cooler is the involvement of John Carpenter with the franchise once again! With the horror master set to both exec-produce and be a consultant on the project (along with potentially providing the score), this is big news for life-long HALLOWEEN fans – Myself among them!
While a lot of people have their favorites in the previous entries of the series, and their not-so-favorites, we here at Blumhouse.com wanted to reflect on what’s been successful thus far and talk about what we hope the new HALLOWEEN movie will bring!
No Family Ties!
If you look at John Carpenter’s 1978 masterpiece as its own movie, one that doesn’t exist in a universe of multiple sequels, thorn cults and family relations, the story is so simple and straight forward. Michael is a character forever trapped in a moment from when he was 6 years old where, for no rhyme or reason, he decided to murder his older sister. Maybe it was something inherent in him? Maybe he was pure evil and this was the moment that evil chose to manifest itself? Doesn’t matter. We don’t need a true, definitive explanation. He breaks out 15 years later and fixates on 3 teenage girls that remind him of his sister. The power in that original movie is that by the end, Michael transcends what we know about the traditional killer. He may actually be the boogey man incarnate that we’ve heard in countless legends before. Or not? By HALLOWEEN II, Carpenter admits that in a moment of drunken writers block, he foolishly decided to make Laurie Strode Michael Myers’ actual sister. Ever since the second movie, the motivation that Michael only targets a relative has held the series back. In Rob Zombie’s 2010 remake, the one and only thing I was hoping for is that Laurie wasn’t Michael sister, because in Carpenter’s original movie, she was never intended to be. Now that we (presumably) are dealing with a clean slate again, let’s drop the family ties and bring Michael back to the terrifying entity from the first movies. Which brings us to…
We fear what we do not know and what we cannot explain. As is the case with any series of films, the further along you get, the more you tend to invent story threads to connect your current entry with the previous ones. There’s a reason in the original HALLOWEEN that in the credits, young Michael is credited as Michael Myers and then the one we see after his escape is credited as “The Shape.” Forget the family connections, forget the cult-like status of the entire community and mental hospital. Forget showing us his tragic and screwed up upbringing that led him to be what he is. Let’s go back to the basics. Let Michael Myers be “The Shape” again.
Great, Real Characters
This is not in any way, shape, or form intended to take away from certain characters that have appeared in previous installments of the HALLOWEEN franchise, but merely a reminder that you’ve already introduced some of the greatest heroes the horror genre has ever seen. We don’t want Busta Rhymes spelling out for us word for word that “Michael Myers is like the shark from JAWS.” While it might be humorous to some, we really don’t need the profanity laced outbursts that populated the Rob Zombie films. Do you know what we want? People like Laurie Strode, Rachel Carruthers, Dr. Sam Loomis. It doesn’t have to actually be those characters, just give us people like that that we can care for. There’s a reason Jamie Lee Curtis became a “scream queen” and the heart and soul of the first two HALLOWEEN films. I think of HALLOWEEN 4, and when I look at Rachel, I see a brave, strong young woman that will stop at nothing to protect her adoptive little sister. And then of course there’s the traditional arch nemesis in Loomis. Or even Tommy Doyle as portrayed by Paul Rudd in HALLOWEEN 6! These are the types of characters we deserve in a HALLOWEEN film.
A Director’s Vision
You look at the original HALLOWEEN and recognize that it’s the work of a true auteur. With Carpenter helping to guide an up-and-coming filmmaker’s vision for this new HALLOWEEN, let’s get someone with a lot of vision to fully give us a HALLOWEEN we would never expect! At the moment, there are so many incredible candidates working within the genre, I’d be excited at the prospect of any of them directing this HALLOWEEN. David Robert Mitchell’s horror film IT FOLLOWS was, in its own way, a modern version of an unstoppable evil tracking a bunch of kids. Mike Flanagan’s recent HUSH felt like a version of HALLOWEEN set in a remote cabin that relied heavily on building tension to execute its scares and thrills. It even has a blank-faced killer! Stevan Mena had done what I consider a loose HALLOWEEN reinterpretation with his debut feature MALEVOLENCE, and its prequel follow-up BEREAVEMENT. Marcus Dunstan was all set to helm a version of HALLOWEEN when it was still set up with the Weinsteins last year. I’d be curious to see if he’d bring the crazy over-the-top lunacy of THE COLLECTOR films to it or approach it from a more subdued angle. Hell, I am always intrigued by everything Ti West does. While for the time being, he’s focusing on stories outside of horror, I can’t image what a Ti West HALLOWEEN would look like, and that’s the sort of thing that excites me. Regardless of whomever directs the flick, give us someone that has a distinct voice and is willing to give it their all with HALLOWEEN.
Make It Scary!
Last but not least, let’s get back to making Michael Myers scary again! Pitting him against jokers like Busta Rhymes was a bit silly. And there are things I like about the Zombie films, in particular Tyler Mane’s performance as Michael, but I wouldn’t say it was subtly scary. He’s a physically imposing and scary guy! I want Michael Myers to resume his persona as “The Shape.” Hiding mysteriously behind trees and cars and dark spots on the street. Just when you think you see him behind that drying bedsheet on a clothes line, poof…. he’s gone.