The “Halloween” Primer: The lowdown on the David Gordon Green reboot
Up until now, David Gordon Green’s “Halloween”, the reboot-sequel that forks out an entirely new branch of mythos from John Carpenter’s seminal 1980 classic, had fans dangling by the follicles of their skin hairs out of fear. The new take, though doubtless bold, is something fans can’t simply easily let slide. But somewhere in the film’s development, things started aligning, more perfectly than any fan to whom the O.G. “Halloween” films are insurmountably precious can hope for. News about casting have been nothing but perfect, headlined by Jamie Lee Curtis, who played Laurie Strode in Carpenter’s original, a character which would become one of the most iconic final girls in American horror cinema. Two sprightly filmmakers—Green, alongside his creative partner, Danny McBride—were announced to take creative helm. And the project’s crème de la crème: the announcement that the film will completely rewrite the franchise’s narrative thus far, effectively voiding the stories that come after the first film. That’s short for: this film exists to fix the mistakes of the past, cue the synths, we’re about to get dirty.
And the trailer, which dropped last Friday, gets exactly down the ditch. Watch it here:
The S.O.P. here at Unreel has been to bust out a quick trailer post, but with this one, we decided to make a whole primer for. Personally, I had to let the new material, of which there are plenty, to sizzle in my head, and frankly the grease is still curdling.
This post breaks down everything we know about David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” thus far, from info we’ve acquired pre-trailer, and some directly pulled out of it. If you’re a fan of the films like myself, we urge you to read on. You’re in for a treat.
The new film is a direct sequel to Carpenter’s “Halloween”
The foremost thing about this new film is the direction it’s taking. It is, technically, a sequel, but its function is rebooting the franchise. That means indirectly redacting the storylines established by previous “Halloween” films. To illustrate this point, Curtis has reprised her role, Laurie Strode in earlier sequels, and that includes the franchise’s most dismal offerings (*cough*, “Halloween: Resurrection”).
In the new film, Laurie Strode is a steely, hoary rifle-toting granny who, like an alligator famished, waits idly for the perfect time to pounce and kill—a far cry from the more shaken state she’d been put in in the previous films. Here, the events of the 1978 murders have shifted her character from a prim babysitter to a reclusive, fierce, and protective matriarch.
There’s a moment teased in the trailer where Laurie locks and loads a rifle with hawk-like precision and resolve. “Why would you do that,” asks a sheriff, to which she retorts with a snark-like but unmistakably serious tone: “So I can kill him.” I live.
Laurie and Michael’s true connection
Green’s film treads off-course, we know that. Until now, reveal of the nature of Laurie and Michael’s relationship in ‘s “Halloween II” had been a major part of the entire throughline of their dynamic. They are, according to that film, siblings. In Green’s film, they’re not. “That’s a thing that people made up,” says Allyson (Andi Matichak), Laurie’s granddaughter.
This can point to two things: one, Laurie’s unspoken notoriety in Haddonfield, as much as the trauma of her encounter with Michael, haunts her into late adulthood, and thusly, two, she’s living a somewhat reclusive life, with her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), having to drive and alert her of Michael’s escape in a tone that’s less concerned than just exhausted of her purported stubbornness.
It’d be interesting to see where this heads and what new dynamic between it springs. The 1978 original is essentially a standoff between pure good and pure evil, and in Laurie’s current state, it’s uncertain if that’s true anymore. Suffice it to say, I’m excited.
New curious cats tail Michael’s case
Haddonfield’s inquisitive Dr. Sam Loomis isn’t around for this new film; however, a pair of academics, Dana and Martin (played by Rhian Rees and Jefferson Hall, respectively), stand in for that role. The purpose of their “investigation” is kept under a tight lid for now, and the extent of their knowledge about Michael’s madness is still unknown. In the trailer, though, they confront him with the now-decrepit William Shatner mask Michael has done in all of the “Halloween” movies sans “Season of the Witch”. If you’re poking the bear at this point, I can’t say you’re ways away into the case. I’d tell these two to tread lightly.
Loomis’ character had been the most interesting character in the franchise, in that he tries his darnedest to be empathic of Michael’s devilry. Still, he’s regarded as Michael’s key archnemesis, and with Laurie filled to the brim with ideas of how she’s going to settle the score with Michael, there isn’t actually much need for Loomis’ presence here.
The foremost concern from fans, apart from doing the characters justice, are the frights. The scene in which Michael tilts his head on a lifeless corpse he’d just pinned to the wall will forever be etched in my memory. He is fear and evil shaped in a somewhat human form. And the trailer, replete with terrifying moments (see: the final moments, where Michael casually slashes from a kid’s closet), suggests that Green’s film will have much of the same frights as the original, then some more.
The trailer also gives us a glimpse of how Michael got his Mechanic jumpsuit getup. We’ve long assumed it was at the expense of a poor, unsuspecting mechanic, but we didn’t know his demise would that be ruthless. Typical Michael, I guess?
There’s a blink-or-miss-it nod to “Season of the Witch”
“Halloween III: Season of the Witch” is the best “Halloween” sequel thus far. However, the film isn’t something fans today would call canon. It exists in a nice, little nook of the franchise that has nothing to do with Michael’s nor Laurie’s storyline.
To the uninitiated, “Season of the Witch” is part of the studios’ original plan to make “Halloween” a film anthology, unfurling a different horror story in each film. In it, a mysterious Irish manufacturer called Silver Shamrock uses their Halloween masks to kill the children that wear them. There’s a hokey sci-fi element to the film that’s refreshing and virtuosic as much as it sounds silly on paper. The film received backlash from fans and critics on its theatrical run, but later appraisals herald it as an insightful shocker about consumerism and media using the Raegan-era as backdrop.
In the trailer, there are a few frames that show the same masks from the film. It’s nice to see Green giving a proper nod to the film.
Same Michael, new Michael
Nick Castle, the original Michael Myers, reprises his role. He’s aptly credited as “Michael Myers / The Shape”, and because killing promiscuous babysitters is a physically demanding vocation, he’s aided by stuntman/actor, James Jude Courtney. Which is perfect, because it means more of this:
A sequel is afoot, if you want it
According to Danny McBride, who co-wrote the screenplay, David Gordon Green originally intended the reboot to be shot back-to-back. Universal obviously wants as many sequels as it can milk out, but Green insisted they wait how the audience receives the first film first. “We were going to shoot two of them back-to-back,” McBride told Entertainment Weekly. Then we were like, ‘Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This could come out, and everyone could hate us, and we’d never work again. So, let’s not have to sit around for a year while we wait for another movie to come out that we know people aren’t going to like.’ So, we were like, ‘Let’s learn from this, and see what works, and what doesn’t.’ But we definitely have an idea of where we would go [with] this branch of the story and hopefully, we get a chance to do it.”
“Halloween” (2018) release date in the Philippines
You’re still here, fellow Indio, and this is your reward. I’ve confirmed from a very trusted source that the film will, for certain, have its theatrical rounds in the Philippines. And I’m managed to get an official release date, too. David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” will release in the Philippines on October 17, 2018.