WARNING: This article contains Spoilers for the entire ‘Halloween’ series.
“I met him 15 years ago… I was told there was nothing left… No reason, no conscience, no understanding…Even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong…I met his six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes… the devil’s eyes. I spent eight years trying to teach him and then another seven trying to keep him locked up for I realised what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply…evil. “– Dr. Loomis
This upcoming October 19th, the horror community will join in unison as they gather to their nearest movie theater to watch the return of horror icon Michael Myers on the big screen. Horror films are often treated as the stepchild that nobody wants in the film world. That perception slightly changed last year when the trailer for the 2017 version of Stephen King’s IT set a record for the most views in one day at 197 million globally. The colossal Avengers: Infinity War would eventually break this record: however it speaks volumes as to the potential horror films have on a global scale.
IT may have been more of an outlier than a common occurrence. The film had years of anticipation as the original movie was a mini-series for television allowing the new film with an R rating to push the boundaries with more of the characteristics that took place in the book. IT also did not have the distinction of being followed up with numerous subpar sequels. The first Halloween trailer that was released in June currently sits at over 19 million views and is unlikely to match the accomplishments of IT. More importantly, than the views, the trailer will receive or the films total earnings at the box office, will be if it can match IT’s quality as an overall film.
The Halloween film that will be coming out this fall will be a direct sequel to the original 1978 John Carpenter classic. The film will ignore all of the sequels including 1981’s Halloween II where the narrative of Jamie Lee Curtis’s character Laurie Strode as Michael Myers’ little sister was put into the tale of the franchise. In total, the Halloween film franchise now has many separate universes.
We have a universe that includes Halloween I, II, H20, and the famed Halloween: Resurrection where rapper Busta Rhymes famously karate kicked Michael Myers. This universe focuses heavily on Laurie Strode and kills off the heroine in the final instalment. There is the Rob Zombie universe that puts a greater emphasis on violence and in the introspection of all its characters.
In 1988, the first of what is now known as the Thorn trilogy was introduced in Halloween 4. The original Halloween had elements of the supernatural, however in the Thorn trilogy including Halloween 5 and 6 brought the franchise to a new level of supernatural as Myers was controlled by a cult that gave him incredible strength and power.
The constant figure throughout the series along with the Laurie Strode character was Dr. Samuel Loomis who was portrayed by Donald Pleasence. Even the most hardcore of Halloween enthusiasts would admit that in the majority of the Halloween series some of the most significant parts included Dr. Loomis. Pleasence was able to bring a level of experience and maturity to the Halloween films, as he was usually the veteran actor on set.
Rob Zombie’s version of Dr. Loomis was serviceable playing more of an antagonist character who was looking to profit off of the Halloween murders for his book that chronicled his time as Michael Myers’ lead doctor. As the Halloween series progressed the character of Dr. Loomis became vastly more outrageous in many respects. This development became acceptable for fans with the number of tragedies the character experienced in the film including being set on fire at the end of 1981’s Halloween II.
Pleasence’s final time playing the Dr. Loomis character was in 1995 for the final instalment of the Halloween Thorn trilogy in Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers. Most fans believe the franchise went off the rails with Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers where the Dr. Loomis character was arguably the most over the top. Even with the evolution of the Dr. Loomis character becoming zanier as the series progressed a majority of fans of the franchise still found the character to be the best part of the films. Seemingly with the Dr. Loomis character not being in the new Halloween film, many will wonder if the franchise can be successful without the Loomis character.
Some and possibly the majority of fans will point to the success of the franchise falling on its foundation with the character of Michael Myers. Many will look to 1982’s Halloween 3: Season of the Witch as to the importance of Myers. Halloween 3 at the time of its release was lambasted because it did not feature Myers as a character and instead went with the idea of taking the franchise as an anthology set around the theme of Halloween night. The film itself is underrated and has developed a cult following as the years have gone by. When the Myers character returned in 1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers the film was met with much more favorable reviews critically and was a box office success.
It could be argued that besides Myers the most crucial character in the Halloween franchise is Laurie Strode. Strode is without question one of if not the greatest ‘final girl’ in horror movie history including Nancy from A Nightmare on Elm Street and Sidney Prescott from the Scream franchise. The Halloween franchises’ worst reviewed films are ones that do not feature Strode sans Halloween 4. Halloween: Resurrection shows the death of the Strode character in its opening and that film along with Halloween 5 is considered one of the franchise’s lowest points.
The intention of the original Halloween film was for it to be a one-off featuring a man murdering babysitters. The two men behind the new film David Gordon Green and Danny McBride have stated that they had the intention of making two films. It will be interesting to see how they end this new film as the Laurie Strode or Michael Myers character be put to rest.
The new Halloween film premiered on the weekend of September 8th at the Toronto International Film Festival before being released to a wide audience in October. It was preceded by the release of a second Halloween trailer and an international trailer. The international trailer focused more on the Laurie Strode character while the second trailer concentrates on following Myers around. The marketing for this new Halloween film in some respects is similar to promoting a significant boxing or mixed martial arts bout. They have decided to focus all the intention on a seemingly final showdown between Myers and Strode.