“Halloween is a visceral experience – we aren’t seeing the movie, we’re having it happen to us. It’s frightening. Maybe you don’t like movies that are really scary: Then don’t see this one… .” – 1979 – 4 stars – Roger Ebert
Those are the words of the most respected film critic of all time. Sadly, Roger Ebert would never praise another Halloween film again. I feel this is due to the fact that the creator, John Carpenter, never had a strong creative nor personal investment in the franchise after the 1978 original. Sure, he had producing and writing credit on Halloween II and III, but the passion that courses through the original was long gone. It might also be because Ebert had a reputation to withhold.
With Carpenter washing his hands of his masterpiece, the series arguably took a wild ride. Don’t get me wrong, the Halloween franchise is one of the best series in the genre but it lost the thing Roger Ebert celebrated – the visceral experience; that plucking of the raw fear nerve was all but severed.
It wasn’t as if Hollywood didn’t try; in 2007 and 2009 Rob Zombie gave us a brutal retelling that showed the physical horror that lay deep within the heart of the Halloween legacy. Though the film did honor the feel of the original, it ultimately was a Rob Zombie film which is fine because I love anything Zombie does (an article for a later time). But again, it was all muscle.
In 2015 an attempt to make Halloween 3D/ Returns gained steam but quickly died as soon as it was announced. This might have been for the better as a 3D element would have been the ultimate gimmick and eventually led to the true death of Halloween. So instead of a gimmick, we got the seemingly death of the iconic franchise…that is until now.
On May 23rd the biggest news in horror history was announced – Miramax, Trancas Films, and Blumhouse Productions will be co-producing a new Halloween movie with none other than the master himself, John Carpenter! Ring them bells, Myers is coming home!
In the press gathering John Carpenter stated:
“Thirty-eight years after the original Halloween I’m going to help to try to make the 10th sequel the scariest of them all”
Those are the words from the legend himself. If that doesn’t get your horror blood rushing, you’re dead to me.
What makes this such insane news is the fact that mega genre producer, Jason Blum is the reason John Carpenter will be on board. Let’s not kid ourselves, Mr. Carpenter is sadly past his prime(or so Hollywood thinks. I’m sure he doesn’t care since he’s been making killer music these last few years.) But with a golden ticket in hand, Carpenter will be able to remind those doubters that he is still a brilliant genius.
“…Michael is not just a human being; he’s a force of nature, like the wind. That’s what makes him so scary” – John Carpenter
Let’s take a moment to think about why Blumhouse is the X-factor here. Jason Blum, in my righteous opinion, is the hottest ticket in Hollywood. Anything this company backs becomes gold. Just take a gander at the box office numbers Box Office Mojo offers – lifetime gross total of $1,218,446,503. Excuse me while I have a heart attack.
Here is a man that put horror back on the map by producing a $15,000 film and turned it into a $889 million dollar franchise. The Splat Pack fever was dead. If it wasn’t for Paranormal Activity the horror genre would have gone straight to DVD, forever.
It is this writer’s belief that the Blumhouse/Carpenter mega power smackdown will return us to the roots of Halloween. Michael Myers has no emotion. He has no motive. He isn’t a dark plague of vengeance like Jason or Freddy. Myers is an animal. Take a long look at the shark in Jaws; that is exactly what Michael Myers is. He’s a killing machine. The machine that is Myers has no schematic. We can sit here and draw up conclusions for why he does what he does. Yet, we still have no definite reasoning. The best answer comes from within the movie itself. In the words Dr. Loomis (written by John Carpenter) –
“I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind the boy’s eyes was purely and simply…evil”.
Michael Myers is simply evil, which is what Jason Blum and John Carpenter are bringing back to us. This is what we need to keep this franchise alive. The shape is the living flesh of fear; we, the audience, project a face on the faceless mask Myers dons – the reason Halloween will always be a classic. I can only hope that this new generation of candy coated horror fans can take it in because, like it or not, the boogeyman is coming.
Article Submitted by Eric Ami