Holy hell, this looks good.
Halloween has been through some, ahem, rough patches over the years. John Carpenter’s ’78 original is, of course, a stone cold classic. The first sequel is solid. The second tried to take the franchise off down anthology road, a plan which was immediately abandoned (Season of the Witch is still worth your time, though). 4 -6 took the mythology off into a weird and largely unsuccessful supernatural direction, and were completely ignored when 1998’s Halloween H20 rolled around, which pitched original Final Girl Jamie Lee Curtis against masked spree killer Michael Myers once more. It was good! Then Halloween: Resurrection rolled around four years later. It was bad! And they killed off Jamie Lee, the bastards.
Then we got Rob Zombie’s remake in 2007 and its bugfuck nuts sequel in 2009, which made the fundamental error of giving Myers a backstory and motivation for his murders, marrying Zombie’s fascination with white trash culture to Carpenter’s straight-up dualistic approach to mixed effect, resulting in interesting films (and the term is deployed here very specifically) that completely miss the point of the original. Michael Myers isn’t supposed to knowable. As Donald Pleasance’s Dr. Loomis says, “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 that boy’s eyes was purely and simply… evil.”
You got all that? Good, now turf it, because this new flick, going under the simple and doubtless confusing to future generations title of Halloween, ignores everything bar the first movie, discarding 40 years of continuity to tell a direct sequel that sees Michael Myers (played by original actor Nick Castle and stuntman James Jude Courtney) escaping from the mental institution where he’s been locked away for 40 years in order to hunt down Laurie Strode (Curtis) – and, as we can see, she’s waiting for him.
Every beat of this trailer is perfect, from the slow introduction of the iconic Myers – look at that asylum exercise yard! – to the gag with the teeth, the donning of the mask, and the perfectly timed introduction of Carpenter’s synthy score. Director David Gordon Green and his co-writers, Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley, are clearly huge fans of the original (then again, so’s ol’ mate Zombie) and are definitely in the business of paying respectful homage here. And they’ve got John Carpenter as executive producer keeping an eye on them (or possibly not – Carpo’s attitude to remakes and sequels to his work has largely been “As long as I get paid” over the years).
And good lord, just look at Jamie Lee Curtis in full-on Sarah Connor survivalist mode.
We are so, so, so in the bag for this. Expect Halloween early this year – On October 18.