I was a teenager when I first saw John Carpenter's original masterpiece, Halloween.
And, yes, it is indeed a masterpiece.
Allow me to speak on my little Halloween ritual for just a moment.
Every year, since my first viewing, I watch John Carpenter's film. You best believe the 1978 independent film holds up to today's style of Hollywood film-making despite the script taking less than two weeks to write and only twenty days to shoot.
Yeah. You read that right. Oh! On top of that, Carpenter's budget for the film was a measly $325,000.
Now, that may seem like quite a bit of money for most of us (especially for 1978), but the film made out with $47 million worldwide.
A couple more cool facts about the original film:
- It featured Jamie Lee Curtis' film debut (also, she bought her wardrobes for the film at JC Penny for under $100).
- The film was set in Illinois, but shot on location in Pasadena and Hollywood.
- Carpenter completed the entire score in three days. Count 'em, THREE DAYS.
The character and personification of Michael Myers has always terrified me. The fact that a cold-blooded, supernatural, knife-wielding killer can just be preying on random people gives me paranoia at times... I know, I know, call me crazy.
There are 11 films accredited in the Halloween franchise, but the latest Halloween film that was released this past weekend appears to close a chapter on the franchise.
That's no spoiler, just take a look at the trailer if you haven't seen it.
Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has been waiting for the day that Michael (Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney) would make his inevitable escape and head back to his home town, much like he did in the original.
Now let's make this clear, this new film makes ITSELF clear that the other Halloween films don't really count. Meaning, they aren't in the same film universe.
In this new Halloween film, it honors the original predecessor and is a direct sequel to it.
There, of course, is an obvious time gap as both Laurie Strode and Michael Myers have aged.
I mean, the film makes it known that they're old. We get backstory on Laurie such as her living an excluded lifestyle away from civilization and her having a daughter and granddaughter. Both think that grandma Laurie is a complete lunatic, by the way. Laurie just can't seem to get away from Michael Myers terrorizing her mind. To be fair... she did lose her closest friends to the slashing Myers, while managing to escape from his grasp.
Overall, this film is fan service to the first one.
It follows almost the same beats to a tee to the original.
Does that make the film less enjoyable?
Does that make the film less original?
The biggest drawback in Hollywood film-making is original content.
There have been so many remakes in recent years. To name a few: True Grit, Beauty & The Beast, and A Star Is Born.
There isn't a point to mention the television reboots *cough* Charmed *cough*.
YET, this new Halloween film works. A lot of the callbacks from the original film to this film were actually quite pleasing. When some sequels put callbacks from previous films, they can tend to be very forced and made for cash grab. This film doesn't feel that way. In fact, when one particular callback happens in the film, my theater clapped (and so did I).
If you're into slasher/horror films and a fan of John Carpenter's original film, just make a trip to the theater. Go see it sometime this week.
The aging Laurie Strode and her paranoia that she's constantly exorcising combined with Michael Myers' continued taste for bloodshed make this new Halloween a breath of fresh air... even though we've seen most of the same beats in this franchise... *whew*... it still was a breath of fresh air.