The horror world’s collective eyebrows raised on May 24 when it was announced that the master of horror himself, John Carpenter, was not only returning to the genre but doing so in grand fashion. Carpenter was announced as executive producer (and possibly composer) for the next installment in the Halloween franchise, the very franchise he began in 1978 with arguably the scariest film of all time.
Carpenter has gotten back into the game as of late with the release of two incredible albums simply titled Lost Themes and Lost Themes II over the last sixteen months. Many began to speculate that he may be the man behind the keyboard for the next Halloween film, but I don’t think anyone truly had an idea that he was going to be such a big part of the upcoming film.
I must say- it is about time! Carpenter, never one to turn down a paycheck, has seen his little film that could turn into an absolute train wreck of a franchise. John himself has freely admitted time and time again that if it’s good for his bank account, he’ll agree to just about any sort of remake or reboot on any of his films. That’s totally fine with me- he’s earned that right and it’s his career. Who are we to judge? But every man has his limit. I just don’t know if John’s was when cult activity got involved in the legend of Michael Myers or when the film received a stunning reboot by horror mad man Rob Zombie. Perhaps it was when Michael Myers was forced into a fist fight with Busta Rhymes in 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection.
Whatever the case may be, Carpenter is locked and loaded, prepared to make the next sequel “the scariest of them all”. That’s quite a bold statement to make, but does anyone have any inkling to bet against the man who has brought us so many amazing horror classics?
So now we wait, with no other news about the film being revealed. The last time we really got anything to sink our teeth into about the next Michael Myers film, it was reported that the film would pick up right where Halloween II left off. Myers would be on death row and being prepared for execution when all hell breaks loose and The Shape disappears, hell-bent on finishing what he started on October 31st.
That premise sounds fantastic to me, basically wiping the slate clean and moving forward with a much less muddled mythology on Michael. However, that also presents quite a problem with the Laurie Strode character, as the beloved Final Girl met her demise in Halloween: Resurrection. It also sadly would eradicate the Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) storyline, which certainly is some of the best stuff to come out of the sequels over the years. Personally, I could do without psychic connections between masked uncle and innocent little niece, but Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers ushered little Danielle into the hearts of the horror community and the role is one that affects the sequels quite a bit.
So the question becomes just how much of the history of Michael Myers will this upcoming film build off of, rewrite or completely ignore. This is certainly going to be a heck of a task for the writers of this film to tackle.
There are plenty of reasons to believe that this Halloween will be the best and most pure sequel since the second installment in 1981. While Carpenter’s addition to the team is certainly the biggest coup, it cannot be ignored that having Miramax team up with Blumhouse Productions for this film should encourage every fan that this project is in good hands. Jason Blum and his production company have almost single-handedly revitalized the Hollywood horror scene. As if that weren’t enough, rumors are flying that Mike Flanagan is in discussions to direct the film. The man who has brought us the box office hit Oculus, the very Michael Myers-esque thriller Hush and the fantastic yet sorely underrated Absentia over the last five years is just the kind of mind any horror film would love to have behind the camera.
As someone who has always championed Halloween as their favorite all-time horror series, I am excited for a sequel. The prospects of a Blumhouse- Carpenter- Flanagan “Big 3” is something nightmares are made of. This is exactly what a franchise in disarray desperately needs to right the ship, or The Shape, in this instance.
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