PIECE BY PIECE: The trailer for 2018’s new HALLOWEEN film

 

 

H40

 

Subject:

 

The long-awaited trailer for the upcoming HALLOWEEN film

 

 

Lifespan:

 

2:37 showing off the most recent twist in the HALLOWEEN timeline

 

 

The body:

 

Two very British people have come to Haddonfield to investigate the case of Michael Myers.  They visit him at the mental institution where he’s been in captivity the last 40 years, and when the British gentleman pulls out the Shape’s mask, the whole yard goes into a tizzy.  We then get the iconic music over teens walking and discussing the effects of the night he came home on one of their grandmother’s, Laurie Strode.  Then, some shots of lots of mannequins with bullet holes, as the trailer introduces us to Laurie, who fires off a lot of guns and tells a cop she wants Michael to escape so she can kill him.  Flash to mental patients wandering the streets at night, Laurie’s announcement that Michael’s escaped, and Michael dropping teeth into a bathroom stall at a gas station to intimidate the British lady.  He then dons the mask and it’s off to the streets of Haddonfield.  Laurie marauds all crazy through the streets, fires at the Shape in a window, and lunges at Michael with that iconic butcher’s knife.  Laurie tells the British man he should be afraid of the Boogeyman.  It ends with a gag as a teen can’t close a closet door, and when she opens it, Michael lumbers out.

 

Dissection:

 

Let me be honest right up front and say I have no need for this movie, yet another retcon of the HALLOWEEN series that will further confuse any hope of a coherent timeline.  But this isn’t a movie review, it’s a look at the trailer.  And the trailer is solid in presenting a horror flick and giving us all we’d need to know going in blind, if we’d never seen a HALLOWEEN flick before.

 

Not to say I’m down with everything in this trailer.  I have no idea why the script would include the Brits.  Any writer could create a thousand ways to get Michael out of the institution and to Haddonfield–  Hell, Rob Zombie and Alan B. McElroy both already did so—so why these writers ended up on two people from another country coming to investigate a 40-year-old triple murder case in a small town is beyond me.  I get the feeling they’re in this to give background on HALLOWEEN, and likely to die violently.  It makes me wonder just how long before the jailbreak, because no one paying to see this is doing so for these two.

 

No, those legions of fans will come out in droves to see Laurie Strode vs. Michael (I almost typed Brother Michael, but the trailer includes dialogue that very snarkily drops that thread from the franchise, and also wipes out HALLOWEEN II).  The Laurie they’ll get is different from all earlier incarnations, in that she’s Gun Slinging Wild West Laurie Strode.  Shy and a Little Awkward Laurie from John Carpenter’s film has a wild gleam in her eyes 40 years later, as she’s been prepping for this moment for decades.  I’m glad Wild West Laurie expunges Bitchy Pill Popping Laurie from H20, because upon re-examination of that flick I found myself not liking that Laurie at all.  This Laurie is like the unhinged great aunt who talks crazy and carries a .44 Magnum.  I much prefer this Laurie, because poor Josh Harnett deserved to go on the school trip and now the poor bastard doesn’t even exist.

 

All that gunplay does leave me with one high hope.  As Laurie fires at the Shape as he stands in a second story window, it’s my every desire she’s actually blowing away Ben Traymer.  It would be a fitting retcon for his character.  It would also be fitting, given how this trailer shows several scenes that crib from the other entries:  shots of adult Michael Myers in the mental institution (RZ’s HALLOWEEN), a scene at a gas station/ repair shop (Hell of Famer HALLOWEEN 4), a stalking scene in a bathroom (RZ’s version and also H20), someone under a sheet with eyeholes cut out (Carpenter’s film, but no one is about to have sex with PJ Soles),  and Michael donning the mask (several entries).  There’s even a kid running into a standing still Shape, framed so the shot cuts off at his shoulders.  I expected some homages, but this trailer has so many cribs that I fear we may be headed into serious retread territory.

 

Not that rabid fans will really care.  Again, they seem willing to gulp up anything that pits Laurie vs. Michael, and though I understand their passion, I’ve already seen this.  20 years ago, in fact.  Which leads to a problem the trailer doesn’t address:  Michael’s age.  Laurie’s age should be 58 or so, and she looks around that in the trailer (though Jamie Lee, God bless her, still looks great).  That would put Michael in his 60s.  I don’t know what diet he’s been on in the institution, and maybe he’s got crazies strength, but a geriatric stalker does little to scare me.  And if Laurie’s been so convinced Michael would eventually break out, why is she still hanging around Haddonfield?  At least Bitchy Pill Popping Laurie had the good sense to move to California.

 

There are your negatives.  So what does the trailer do to inspire my confidence?  Jamie Lee looks on point as ever.  She’s been a phenomenal actress her whole career, and she brings it here.  Carpenter’s iconic score could make a homemade version of Michael Myers filmed on an iPhone shine, and whoever cut this trailer put it to good use.  There’s some solid imagery here;  the trailer captures the eerie quietude of the institution, the shot up mannequins look appropriately freaky, and some night scenes of the Shape and Laurie doing their thing, separately and eventually together, have the right verve.  It seems the filmmakers have a true respect for Carpenter’s masterpiece, which at least sets this film in the right direction.  It may not hit the heights of Carpenter’s original—and let’s face it, very few horror flicks in the last 40 years have—but it won’t be HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION either.  And thank God for that.

 

 

 

Postmortem:

 

Cause of death–  This movie will make a killing when it arrives, though I find it to be one more way to beat a dead horse.

 

Interment instructions–  No need to bury this trailer, as it looks like a pretty solid horror flick is coming.  I only wish it had resurrected my excitement for the Shape.

 

 

 

View the body

 

 

–Phil Fasso

 

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