Halloween and the weight of expectation

halloween poster

@TigersMS78 talks about the new Halloween…

Halloween has left an indelible mark on horror, no doubt. It is somewhat of an obvious statement that it’s influence is felt in just about every single slasher film made after its release, from Inside to the most recent Hush, it is an in escapable fact that the film is pretty much the prototype slasher. So with news of a new Halloween film in the works and not only that but with John Carpenter on board too boot, it is quite easy to be excited about what is coming down the line. However and I hate being that person but I think it is wise to temper your expectations of a film, that doesn’t have a script, writers or a director as yet. Yes the folks involved make it hard not to be pumped and yes these people are making the right noises but without any of those three aforementioned things, as it is currently and at the moment just an idea.

Whilst some people are in the camp of – ‘Thank God that another Halloween is being made because Rob Zombie’s films were guilty of war crimes’ I am afraid the poor run of Halloween sequels goes way back, way, way back. Please humour me as we go back to 1989 (remember 1989, kids?) and Halloween 5, the lowest grossing film of the whole series which in itself doesn’t necessarily say the film was poor … BUT it was. Especially when you think that it came just a year after Alan B. McElroy and Dwight H. Little pulled off something remarkable by reinvigorating the Halloween series with the excellent Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. So when Halloween 5 performed poorly, they waited until 1995 to have another crack with Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers which had a decent idea that was poorly executed, not to mention the fact the most the people associated with the film have all but disowned it and film is just flat out incomprehensible. Then they had another shot in 1998 with Halloween H20 – which eschewed Halloween 4 – 6 and tried to make it a continuation of Laurie Strode’s life, the film never reached any great heights and this was despite the presence of Jamie Lee Curtis which no doubt helped it get a cinema release. So now the count was 3 very poor sequels and we still have to talk about Halloween: Resurrection which apart from being nearly unwatchable is famous for this thing – Busta Rhymes fights Michael Myers – with Ku Fung. In my opinion THIS was the low point of Halloween series and is laughably bad – and not in the good way. Of course this brings us the ever divisive remake (and sequel to the remake) which as I discussed before is loathed to a bile spewing hate degree or people liked the update. The point being that regardless of whatever side of that fence you were on – it just wasn’t and was never going to be as good as the original film.

Which brings us to the current day and that another Halloween film is on the way, which shows that despite poor sequels and some truly awful films, people still have an appetite for the series. The often ignored elephant in the room is that no Halloween film will ever live up to the original, however the series is revered by some folk in the way Star Wars is by others and that in my opinion is awesome. They love the characters, they’ll overlook the faults and flaws and then basically just flat out love the entire series based on a great film and two good sequels (II and IV). So with all that said I have a tempered view of excitement but a really genuine sense of hope and I will look forward to what will no doubt be a very much talked about production, that hopefully doesn’t get crushed by the weight of expectation.

Ryan Morrissey-Smith

Twitter: @TigersMS78

Image: IMDb

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