The Past, Present and Future of the Halloween Franchise
Now with 100% MORE Rob Zombie!
The Halloween series has been one of the most influential, yet quality-challenged and inconsistent franchises in Horror Movie history. Created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill back in 1978, the series spawned what would come to be known as the â??Slasherâ? sub-genre of horror movies that dominated the 1980â??s (though Black Christmas pre-dated Halloween, it was not recognized by the mainstream). However, when one looks at the original Halloween, it compares more with the likes of Alfred Hitchcockâ??s Psycho, a suspense thriller featuring a knife-wielding maniac, and less with the imitators which came afterward. Hell, the first Halloween, on a quality-level, his heads above comparison with its own sequels.
Speaking of which, John Carpenterâ??s original vision for the Halloween franchise was for it to be an episodic anthology franchise, with a brand new Halloween-themed story in every installment. Fan-demand resulted in Halloween 2 continuing (and, apparently, ENDING) the story of Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis. But Halloween III: Season of the Witch would be the true direction Carpenter had envisioned. Regretfully, Season of the Witch was not embraced by fans, who merely wanted more butcher knife-action, and Carpenterâ??s original concept for the franchise was dropped come Halloween 4: the Return of Michael Myers.
This direction would not prove to be much more successful, from a quality stand-point, as the sequels following part 4 are generally reviled as the most atrocious installments in the franchise. The story (which had begun to incorporated magic runes and ancient curses) had become so muddled and distant from what Michael Myers had originally been (a nutcase, pure and simple), that the series was pronounced dead after the studio-butchered debacle of Halloween 6: the Curse of Michael Myers.
The entire continuity of Halloween 4-6 would eventually be discarded by director Steve Miner for the next installment, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Originally intended by miner to be a direct sequel to the first film, ignoring every other installment, series producer Mustapha Akkad put his foot down and Miner was forced to compromise with H20 being a sequel to Halloween 2, instead. This confusion would plague the movie, with the end-result making vague references to events from Halloween 4 (Laurieâ??s car-wreck), yet still pretending those movies never happened, and overall, being very confused with its own continuity.
Regardless, Halloween H20 was a success for the most-part. Much to the dismay of fans, though, it was followed-up with possibly the worst installment, Halloween: Resurrection, which appeared to be more of a vehicle for Busta Rhymesâ?? acting career than an actual Halloween movie.
With the Halloween franchise a continuity train-wreck, and fans groaning at the concept of another sequel, where do things go from here?
Right back to the beginning. Carpenterâ??s original concept for the franchise was not a slew of mediocre slasher-sequels, but a constantly fluctuating series of unexpected change. As if to pay homage to that idea, Dimension has announced a re-imagining of the original Halloween, starting the series over from scratch. Note, thatâ??s â??re-imaginingâ?, not â??remakeâ?. This movie wonâ??t be a creatively-bankrupt retelling of events weâ??ve already seen before, like the ill-conceived Psycho and Hills Have Eyes remakes, but a complete reboot of what we know.
And who will be at the helm of this film? According to Bloody Disgusting: Rob Zombie. With an obvious love of Horror Movies, and with two successful ones under his belt, Zombie is set to use his talents to re-animate the dead-and-buried franchise from the grave it dug for itself.
Is this a good idea or not? I suppose weâ??ll have to wait and see. But before casting your judgment instantaneously, try to remember that Halloween was always intended to be something different, with the audience never sure what to expect, not a string of half-assed Slasher clichÃ©s crapped-out to make a quick buck.
Besides, no matter what happens next, it canâ??t be worse than Halloween: Resurrection.