One of the biggest challenges of Blumhouse’s new Halloween movie is how it’ll approach rebooting the complex narrative at the heart of the franchise.
The first film was intended as a one-off story, with each film in the series telling a completely different tale set on Halloween night.
But people loved Michael Myers so much, the franchise kept coming back to him (even after Halloween III tried to stick to the original plan).
That led to a fairly convoluted legacy (the producers loved the family thing so much, they also gave Michael a niece), one that Rob Zombie decided to completely ignore by making a couple of prequel flicks.
Now John Carpenter is promising the 2018’s Halloween will also ignore everything except the first film. “It’s almost an alternative reality. It picks up after the first one and it pretends that none of the others were made,” the director said.
But what does that alternative reality look like? Very different, if the new trailer is to be believed…
So, what have they changed? We’re glad you asked!
Laurie’s alive and her son’s turned into a daughter
In Halloween H20, Laurie Strode had a son named John (Josh Hartnett), but it looks like he’s been written out of the new universe.
The trailer’s quick glimpse at Judy Greer’s Karen Strode confirms Laurie’s got a daughter now (she calls her ‘mom’ when she asks about the bus crash), which we’re totally fine with – the more women the better in these things, obviously.
Though, Greer’s casting and a couple of piano notes that totally sound like the Jurassic Park theme do momentarily make us think we’re watching Jurassic World (though we don’t remember the bit where a Raptor chucks teeth on the floor before killing someone in a toilet).
Of course, it probably goes without saying that the fact Laurie’s in this at all is a fairly huge change to the previous mythology.
Strode was brutally killed off in Halloween Resurrection, a terrible film which bizarrely shares qualities with the 2018 reboot. Resurrection also sees Strode waiting for Michael to come back so she can kill him, only there it’s 23 years instead of 40 in this new movie.
Still, the extra years of waiting seem to have made all the difference this time – it looks like Laurie will probably survive this encounter (those mannequins aren’t in great shape).
We’re guessing she’ll survive mainly because Blumhouse seems to realise that Jamie Leigh Curtis is the real MVP of this series.
“You failed, Michael. You wanna know why? Because I’m not afraid of you. But what about you? Are you afraid of me? Are you afraid to die, Michael?” That’s a quote from Resurrection that could totally pop up in this new film.
Michael’s no longer Laurie’s brother
“Wasn’t it her brother who murdered all those babysitters?”
“No, that was not her brother, that was something people made up.”
It probably speaks to the fuzzy memories people have of the Halloween franchise that a couple of journalists walking out of our trailer preview this morning thought it was established that Laurie was Michael’s sister in Carpenter’s first film in this series (we corrected them, don’t worry).
The family connection was actually revealed in Carpenter’s sequel. So, yeah – it’s still a major piece of the canon straight from the creator that’s being jettisoned by this film.
The dismissive tone of this retcon is slightly strange. It’s a bit weird to include sassy shade aimed at Carpenter in this trailer – to the extent that a lot of people will probably assume it’s meant to diss Rob Zombie, who also made a thing of the brother/sister reveal in his take on the timeline.
The bodycount has gone waaaay down
“We’re here to investigate a patient that killed three innocent teenagers who on Halloween night in 1978.”
The trailer opens with the premise that the police are investigating Michael for the deaths of three teenagers, which is a pretty major drop in Myers’ kill count. Even in the first film (which this movie is treating as canon, with tweaks) he killed more than that – he murdered a mechanic to get his iconic overalls.
Now, presumably, Myers gets a new outfit from the dead dude in the garage who we see face down in his own blood during this trailer.
Again, bit weird – in the original, the overall thing was opportunistic. In this one, he decides it’s his brand and goes out of his way to get another one, we guess?
However they explain it, three people is a LOT less than the 111 kills Myers’ totted up over the course of the pre-reboot series. We wonder how he feels about his massive drop in the slasher-movie body-count rankings.
They’ve changed the original’s ending
“He was shot by his own psychiatrist and taken into custody that night, and spent the last forty years in captivity.”
This one’s the weirdest of them all. In the original film, Michael survives a shooting, only to randomly vanish. It was super-spooky, and one of the elements that made the film memorable. It appears to have been retconned out of existence, if this dialogue is to be believed.
We’re looking forward to more details about how this works, because this is a tiny bit confusing, especially when you think about the implications.
Michael’s no longer a boogeyman
“You don’t believe in the Boogeyman. You should.” Strode says at one point in the trailer.
Yeah, but… Why? In the original timeline, this dialogue totally makes sense. Michael Myers IS the Boogeyman, to the extent that he was only known as ‘The Shape’ in the first film.
As we’ve just mentioned, in the new narrative he vanishes after being shot because he was… taken away by police? That… that makes him a normal dude, right?
There’s literally nothing supernatural about someone killing three people before being picked up and taken away.
Still, this is only the first trailer (which includes some amazing moments – that closing the cupboard bit gave us massive goosebumps) so we’ll wait until the finished film gives us the full story before we decide how we feel about these major tweaks.
But one thing’s for sure, this will be unlike any Halloween film you’ve ever seen before – and that includes the original.
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