Halloween is a big deal for horror fans. The iconic franchise hasn’t had a film in almost a decade, but that’s about to change. This October, Michael Myers is returning to the big screen in a film written and directed by David Gordon Green with Danny McBride as a co-writer. Fans have been eager to see what their vision will look like and we got a look at the first trailer during the Universal presentation at CinemaCon. And now, you can see the trailer for yourself!
Our reaction? Mixed in some very strong ways.
All the Old Familiar Places
The trailer starts with a duo of documentarians inquiring about a certain mental patient. Through some refresher course backstory, we discover that this is Michael Myers. As they approach him, they open a bag and pull out the iconic mask. Yeah, that’s a really good idea.
From the dialogue we heard, it’s clear that this new film is only acknowledging the original Halloween. There is even a joke where some teens talk about the original murders and one kid says, “Wasn’t it Laurie Strode‘s brother who killed everyone?” Another teen responds, “Nah, that was just something someone made up.” The audience laughed and things seemed to be going along quite well.
But, we see a number of shots that feel like direct riffs on the original Halloween. Michael escapes due to a bus transfer that tips over and we see patients roaming the roads. It’s an image that anyone familiar with the first film will recognize. We see the same Haddonfield sidewalk shots of people walking, and even a callback to the infamous “ghost” scene from the first film. The parts of the trailer that looked like a remake were somewhat discouraging.
However, the new elements looked great.
A New Nightmare
We catch up with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and she has become a bonafide badass in the 40 years since Michael’s massacre. Her house has a secret basement that’s hidden by a motorized trap door, and she even looks to have a shooting range where she’s been practicing her headshots. Since Michael’s capture, she’s been preparing for his return. “I’ve been waiting for Michael to return… so I can kill him.” It’s definitely treading similar ground as Halloween: H20 but in a much more polished and intriguing way.
And the few scares we saw were actually really effective. There’s a small bit in a child’s bedroom where a babysitter is trying to close a closet door and it won’t shut. She slams it over and over but it won’t cooperate, so she opens it wide and Michael is right there. It’s a perfect use of his boogeyman persona. But, the coolest shot wasn’t even a scare. Laurie is standing on the street and looks up in a window. She sees Michael staring back at her. She pulls out a gun and fires. It looks like she hits her target, but it turns out that it was a mirror with Michael’s reflection in it. If there are more creative moments like that, the remake aspects might not be as damaging.
It is worth noting that the film itself looks incredibly polished with some cool compositions. It’s the first Halloween sequel since the original Halloween II that feels like it belongs in the same visual world as the first film. Green is an accomplished director and we want to believe he’s got some tricks up his sleeve.
You can judge for yourself but we’re staying cautiously optimistic on this one. Halloween opens on October 19 in the US and UK.