In case you missed it, Blumhouse has announced that they have brought John Carpenter back to the Halloween franchise. He will be producing the next installment in the series, set to release in October 2017.
I love this.
As you all well know, Carpenter is the man responsible for first bringing Michael Myers into our world back in 1978, effectively giving birth to the slasher boom of the 80s. Even after all these years, Halloween is just as good today as it was when it was released (I assume, anyway: I was -2 at the time of its release). It looks amazing, the acting is incredible and it features one of the best theme songs in horror history.
Carpenter wrote and produced Halloween II (one of the best horror sequels ever made) and produced Halloween III: Season of the Witch. He had success outside this series as well, with an insane filmography that includes The Thing, The Fog, Escape From New York, Prince of Darkness, They Live and In the Mouth of Madness, to name a few.
Meanwhile, Rob Zombie’s Halloween series has slowly withered and died. They didn’t do terribly in the box office (Halloween II brought in $39.3 million on a budget of $15 million), but interest waned with each passing year since the release of Halloween II in 2009. All we had were rumors. Zombie is coming back. No he isn’t. Scout Taylor-Compton is coming back. No she isn’t. The script has been written. There is no script. The movie is a go. It’s not. It is. It’s not. And on it went, until Dimension finally lost the rights.
I didn’t hate Zombie’s Halloween series. I think saying that I “enjoyed” them might be a bit much, but I liked them both. I didn’t really care about Myers’ childhood, but, for the most part I thought the first movie was a perfectly fine slasher movie. The second one wasn’t as good, but I found it the more interesting movie of the two. It mainly dealt with the fallout from the events of Halloween, and attempted to answer the question of what happens to a person after they experience such intense psychological trauma. It’s not all sunshine and roses after the credits end; there’s pain and suffering and fear, and those feelings can completely reshape who a person is. It wasn’t necessarily handled with the nuance it deserved, but it at least took on that subject. (This is the movie that inspired my short-lived What Comes Next series.)
Still, it felt like Zombie’s Halloween had run its course. It was time to bring the series back to basics. And if anyone could do that, it would be John Carpenter.
I think the world is finally ready for another Halloween movie. It’s hard to shock audiences nowadays, especially with a silent, masked killer. But Halloween doesn’t need to shock. It needs some tension. It needs Michael Myers lurking in the shadows and a synth chord ready to hit at the best possible moment. We all knew Michael Myers wasn’t gone forever. He was always going to come back. Who better to take the reins than Carpenter? And in the month of October, no less.
I’m fully on board.