For the last 6 years it seemed that if we were going to see Michael come home again, it would be at the hands of Rob Zombie. Even though he consistently denied he wanting anything to do with a 3rd one, rumors kept resurfacing that he had something more in mind. Recently news broke that direction has changed and the series will be reboot again. I find myself once again, holding my breathe as someone else takes a swing at a franchise that refuses to die.
For the most part, I feel reboots are extremely over done, and way over rated. They make money because true fans, like myself and many readers, will go see this garbage for the experience, and the tiniest little hope that someone will do it right. The thing that many people miss is that it isn;t about the production company (unless it's Disney) and it isn't about the right Myers. It's about finding another John Carpenter. Someone who builds suspense in the film. Horror thrillers that terrify. Even if the script is mediocre, someone with that kind of talent will make it work even when the story is way out there. (Hellraiser)
So what do we know about this latest reboot?....
According to IMDB the premise has already been vaguely laid out for us:
"The now 18-year-old child of one of Myers' victims plays a central role along with the child of a cop whose long been obsessed with Myers' case, even putting it before his own daughter. Myers is now on death row and the two kids with their own personal vendettas against the killer sneak in to watch his execution. But when things go awry and Myers escapes, the pair, along with their friends, find themselves in the firing line." - Moviehole
I think the premise could work. As in, I don't hate it. Picking back up on the original story line at the execution of the killer is a way to just drop an audience back into that world and let it play out from there. I was a little more skeptical, but my best friend and film connoisseur planted some seeds of doubt and now I can see it being possible. As of right now it's these two girls in the line of fire as Myers escapes and, remember from that point on it's all speculation, more than likely returns home...again. Maybe this time his home isn't abandon. Instead there's a family from another state that just moved in and Myers doesn't like that at all... Maybe Busta Rhymes comes back somehow... I don't know, but I'm intrigued.
There was a great article on moviepilot about whether the film would take place in the 80's or 90's...which is a good question because we know this is years after the first night he came home. However, the premise tells us that it is AT LEAST 18 years after the first victims died at Myers hand. The original film was set in 1978, the year it was made. So if the child was 1, we know we are at least looking at at least 1996. If the kid was older, I can't imagine older than 10, then we could be looking into the late 80's.
That being said, they could really go anywhere with this one, even making it to the present day. It's going to be about, which victims child? And It's really going to depend on whether or not we are in the same story line of Laurie Strode with Curtis and avoiding the Zombie version of the film. Personally I think this is the best direction to go with the franchise as I think it is obvious that the best Halloween films there are the first 2 with the original obviously trumping them all.
MOVING ON FROM ZOMBIE:
This was going to happen regardless. I think we can all agree that Rob Zombie has a dark side and brings a distinctive touch to filmmaking. He reminds me a lot of Tobe Hooper in his grittiness. However, what he did with Myers missed the bar on multiple levels. There are many fans of the Zombie version. Some even argue that they are some of the better ones. When Rotten Tomatoes calls you out on your bullshit though, you kind of have to take your medicine.
In the first reboot he made one MAJOR misstep in my opinion that took everything we know about Michael and told us to go fuck ourselves with it. I am of course talking about the ending when he finally catches his next of kin and...carries her to a safe place and gently lays her down. BULLSHIT. Watch ANY Halloween film and show me where Myers shows mercy. The moment he got his hands on Strode he was going to hack her to shit. That is WHO he is. He doesn't feel pity or anger or fear...that's right, he's a terminator in human fucking form. And don't give me that whiny, political "where is your humanity?" crap I got in my last article about a violent movie. Michael Myers HAS NO HUMANITY. That's why he's more fucking terrifying than Jason or Freddy. Myers could really happen.
In H2, Zombie's follow up, he managed to stray even further from the path. We got a homeless Michael who dawned a hood over a tattered mask. His mother kept showing up to tell him what to and there were visions of a white horse. We got a very different person in this character than we did before. Too confused. Too thought out. That's just not Myers. He's a naturally, calculated killer who doesn't have feelings. And if he does, he never shows them.
The ending is horrible no matter which one you watch. I've seen 3 different endings to that film and all of them were wastes of time. Whether it's Laurie becoming Michael after stabbing him to death, Laurie being shot to death by the police after they gun down Michael (extended Directors Cut), or the mash up ending where they take both and leave us with a creepy smile across Laurie's face, it just doesn't do the story justice and painted Zombie into a corner where a third film had no legs to stand on. If you watch the alternate ending where Myers takes off his mask and then yells "DIE" before being gunned down by the police, you might just lose respect for Zombie all together. Myers doesn't talk...ever. Moving on...
THE NEW DIRECTOR:
Marcus Dunstan is set to direct the reboot which is beginning filming next month. If you don't know much about him, that's okay. He hasn't really done a great deal yet, but if this all goes right, he might get there. Dunstan was discovered via Project Greenlight in 2005. I short lived TV series where celebrities Matt Damon and Ben Affleck along with several other producers, tore amateurs apart before giving one select script the green-light to be made. It was about teaching Hollywood to the people who were going to be the next big thing...supposedly. (As of 2014 Greenlight is back in action)
Dunstan was part of a writing duo. Acting as co-writer and head Director, he has went on to have a pretty steady career in horror, all of them being episodic. Point being, these guys have proven that they can write horror and bring it back again...and again. That is the formula for the Halloween series. For the Friday the 13th and Nightmare series. Is there possibly a way to bring back beating a dead horse in a respectable way? For that I look at their writing...
Working along with his co-writer, Patrick Melton, their script FEAST, was produced into a film and spawned two sequels. They then went on to write Saw IV, V, and VI as well as another small horror film The Collector, which also spawned a sequel. Collector was Dunstan's transition into directing a bigger project with backing. Though the movies have low ratings, and aren't the best example of modern day horror done well, we must remember that he was just getting his feet wet. His total control over the project couldn't have been that encompassing as producers told a moderately unknown director what they wanted. (Look at what happened to poor David Finch on Alien 3)
Even still, all those films have their moments of good horror. Imagery that stick with you and causes your hair to stand up just a little bit. With the Saw films they proved they can step into a franchise and write it out, 3 films consistently, and keep the fans happy. I personally hate everything made after the original Saw and haven't watched past the 3rd film...but I hear from fans that they love them all.
Another thing they show is versatility. Feast is not like The Collector. (However the collector is reminiscent of Saw) With Feast you get a classic, campy horror film that reminds you why you loved things like Critters and Swamp Thing. The Collector showed you that they love violent imagery. Not necessarily violence, but the imagery of violence and what you come up with in your own head.
None of this means that I am sold on the duo to take over. I am merely looking form the sunlight in the rain. As any good film maker/critic knows, it all starts with a good script. That is the backbone. You can make a bad script good, but you can make a great script fantastic. That's where I stand as of right now on this.
They start filming in July and have apparently had the script written for months. If they rush the project then I feel we are doomed to fail again. The thing I try to remember is that in the wake of sequels like T5 and Jurassic World and the reboots films like Poltergeist and Big Trouble in the land of horror there is a calm among the storm. There are many franchises where the fans cry out: "Leave it alone!" "Stay away from my childhood!" "Stop it Michael Bay. Just stop it." But when it comes to horror, and franchises that were meant to spread decades, the fans seem to instead come back to theatre again and again, sit in their seats, be terrified over and over even though they know what's going to happen, and then scream, "We want more!"