ByDoug Brekan, writer at Creators.co
Doug Brekan

Everytime a new Halloween is in the works, I always am baffled at how much time and energy fans and producers alike put into mulling over plot twists and story logistics, and no time discussing what I feel should be the real focus of a Halloween outing: finding the recipe to bring back the style, mood, and eeriness of the original, or how to make a film that perhaps even rivals Carpenter's gem. Upon every new franchise entry, the people behind the film always assure us naive fans how close to the original the film is going to be, how they are bringing back such and such character, how there's going to be a new twist, or how the director is the same guy who did XYZ movie. Frankly, it's getting tiresome. I mean hey, we all know studios essentially want to make huge profits, and that is perfectly legit. But my main question is: why is aspring to create a faithful, respectable, artistically realized, and moreover, genuinely SUSPENSEFUL Halloween film obviously seen as a threat, a risk, or antithetical to box office potential? The truth of the matter is that contemporary audiences actually crave the qualities and styles of the great horror films of yore. Even my 16 year old nephew has commented that films such as the original Halloween, Amityville Horror, or The Changeling, are much "scarier" than modern fare. I always explain to him that this is because back then thrillers were all about the careful craftsmanship behind them, which placed great emphasis on the music, atmosphere, effective acting, (remember Carol Cane's performance in When a Stranger Calls?) and naturalism. So I don't understand why studio execs, especially in the era of micro-budget horror, can't seem to realize that it actually costs less to create films with these retro-qualities-again, knowing that audiences will respond favorably. Do they really feel that if they make Michael Myers 7 ft tall, the murders more graphic, substituting effectively creepy music with a "safer, more "modern" score that is more suitable for a spy thriller, and throw in a couple lazy meta-in jokes, that modern audiences, as well as poor faithful fans born before 1980 such as this old fart, will be grateful? Personally, I feel cheated and insulted when I dish out my hard-earned money after months of waiting, anticipating, and literally praying that the next installment will get it right, only to feel lied to and manipulated by the producers, who always promise to fans what they know we want to hear. Alas, with the exception of Halloween 4, which at least tried to pay homage to Carpenter's original, the end product predictably lacks the aforementioned elements that make the original such an enduring, influential piece of cinema. Come on people, when will you learn from Grandpa that Less-is-more?

Everytime a new Halloween is in the works, I always am baffled at how much time and energy fans and producers alike put into mulling over plot twists and story logistics, and no time discussing what I feel should be the real focus of a Halloween outing: finding the recipe to bring back the style, mood, and eeriness of the original, or how to make a film that perhaps even rivals Carpenter's gem. Upon every new franchise entry, the people behind the film always assure us naive fans how close to the original the film is going to be, how they are bringing back such and such character, how there's going to be a new twist, or how the director is the same guy who did XYZ movie. Frankly, it's getting tiresome. I mean hey, we all know studios essentially want to make huge profits, and that is perfectly legit. But my main question is: why is aspring to create a faithful, respectable, artistically realized, and moreover, genuinely SUSPENSEFUL Halloween film obviously seen as a threat, a risk, or antithetical to box office potential? The truth of the matter is that contemporary audiences actually crave the qualities and styles of the great horror films of yore. Even my 16 year old nephew has commented that films such as the original Halloween, Amityville Horror, or The Changeling, are much "scarier" than modern fare. I always explain to him that this is because back then thrillers were all about the careful craftsmanship behind them, which placed great emphasis on the music, atmosphere, effective acting, (remember Carol Cane's performance in When a Stranger Calls?) and naturalism. So I don't understand why studio execs, especially in the era of micro-budget horror, can't seem to realize that it actually costs less to create films with these retro-qualities-again, knowing that audiences will respond favorably. Do they really feel that if they make Michael Myers 7 ft tall, the murders more graphic, substituting effectively creepy music with a "safer, more "modern" score that is more suitable for a spy thriller, and throw in a couple lazy meta-in jokes, that modern audiences, as well as poor faithful fans born before 1980 such as this old fart, will be grateful? Personally, I feel cheated and insulted when I dish out my hard-earned money after months of waiting, anticipating, and literally praying that the next installment will get it right, only to feel lied to and manipulated by the producers, who always promise to fans what they know we want to hear. Alas, with the exception of Halloween 4, which at least tried to pay homage to Carpenter's original, the end product predictably lacks the aforementioned elements that make the original such an enduring, influential piece of cinema. Come on people, when will you learn from Grandpa that Less-is-more?

Everytime a new Halloween is in the works, I always am baffled at how much time and energy fans and producers alike put into mulling over plot twists and story logistics, and no time discussing what I feel should be the real focus of a Halloween outing: finding the recipe to bring back the style, mood, and eeriness of the original, or how to make a film that perhaps even rivals Carpenter's gem. Upon every new franchise entry, the people behind the film always assure us naive fans how close to the original the film is going to be, how they are bringing back such and such character, how there's going to be a new twist, or how the director is the same guy who did XYZ movie. Frankly, it's getting tiresome. I mean hey, we all know studios essentially want to make huge profits, and that is perfectly legit. But my main question is: why is aspring to create a faithful, respectable, artistically realized, and moreover, genuinely SUSPENSEFUL Halloween film obviously seen as a threat, a risk, or antithetical to box office potential? The truth of the matter is that contemporary audiences actually crave the qualities and styles of the great horror films of yore. Even my 16 year old nephew has commented that films such as the original Halloween, Amityville Horror, or The Changeling, are much "scarier" than modern fare. I always explain to him that this is because back then thrillers were all about the careful craftsmanship behind them, which placed great emphasis on the music, atmosphere, effective acting, (remember Carol Cane's performance in When a Stranger Calls?) and naturalism. So I don't understand why studio execs, especially in the era of micro-budget horror, can't seem to realize that it actually costs less to create films with these retro-qualities-again, knowing that audiences will respond favorably. Do they really feel that if they make Michael Myers 7 ft tall, the murders more graphic, substituting effectively creepy music with a "safer, more "modern" score that is more suitable for a spy thriller, and throw in a couple lazy meta-in jokes, that modern audiences, as well as poor faithful fans born before 1980 such as this old fart, will be grateful? Personally, I feel cheated and insulted when I dish out my hard-earned money after months of waiting, anticipating, and literally praying that the next installment will get it right, only to feel lied to and manipulated by the producers, who always promise to fans what they know we want to hear. Alas, with the exception of Halloween 4, which at least tried to pay homage to Carpenter's original, the end product predictably lacks the aforementioned elements that make the original such an enduring, influential piece of cinema. Come on people, when will you learn from Grandpa that Less-is-more?
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