The movie world today has become a quagmire of long strings of sequels, spin-offs, and remakes that can be kind of difficult to navigate, but horror movies have always been this way. Production companies have tried to squeeze every drop they can from a horror series, going all the way back to titles like Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943) and Son of Dracula (1943). Tons of sequels, reboots, and recasting comes standard with horror fandom. The slasher movies of the 1980s took the sequel game to a new level with series like Friday the 13th, which eventually racked up 12 films since its original 1980 incarnation—A Nightmare on Elm Street currently sits at nine movies, after the poorly received remake in 2010. But it’s Michael Meyers making a comeback this year, and going for Jason Vorhees’ film record. Danny McBride and David Gordon Green are making the first Halloween movie in almost a decade, and we all got our first look at it today. From the trailer above, we see that Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the only survivor of Michael Myer’s murder spree on Halloween night in 1978, has been waiting for the day that Michael would escape and return to wreak more havoc—and she’s been training with a lever-action rifle that could be a Winchester or a beat-up Marlin against a little gathering of white mannequins. One thing’s for sure, it’s not a Henry, as we do see a loading gate on the right side of the receiver. Plus, kudos to Laurie for wearing hearing protection while practicing.
We also briefly see Laurie using a silver revolver. This could be a nod to Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) the psychologist who pursued Michael in the original and shot him at the end with a Smith & Wesson Model 15 in .38 Special, though his was blued and not stainless steel.
In a brief flash, we also see a woman’s hand, which is wearing the same watch we see on Laurie in other shots, working the pump of what looks like a Mossberg 500 or 590 shotgun, but that’s just a wild guess. So maybe Laurie gets her hands on a cop’s shotgun at some point?
We’ll have to wait until October 16 to find out.
We don’t see much else as far as firearms go, but it certainly does look like Michael is back in a movie that has the flavor and tone more similar to the original.
The Halloween Series Background
There were 10 Halloween movies made between 1978 and 2009, the first of which is regarded as a classic, the rest pretty much fodder for movie marathons as the last day of October approaches and for avid horror fans to argue about.
In 2007, shock rocker turned horror movie maker, Rob Zombie gave us his take on the Michael Meyers premise with his remake/reboot of Halloween. The result was a movie in typical Zombie style, with over-the-top and sometimes bizarre dialogue, gratuitous and bloody violence, and plain strange choices. It wasn’t bad as far as remakes go, and was fairly well received, though fans of the original series had some legitimate gripes about some of Zombie’s changes.
Tyler Mane, a monstrous former pro-wrestler, was cast to portray the mute Myers, making the character into something quite a bit different from the original could-be-anyone-behind-that-mask portrayal. This killer was a giant who couldn’t really blend in anywhere if he had to, but his size and stature did give the violence a more brutal edge than in previous films. It did well enough to garner one sequel, but that fell flat and ol’ Michael hasn’t been heard from in almost a decade.
This new film is actually trying something that hasn’t been done yet…retconning the entire film series, save for the original.
Halloween (2018) is a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) and ignores all the other films in the franchise, including Carpenter’s Halloween 2 (1981) . Jaimie Lee Curtis is returning in the new film to play the character that launched her acting career 40 years ago, Laurie Strode.
Part of the Halloween lore is that Michael is actually Laurie’s brother. Laurie was a baby when Michael went on his first killing spree as a child, and was spared. With her family devastated, she was adopted and grew up never knowing where she came from. This story was retold in the Zombie reboot, but none of it was in the original movie. The brother-sister angle wasn’t presented until the first sequel. Dialogue from the trailer even makes it very clear that the Laurie / Michael familial connection is no longer a thing.
To get into this new Halloween, audiences will have to also ignore the various other times Curtis has reprised the role of Laurie, including the original Halloween 2, Halloween: 20 Years Later (1998), and Halloween: Resurrection (2002).
Actor and producer Danny McBride let it slip during promotions for Alien: Covenant (2017) that he was working on a new Halloween movie that wouldn’t be a remake or a reboot, and it is actually happening, for better or worse. It will be interesting to see what someone like McBride, who is known for his raunchy comedy and not so much for scare fare, does with the horror icon.