Saturday, January 14, 2012

What Horror Needs: HALLOWEEN III

I don't know why, but I've never liked Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN attempts. While I enjoyed THE DEVIL'S REJECTS - one of the finest horror outings of the decade - and would absolutely love to see his faux trailer WEREWOLF WOMEN OF THE SS made into a feature film, it's hard to wrap my head around his two Michael Myers movies. HALLOWEEN II (2009) was a vomit-inducing mess from start to finish, and the best news to come from it was Zombie's permanent departure from Haddonfield.

Rumors about the plot of the next Halloween constantly circulate the web. Apparently Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer, the dynamic director/writer duo behind the MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D remake, will be bringing the franchise out of the grave with the 3D treatment. But isn't the whole "3D" gimmick played out? Its not like last summer's 3D horrors FINAL DESTINATION 5 or FRIGHT NIGHT really made a huge dent in the summer box office, and Wes Craven's 3D-outing MY SOULD TO TAKE has been slapped with a label from fans calling it the director's worst. And as for Lussier and Farmer, I can't say I'm overly excited (their most recent collaboration, DRIVE ANGRY 3D, didn't impress).

What the series need is to go back to its roots - basically listen to the original 1978 classic and learn from its master. Kind of like how THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3D is forgetting the sequels and remakes and "rebooting" the splatter saga as a direct sequel to the original film (even though its now almost 40 years later). Yes, the Halloween franchise needs to follow the same suite - understand what made the first one scary... a ruthless, mindless psychopathic killer stalking innocently unaware babysitters in a sleepy American town. Basically the story of the Boogeyman.


Fans toss around other ideas for the next movie, as well:
  • A sequel to Zombie's two Halloween movies, continuing with Laurie Strode and Michael Myers in the world created by Zombie. 
  • A direct sequel to HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS that follows Stephen - the child of Jamie Lloyd who has grown into a teenager and wants to find out his origins. 
  • A different direct sequel to HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION focusing on Michael continuing his terror against Haddonfield. 
  • Or, simply making another remake of the first movie. 

While some of those ideas are interesting (yes, I would like to know what happened to Stephen), they just aren't marketable and Dimension Films is not going to risk putting money down on the continuing stories of the less successful films in the series. There also isn't a need for another remake, obviously. And please - PLEASE! - don't make a sequel to Zombie's awful films - we've seen enough of that to last a lifetime.

The new movie can take place in the present day (35 years later), picking up after where the first film ended - Dr. Loomis saved Laurie Strode from "the Shape" by shooting him "SIX TIMES!"... but Michael disappeared and has never been found! The legend of Michael Myers and that Halloween still haunts Haddonfield, Illinois. The murders have become the town's main attraction, and over the years newer generations have become desensitized to the bloodbath and have sort of exploited it. Much like how the town of Texarkana, TX has an annual viewing of THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN in honor of the Phantom Killings that have made their town notorious. Likewise, the citizens of Haddonfield have grown used to the legend of Michael Myers and in a strange way, proud of it.

Then... on Halloween night... the murders begin anew. Has Michael Myers returned after all this time? Is a copycat killer stalking the streets of Haddonfield, hoping to ride off the notoriety of the original crimes? Or, quite possibly, could it be both?

There needs to be a Dr. Loomis-eque character, too. Donald Pleasance is a legend with Halloween fans, and his character has become a staple to the franchise. Could his niece or nephew continue in his footsteps? Much like their uncle, this new protagonist is obsessed with Michael Myers. It's only logical, as Myers is a pretty big part of the Loomis family history...

Finally, we need... the fresh blood! The young teens who are unaware of both Michael's presence and the horror movie clichés. These character need to be an updated version of the original teens - a different, distinguishable set of characters that mirror the disco-aged Laurie and her gang, but now they're obsessed with iPods, iPhones, YouTube, Facebook, and "REVENGE".

HALLOWEEN III still needs originality - the stalking scenes, some creative kills (although none ridiculous or overly bloody like in Zombie's movies or the recent FRIDAY THE 13TH reboot), and of course the classic theme song. There are staples to the saga that must not go unnoticed - Michael Myers, innocent victims, and a dedicated doctor teetering on the edge of sanity - but the series needs to be rebooted without focusing on the sister-storyline. Start fresh... but keep things familiar. 

So I've given my opinion on the future of the Halloween series... what are your feelings?

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