Universal Pictures’ pseudo-reboot-sequel of Halloween is due out on October 19th, 2018, later this year. The film received a more-than-competent trailer that sets up a showdown that’s been 40 years in the making.
Essentially it’s the actual sequel to the events that transpired (presumably?) after Halloween II (although the description seems to strictly stick to the events of the first Halloween). Michael Myers has spent 40 years locked up in a ward and some doctors come to visit him to find out what transpired on the night where he killed several teenagers and terrorized Jamie Lee Curtis’ character, Laurie Strode, back in 1978.
After being traumatized by the event, Jamie Lee Curtis’ has spent a number of years preparing for Michael’s release, both paranoid and determined to kill him when he finally does. Her character is essentially a Halloween version of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor from Terminator 2.
The trailer has a slow build to it, putting the majority of its themes and weight around Michael as an undying, unstoppable force that eventually sees him escaping from custody and making a terrifying beeline for Laurie.
The film is actually composed quite well, based on what’s presented in the trailer. We never really get to see Michael all that much, and I suspect with John Carpenter working as executive producer he kept a tight leash on directors Danny McBride and David Gordon Green to ensure that they followed the age-old horror movie tactic of “less is more”.
A couple of character deaths are spoiled in the trailer, but there’s also a solid building-burn towards a showdown between Laurie and Michael.
Instead of portraying Laurie as a simple, hardened, tough-as-nails survivor, she’s actually portrayed as an unhinged, off-kilter survivor with a fetish for guns and a thirst for Michael’s death.
Not making her entirely sane seems like a good move because it adds a much needed layer of tension to the film – you’re not always sure that she’s the hero you think she is, or the hero you want her to be.
There is, of course, that nagging possibility that the filmmakers might still turn this into super-Mary Sue-can-do-no-harm, but the trailer does seem to go out of its way to portray Laurie as a crazy gun lady, which is a refreshing and rarely used trope.
There’s also some pretty good cinematography going on. Michael putting on his mask with his face just out of view while the camera watches him from behind a shadowy obstruction, or the follow-shot of Michael casually strolling down the sidewalk while positioning the knife for the kill, are brilliant.
Also… that closet scene is fantastic.
I don’t know if the full movie will be anywhere near as compelling as the trailer, but props to Universal Pictures’ marketing team for putting together a trailer for a horror flick that actually looks like it’s worth watching, even though it’s like a mish-mash of a reboot chopped up in a sequel stew that’s kind of like several decades late to the dinner party.