Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

 

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Last October Blumhouse Productions Halloween exceeded expectations at the box office with a tremendous opening and went on to make some serious bank. A sequel was a no brainer and so we’re getting one.

According to sources close to the film (major props to Collider for getting the scoop on this too) the new film is set to start shooting this fall and will release Halloween 2020.

The survivors from last years movie are expected to return but according to Collider no deals with the talent have been set yet. That kind of stuff is pretty normal though and I’d wager the core cast will be back. More so when you consider everyone looked to have a great time making the last movie and all involved seem to be on really good terms. I just can’t see anyone throwing a wrench into contract stuff.

Last night Jason Blum, he who is the grand master of Blumhouse, downplayed the news in a playful tweet. Whether that’s down to the fact the news broke earlier then he would have liked or if there’s more to it we’ll have to wait and see but Collider, the whole team over there, are usually pretty on point with their inside info. So big thanks to them for breaking the story.

My take on this news is guarded excitement. SPOILERS from now on until the end of this paragraph. Last years Halloween felt like a tight cap to the series. The whole point of the retcon was to bring back Curtis as Laurie Strode in order to have her front and centre once more. If they plan on bringing her back yet again history would suggest she probably won’ make it until the end of the film. Which leads me to ask what the point was of changing everything around and bringing her back? Then again…I guess it will all come down to her arc and how it is executed. I don’t want to see her go down like in Resurrection know what I mean? Surely nobody wants that?

David Gordon Green and Danny McBride are said to be back in directing and writing duties once again. That’s a great boost in confidence in my eyes because Green nor McBride need this sequel so the fact both are seemingly excited to be back and have come up with the story bodes well.

The untitled Halloween movie should hit cinema screens October next year.

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After the third film in the series took a creative detour the producers behind Halloween decided to bring back The Shape aka Michael Myers and return the franchise back to its slasher roots. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, bowing in 1988 to audiences, was a hit. A big reason for that was the producers of the film were able to get Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael’s nemesis and former doctor, to return to hunt down the serial killer once more. Choosing not to return were John Carpenter, Debra Hill and original final girl of the first two movies Jamie Lee Curtis.

First things first. It’s a shame neither Carpenter nor Hill, the original creatives behind Halloween, didn’t come back. They could have too. At one point during the pre-production stages of Halloween 4 Carpenter delivered a treatment, or at least worked on one, to the producers of the film. Creatively neither Carpenter nor the producers could come to an agreement on the direction of Halloween 4 and the later opted to go with a new writer and the film followed a more standard 80’s slasher route. I would love to see Carpenter’s original treatment. It’s not out there. I’ve looked. Rumours state it took a more supernatural approach to The Shape. Wouldn’t that have been somthing?

The Return of Michael Myers picks up ten years after the events of Halloween II. During that time we learn Laurie Strode has passed away but before she did she had a daughter! Jamie, her kid, is now living with a foster family and so the movie can exist she is now the target of Michael Myers. There’s really not much going on in the overall plot. Since the second film in the franchise it’s had this whole “He keeps going after his relatives angle” as the driving force behind the sequels. Like Myers main goal was to wipe out his bloodline and whoever happens to get in the way of him doing that. Thankfully this sequel works, for the most part, due to some decent characters, the return of Loomis and a strong final act.

Danielle Harris who plays Jamie Lloyd and Ellie Cornell who plays her foster sister Rachel make for two strong leads. Remember there was no Laurie Strode this time so it fell on these two new characters to connect with the fans and drive the franchise fowards. The two actors are really good and you know personally speaking I would have followed those two through several sequels. Early in the film it’s set up that Rachel is a bit resentful towards Jamie and the baggage she brings into her family but as the film goes along Rachel really steps up when she finally understands it is pretty much just herself standing in the way of Jamie and Michael Myers. It goes without saying that Donald Pleasence is brilliant and lets be honest he probably didn’t need to do this sequel but he came back and not only that he came back to work and it shows in his performence. Beau Starr as the town sheriff makes a good impact along with decent support from Sasha Jenson and Kathleen Kinmont.

Halloween 4 doesn’t have the same cinematic clout as Carpenter’s classic. There are times the film, the actual look of the film, shows its lower budget. In the way some of the scenes are shot it feels, well, it just doesn’t look as cool as the original. Not to say director Dwight H. Little doesn’t deliver a decent sequel. The opening titles are boss and really do a good job of setting the tone of the film. What’s weird about ’em is how they open the movie against these spooky looking farm land back drops and then none of those actual locations are used in the rest of the film. Missed opportunity if you ask me. The last act of Halloween 4, from the rooftop chase to the shocking final scene, is one of the best in the series. So by no means am I saying Halloween 4 is bad because I don’t think it is and I feel like Little brought in a decent sequel that could have been way worse. It defo falls on the stronger side of the sequel fence when it comes to this franchise.

I’ve seen some fans moaning about the new film and how it takes away the relavence of additions to the franchise like this one but that’s not the case. Halloween 4 isn’t going anywhere and hasn’t been erased or made pointless. To be quite blunt it’s own direct sequel did, arguably, more damgae than the 2018 movie. The same thing happend with Halloween: H20 and Halloween: Resurrection, the later undoing a lot of the good stuff H20 had accomplished. Sometimes this saga can be its own worse enemy. Halloween 4 is one of the good ones.

 

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This latest installment in the long running slasher series is one hell of a return to form. Halloween is a direct sequel to the original 1978 classic directed by genre legend John Carpenter. What it asks of the audience is to put aside any of the previous sequels in the series and instead focus on this fresh spin on where the story goes next. It doesn’t erase any of the other films. Instead it offers another path for the series iconic characters to travel. A bold move and one which I appreciated. I think it is fair to say that as a franchise Halloween had hit a creative brick wall of sorts after 1998’s H20.

Michael Myers, who stalked and almost murdered Laurie Strode back in the original movie, is locked away. His reign of bloodshed and terror has never been forgotten. He left a trial of bodies in his wake and in the process this being of pure death became the stuff of nightmares and legend. Laurie has never forgotten her fateful encounter with Myers. Although he failed to kill her that night his mark has stayed with her for forty years! As Halloween approaches and Michael is due to be transported fate will again see that these two will cross paths once again on Halloween night and this time scores will be settled. I ain’t going any further into the plot.

Director David Gordon Green has crafted a really good movie here. As a slasher movie this film delivers. The way the film is lit and shot is a credit to Carpenter’s original. Tension and scares are constructed in the best way. You never know when and where Michael will strike. When he does these encounters are scary and effective in their suddeness and how brutal they are. People die hard in this film and it leaves a lot less to the imagination when it comes to bloodshed. One tracking shot, you’ll know it when you see it, must have made Carpenter proud. Yet this is Green’s film and as such his respect for Carpenter’s film and the impact it had on cinema is clear in his take and the skill he and his crew employ to pull off what they have here.

What impresses the most is how the film is much more than that. Trauma is a big part of this film and by that I mean emotional scars and how that trauma can fester and spread. Forty years is a long time to live in fear and the film does not shy away from exploring how hard that must be. It’s funny too. It’s not all blood and grim-central. That’s down to the script and when you see it is written by Green and his frequent collaborator Danny McBride alongside Jeff Fradley it is no surprise. The humour is earned and feels natural. Do not go freaking out thinking the film is like a slasher version of their previous works because it is not. This is a dark film and these guys are on record as stating they’re actually big fans of the genre and it shows. For a start their script hooked Jamie Lee Curtis back. Curtis surely felt she had left Laurie Strode and to see her come back to this world and how awesome she is in this film, a movie she didn’t need to do, is just so cool for a longtime fan like myself. Her co-stars are just as good. The characters are well written and interesting and the plot goes into some unexpected areas, one or two I did not see coming and that is always a plus with these kind of films.

The biggest ” We did it!” of this film has to be the involvement of John Carpenter himself. He had, until now, been hands off when it came to Halloween. Seeing how some of the sequels turned out I don’t blame him. He lent a hand here and gave advice when it came to the structure of the plot but his biggest gift being he provided the score, along with his son Cody Carpenter and Daniel A. Davies, for the film. The music is excellent. Once those opening titles kicked off I was grinning and just loving the feel of this film and knowing it would not let me down and it didn’t.

I really like this one. Sure some fans felt annoyed at the fact it was doing its own thing but I see that as a creative breath of fresh air. Plus there’s plenty of nods to some of the later films in this one if you keep an eye out. Original Myers actor Nick Castle is here too. I’m finding it hard to think of some negatives. I guess if you don’t like slasher movies then you probably won’t like this? Or if you can’t let go of what was a really messy continuity up until recently? I am just happy this film is here and that I like it. This and The Predator were my two MUST SEE movies of the year and I feel real lucky they turned out as well as they did.

This is a celebration of Halloween and one which puts the series back on track. It is that strong a part of me thinks all involved should just quit while they are ahead in case a crap or rushed sequel follows this but hopefully that will not be the case. If the same care and skill goes into what comes next it can be a direct sequel to Season of the Witch for all I care. As of writing Halloween looks set to be breaking some franchise and box office records so I think a sequel is on the cards and hopefully the success of this movie will encourage studios to bring back some other iconic slasher movies. So far it is shaping up to be a hell of decade for horror!

 

 

 

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The release of the next Halloween movie is right around the corner. I thought it would be cool to take a look at the excellent Halloween: Nightdance comic mini-series from 2008. The four part series is written by Stefan Hutchinson and features excellent artwork from Tim Seeley. For fans of the franchise this is pretty much “Must read

Halloween: Nightdance takes place in the quiet town of Russellville. The main character is a teenage girl who is just managing to come to terms with a horrific event from her past. Like a Robert Altman or Paul Thomas Anderson film this entry into the Halloween series takes a multiple point of view approach to the world of The Shape and how those unlucky enough to come across his path end up. One take away from Nightdance is there are arguably worse fates than death! The way the plot follows different characters and how their tales and encounters with the iconic killer come together is one of the most well plotted and executed parts about the comic. The character work here is better than in most of the proper movie sequels. You give a shit about these characters. Running through the nightmare of this tale is a central mystery too and the outcome of that is chilling.

One thing I can not stress enough is this comic is for mature readers. Beyond the obvious stalk and slash scenes there are some shocking moments that you might not expect. So consider yourself warned if you do not like your horror too in your face. The kills are flat out nasty. Way worse than any in the films. That includes that hyper violent Rob Zombie ones.

Easily the two big stand outs here are the excellent writing, which I’ve gone into above and the artwork. This comic is both beautiful and haunting. These guys are clearly fans of the Halloween series but what comes across most is they get it. It’s easy to say “Yea we’re big fans of the Halloween movies” and then deliver some mess of a sequel but here it is clear Hutchinson and Seeley got what Carpenter set out to do with the original movie and built upon it with their series.

Back when this comic came out right away I thought it would make an excellent movie. We’ve seen the Halloween series, on film, go through its fair share of ups (Season of the Witch, The Return of Michael Myers, H20) and downs (Halloween 5, 6 and Resurrection)over the years. Nightdance felt like the perfect template for movie producers to get the horror franchise back on track. Maybe one day. The best part about Nightdance is how it fits effortlessly into the canon of the films. It has its own start, middle and end and no matter where the films go this could slot in with no issues along the line. Maybe one day.

Read this comic series if you are a Halloween fan. I think it is hard to track down these days but if you can find it and it’s not some crazy price check it out. You won’t be sorry.

 

 

Yo. So if I was YOU I wouldn’t watch this trailer. I think, hope I’m wrong, it gives away a lot of cool moments you would probably prefer to experience for yourself at the cinema watching the movie.

The film looks awesome. Big round of applause to all involved because this direct sequel (it’s ignoring everything past the original remember?) to the 1978 movie looks to have its DNA running through it. The look, the tone and the scares are all on point. I just wish this trailer wasn’t so keen to show audiences how awesome the film looks.

Halloween is out in theatres in time for Halloween.

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Brace yourselves slasher fans because Halloween has not only finished filming it’s now only six months away until the film is released this October. Jason Blum, he of Blumhouse films, has now seen the film TWICE! How lucky is he? I guess the fact his company is producing the movie kind of gives him the right. So it’s cool. Also, check out that poster? To the point right? Very spooky. I like it a lot.

Usually, this is just me throwing this out there, when ya get a poster a teaser trailer (!) isn’t that far away. Soon as one drops I’ll have it up and post my thoughts.

Laurie Strode returns for HALLOWEEN!

Posted: September 16, 2017 in Movies
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Slasher fans fasten your seatbelts because we are about to enter the CRAZY (in the best way) zone. Despite seemingly meeting her end at the end of a nasty fall in the Halloween sequel that shall not be named, Laurie Strode is set to face her masked and butcher knife wielding brother one more time. Last night the great Jamie Lee Curtis took to Twitter to announce (like a boss) her return to the Halloween franchise and her iconic role as Laurie Strode forty years after the original movie! So that’s twenty years on from Halloween: H20! Wow seems like only yesterday I was getting excited and heading out to see Halloween: H20. Time flies.

So what’s the deal? Well here is the important stuff, the film is being directed by David Gordon Green, also he’s writing it alongside Danny McBride. Comedy fans will know this duo as the blokes behind Pineapple Express and Vice Principals. Fear not though as both are on the record as being BIG horror fans so let’s see what these two have come up with right? As to that…what is the film about? That’s up in the air. Apparently McBride has said it will be ignoring all of the sequels post the original Halloween 2. So does that mean Halloween: H20 didn’t happen? Sadly it may. How about Halloween: Resurrection? Hopefully yes. Time will tell. Look as long as the film is good and tells a good self contained story I don’t care about franchise continuity. I’d rather take ’em as they come as great movies on their own terms rather than worrying about which plot points they need to pay debts to.

As for now I say let’s sit back and wait. See what happens. Get excited because more than likely this is probably going to be way better than anyone can imagine. Hopefully. Once more cast are announced I’ll be reporting on it.

Halloween (as it’s currently known) will hit screens Halloween 2018.

Halloween reboot dated for 2018!

Posted: February 10, 2017 in Movies
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What a week of highs and lows for horror fans! Rest assured this latest news is on the high end of the scale as John Carpenter has revealed the creative team who will bring about the return of The Shape and Halloween!!

I’ll let the main man himself fill you all in via his Facebook announcement-

“So you say you want a Revolution?
You want to shake things up and bring back Halloween and make it rock again?

Well so do I.

So here’s the announcement you’ve all been waiting for:

David Gordon Green and Danny McBride are joining the project to complete the creative team. David and Danny will write the script together and David will direct. I will continue in my executive producer role to consult and offer my advice and feedback as needed.

David and Danny both came to my office recently with Jason Blum and shared their vision for the new movie and…WOW. They get it. I think you’re gonna dig it. They blew me away.

I might even do the music. Maybe. It could be kind of cool.

And you’ll get to see it in theaters on October 19th, 2018.”

So there you have it! Exciting news no doubt. More so considering the out of left field choice of David Gordon Green and Danny McBride. Known mostly for their comedy efforts (Vice Principals, Pineapple Express) it would be a mistake I think to dismiss these guys. McBride will be flirting with horror this summer with Alien: Covenant and for all we know their pitch may be coming from die hard fans of Halloween. We will find out in 2018!

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Big franchise news this week. MASSIVE. As in JOHN CARPENTER is back with a new Halloween movie. Yep. That sort of BIG. But. Take a breath ’cause here is the actual gist of what’s going down…

So Carpenter is gonna come on and produce/ help develop / MAYBE score a new Halloween movie via Blumhouse. These are the guys who put out the Purge movies and other low cost high income genre hits. They seem to have a handle on how to make decent stuff for little money. Which is all you need for a Halloween movie right? So that’s all good. Blumhouse also have a rep of not messing around with their directors unlike some other production studios who seem to make genre movies via a board of clerks. Sigh.

Now according to Bloody Disgusting they have learned that both The Guest/You’re Next’s Adam Wingard AND Hush’s Mike Flanagan are possible contenders to write/direct the new Halloween which is aiming to be in cinemas in time for Halloween 2017.

I can’t say I’m a fan of either of those guys. It seems pointless anyway until a director is locked. I felt that You’re Next was okay and Hush was decent but really nothing ground breaking. That’s not the films fault either but the hype for Hush online before the film was out was unwarranted. I think both are talented and I’d feel confident in a Halloween coming from either but I wouldn’t be as excited as say if that Marcus Dunstan Halloween movie had have taken off.

Like always we know the deal by now right? So that’s the news. I’ll be posting any news on LOCKED directors, writers or cast. No rumours though and basically…don’t get excited until this is filming guys because we all know this could fall apart in a few weeks.

 

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A few years ago Devils Due Publishing put out some outstanding Halloween tie in comics. Over the next few months I’ll be taking a look at their output. If you are a fan of Halloween they are total must reads. First up is The First Death of Laurie Strode.

The story takes place after the events of the original Halloween II. Laurie is trying to come to terms with the revelations surrounding her connection to the Shape and why she was targeted. Factor in the grief and responsibility she carries in regards to those who lost their lives and how she is treated as a result, in fact how the entire town of Haddonfield now seems to have been shaken to it’s core by the slaughter that erupted on Halloween 1978 and you get a truly chilling tale.

What is so great about this comic(s) is the little details. A store owner disgusted at the sight of the Shape masks he’d been selling. Can’t stand to even have them around so he tosses them out. Or how Jimmy’s (a fellow survivor from Halloween II)  mum is SO passive aggressive towards Laurie. She blames her for Jimmy’s current state of life (he’d suffered a head injury and can’t sleep at all or work now as a result). Little moments like this elevate this from a simple slasher comic tie in. There are truly chilling flashbacks into the Shape’s past that only add to the scare factor and a standout call back to the original movie in issue 2 which I won’t spoil.

As a fan of the Halloween series it’s bitter sweet. This reads like an ideal Halloween 3 (or 4. I have no problem with the stand alone Halloween 3). Point being this could have been an incredible movie which filled in some gaps as to why and how Laurie took herself out of the Shape’s path during the later movies.

The writing and art are excellent. The creative team knows this universe and have nothing but respect for the tone the original movie captured so perfectly. If Halloween First Death of Laurie Strode and Nightdance (another brilliant series) had made the leap to film Halloween would be potentially THE franchise to beat. As it stands there’s a few too many disappointing entries into the film series as a whole.

Sadly the publisher either lost the rights or ran into financial issues (I’m not too sure on the what happened) as First Death of Laurie Strode was set to be a three issue event. Unfortunately only the first two issues saw the light of day which is a real shame. It ends on one hell of a cliffhanger but then even the two issues we did get are more than worth the loss. Highly recommended.