TRAILER REACTION: “Halloween” (2018)

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It’s been a big week for trailers but few have been more anticipated than this one. The famed movie slasher Michael Myers is back on the big screen this October and we finally have our first look at the new film that will be the final one to pit him against Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode. There’s a lot of fanfare and confirmation that this will be the true sequel to the very first legendary slasher film along with a pretty brutal confirmation of Myers’ capabilities in the movie. There’s a lot to talk about so let’s break down what this teaser has to offer. You can view the official trailer for “Halloween (2018)” at the end of this write-up. Let me know what you think about the trailer or if I missed anything of interest in the comments below.

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First off we know a few things about this film without even watching the trailer. It will take place 40 years after the very first movie and will ignore all prior sequels and reboots to act as a true sequel to the first film only. The trailer starts in what appears to be a maximum security insane asylum where a documentary crew has arrived to discuss Michael Myers, a patient at the facility. Voice overs from the male documentary filmmaker immediately set the stage for this film’s place in the series, mentioning only three murders and the events of Halloween in 1978. This ignores the dates and deaths of the other sequels in a pretty blunt statement to viewers that this movie will attempt to be the one true canon sequel to the original classic. We also get a neat Easter egg photo (shown above) of Dr. Loomis from the first movie, played by Donald Pleasence who has appeared in every “Halloween” film except for the third one. Since Pleasance has passed away it’s a nice tribute to him to keep his record going. It’s also implied that Myers was taken into custody that same night after Dr. Loomis shot him which is a retcon of sorts from the original movie as it was implied that Myers had escaped

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As the voice over progresses we see a checkerboard courtyard in the asylum where patients are allowed fresh air and, appropriately enough, we never get a good look at adult Michael. All we see of him is a far off angle with his back to the interviewers but as one of the documentarians prepares to pull out something he says Michael would “like to see” several of Myers’ fellow inmates react as if they seem to know the significance of the item. We soon see what the man is pulling out of his bag, Myers’ original mask. This is likely an attempt to get a rise out of the killer and form a connection with him to see how he will react. Considering that he has been in prison for 40 years this mask alone could be the catalyst for what’s to come if it sparks rage and familiarity within him.

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The trailer cuts to what we can presume to be Haddonfield, Illinois, the setting of the first film. It’s Halloween, clearly, and we discover that Laurie Strode has settled down and had a family. We see her granddaughter Allyson, played by Andi Matichak and shown in the far right of the above snapshot, who explains to some friends that Halloween tends to be a rough time for her family. This is also used as yet another retcon opportunity as the idea of Myers and Strode being brother and sister, which was introduced in “Halloween II”, is pitched as nothing more than a false assumption made by the public. While Allyson seems to be more nonchalant about the situation we soon see that her grandmother has not let go of the events that changed her life.

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Interspersed with Allyson’s voice over we see an unknown person entering a hidden room underneath an island in a kitchen. There’s not a lot of context here but considering that it sets up shots of Laurie Strode we can assume this is a way of showing audiences that she has prepared for danger. We also see a scar on that persons arm consistent with the wound Strode received from Myers himself in the first movie, one of many more nods to the original film spread throughout the trailer. We soon get that confirmation that this is Strode when she is heard saying how she has hoped for Myers to escape just so she can kill him. And she seems to be preparing for just that moment as we see her practicing her skills with a rifle.

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It’s then revealed that during a prisoner transport the bus carrying the inmates crashed (a pretty cliché situation if I do say so myself) and that Myers escaped in the ensuing chaos. The next moments in the trailer are satisfyingly disturbing as we see the female documentarian in a bathroom at a gas station when another person walks in. Her male counterpart goes into the store of the station and finds a body on the floor that appears to have been stripped of its cloths. Seeing at the station is also probably a repair shop this is likely where Myers gets an updated version of his famous one-piece suit. What happens next is pure horror gold. The man who entered the bathroom, who we all know is Myers, reaches over the door and drops TEETH on the floor. TEETH!!! Bloody human teeth! Whose teeth these are we don’t know as Myers is not shown killing the male documentarian yet and the could belong to the man he killed for his uniform, but it strikes a chord with the woman all the same especially when Myers starts banging on her door. She tries to escape, and it appears Myers get the upper hand reminding us that he is still as ruthless, strong and demented as ever. We don’t see if he kills the woman or how which is appropriate because it leaves her fate up to our imagination until the action movie premiers. So why was he attacking the woman?

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Well to get his mask back of course as we see him pull the mask from a bag, probably the same one the male filmmaker had, and put it on for the first time in 40 years giving us a cool money shot of him finally ready to return to his killing ways. Then we get the classic piano overture that we’ve all come to know and love with shots of Myers in Haddonfield and Strode explaining how she is aware that Myers has waited for this opportunity as long as she has. She is shown with her family, including her granddaughter and her daughter Karen played by Judy Greer, explaining how she knows Myers is targeting her specifically. We see Myers ready to have his twisted fun with a fancy spin of a knife in his hand and Strode yelling at kids to go home, which could be her warning to the young ones about the killer on the loose. She then spots Myers in a window and takes her first shot at the killer showing accuracy but clearly missing. her willingness to fight back, and in a public place, with fearlessness does feel appropriate for 40 years of preparation mixed with traumatic memories. She’s older, she’s wiser, and she too has waited all this time to get her payback.

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As with most trailers the final thirty seconds are filled with jump shots and character lines all meant to get us pumped up for the movie. Strode refers to Myers as “the boogeyman” in a warning that he is to be taken seriously to the male documentarian. Considering we don’t know this man’s fate at the gas station this could be part of his documentary interview with Strode earlier in the movie. We also see some cool callbacks to the original movie including the above shot of what we can assume to be Myers in a traditional sheet ghost costume, a trick he used in the 1978 film. The trailer closes with a babysitter being asked by her ward to close the closet, which she finds difficult. She eventually opens it for one more whammy scare to find Myers about to pounce, yet another reference to the original movie and the killer’s propensity to target babysitters during his rampage.

So, what did we learn from this first look at the “Halloween” sequel/reboot? Well for me it looks pretty cool. The trailer offers a bit of fan service and maybe tries a bit too hard to drive home the fact that this new film will be a direct sequel to the original while ignoring all previous sequels and reboots in the process. Myers looks just as intimidating and spooky as he did back in the 70s with a more aged and slightly updated appearance and the trailer promises an epic showdown between Myers and Strode that fans have wanted for years. It also leaves enough to the imagination while giving us a cool idea of how ruthless Myers is going to be. I mean he pulled out a person’s teeth…who does that except for dentists of course. The tone also looks promising as does the dark color scheme that could give “Halloween” a bit of a nostalgic vibe. Director David Gordon Green, who has dabbled in different genres like comedy with “Pineapple Express” and dramas with “Stronger” with great results, seems to have an understanding of the material. It’s his first true horror film so it will be interesting to see if he can manage it properly. If it lives up to the potential shown in the trailer “Halloween” might just be that super satisfying conclusion to the Myers/Strode story fans of this long-running and storied franchise have waited too long to experience. We’ll have to wait until October 19, just before Halloween, to find out.

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