It’s almost Halloween and that means we are in for at least one channel replaying a Halloween movie. If we’re lucky, it’ll be the John Carpenter version, not the Rob Zombie one. That sad thing is that the the fans destroyed what could have been a good horror franchise: They wanted Michael Myers back despite his becoming a trite bogeyman like Jason Vorhees of Friday the 13th and Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street in numerous sequels.
See, originally Carpenter planned to only feature Myers in Halloween 1 and 2 and then being a whole series of Halloweens that would feature a different story, starting with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, but the movie’s poor performance and reviews made them decide to bring back Myers, which I thought was a poor idea.
When Halloween first came out, it was one of the first of its kind, with the silent, unstoppable Myers with that eerie white William Shatner mask (seriously, wouldn’t you at least think “KHANNNNNN!” right before Myers killed you?) and the eerie soundtrack. When it originally ended (H20) and then was rebooted again by Zombie, it had become a laughingstock. People tended to laugh and hoot at scenes that were supposed to be scary and the fact that nothing short of a nuclear bomb could kill Myers made it farcical. It’s a good thing that the Halloween/Friday the 13th crossover never happened, since it would still be going on after 332,402 hours of them taking whacks at each other.
Halloween could have been great if allowed to expand on its original idea after the third movie, but surrendering to the tired slasher trope, no matter what window dressing was applied to the outside, was just lazy. The producers could have pushed past the cookie-cutter mold, but that didn’t happen here. Anytime a franchise, no matter how cliche, is sensed as possibly being created, they will run that idea into the ground before the public finally throws up their hands and say, “Enough!” Horror movies are especially guilty of that. I’m looking at you, Saw.
So, when I see the original Carpenter classic, I’ll kick back, have a beer and wonder what could have been.