*SPOILER ALERT* This article may contain spoilers if you have yet to see all of the Halloween films.
Halloween has got to be one of the most rebooted franchises in film history. The release of Halloween (2018) will mark the fifth time the series has had a reboot in some capacity. I think because the original film is so simple there were a lot of possibilities where the direction of the series could go; unfortunately so far none hold a candle to the classic. Here I will talk about my thoughts on each film as well as the upcoming entry.
I like that it continues the events directly from the original on the same night However the style change is noticeable, the suspense has been replaced with more kills and blood. Laurie being Michael’s sister revelation is so sloppily handled, it’s revealed in a throwaway scene, and we never see Laurie find out. Laurie is mostly useless.
Halloween III Season Of The Witch
Reboot 1: This was a failed attempt to turn the franchise into an anthology series. It’s a standalone story that deserves to be looked independently from the series. The plot involves the mystery of an evil toy-making factory that uses magic with science. Mixing old Celtic tales with futuristic sci-fi technology, with nice looking Halloween masks, creative deaths, an unbelievably catchy Silver Shamrock jingle and an open ending.
Halloween IV: The Return Of Michael Myers
Halloween V: The Revenge Of Michael Myers
Halloween VI: The Curse Of Michael Myers
Reboot 2: To please the fans, the anthology direction was dropped, and this served as a direct sequel to Halloween II 10 years later.
Donald Pleasence returns as Loomis, but Jamie Lee Curtis didn’t, so Laurie is killed off and replaced with a daughter called Jamie. Having a child protagonist does help raise the stakes and Danielle Harris is very talented for a young actor. Despite not adding much to the franchise and the fact that Michael’s mask looks ridiculous, there are things to like in IV, Jamie and her foster sister Rachel are very likeable protagonists and it has an awesome ending.
However, V continues from that ending badly and the whole film is a complete mess – full of annoying characters and ridiculous setups for VI.
VI is even worse, continuity errors throughout, terrible editing and giving us a pathetic mythology behind Michael. This served as Donald Pleasence’s final film before his passing and it’s an insult to his legacy that several of his scenes got cut from the theatrical version.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Reboot 3: Jamie Lee Curtis wanted to come back, yet there was no way they could justify Laurie abandoning her daughter. So IV-VI are ignored and this is a sequel to Halloween II 20 years later.
Curtis is great portraying a woman terrified, hiding from her past, and is an alcoholic and a medication addict. Everything to do with Laurie are the best parts; she’s still very likeable and very sympathetic.
The biggest problem is that it’s not scary and tries to follow Scream’s self-aware trend, which doesn’t work as well and Michael’s mask keeps changing throughout.
Resurrection could technically be considered another reboot, since the main plot focuses on new characters facing Michael, but it’s still in continuity with H20 so I don’t count it. The film is just a joke and should never have been made. According to Curtis, this film was made as part of a condition so she could have the ending she wanted in H20 in exchange for a cameo in this film.
Rob Zombie’s Halloween & Halloween II
Reboot 4: This is a complete reboot with it’s own continuity.
Rob Zombie divided fans with his grindhouse directing style, which clashes with the original series with his constant use of profanity, unlikeable characters, gratuitous nudity and gore, as well as pretty much making it a character study on Michael Myers so there’s no mystery at all.
However, if you look past all that and just focus on it as a standalone series, it is a tragic story about family and mental illness. Even more so in the sequel when we follow Laurie battling her own trauma and surrendering to the madness she inherited.
With great actors, including some horror icons, some great cinematography and some good ideas, they are worth seeing if you can keep an open mind.
Reboot 5: Not yet seen, but has been confirmed to be a direct sequel to Halloween 40 years later. All events of the sequels including the brother-sister connection will be omitted. It looks like it will respect the simplicity of the original and I will attempt to review it as if I don’t know the others exist.
Written by Jack Parish