31 Days of Dreadtober(2017): Attack Of The Bloated Franchises
The following contains spoilers from the ten Halloween films. You have been warned.
With Halloween just around the corner, this month is the perfect time to revisit the iconic Halloween film franchise. Papa Smerph knabbed himself the 35th-anniversary edition blu-ray collection which includes all ten films and has been excitedly rewatching them with my cousin, The Super Saiyan Sexxx God, since then. I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of that particular series as I’ve always found Michael Myers to be the lamest of the big name slashers, but I enjoy the first two films in the franchise and H20 makes a decent endpoint for Laurie Strode’s story arc if you totally ignore every other movie.
A new Halloween has been confirmed for October 19, 2018, with actress Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode and potentially introducing Judy Greer as Karen Strode, Laurie’s daughter. The new film is supposed to be yet another end to the Laurie Strode timeline, taking place forty years after Halloween II and ignores every other movie that came after.
Here’s a brief recap of the Halloween franchise’s “continuity” for those who don’t remember. Halloween and Halloween II are Laurie Strode’s and Michael Myers’ stories with both movies occurring on the same night. Since we saw the slasher get blown up at the end of the second film, the third film, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, was meant to turn Halloween into an anthology series and does not include Michael Myers or Laurie Strode.
Fans rebelled against the idea of an anthology, so naturally Hollywood felt it necessary to bring back Michael Myers for Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers in which the masked killer attempts to kill his niece. Why did he want to kill his niece? Because Jamie Lee Curtis didn’t want to keep making Halloween movies. In Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, Michael Myers stalks a family he finds living in his childhood home.
The seventh movie in the franchise, Halloween: H20, brought Jamie Lee Curtis back for a final showdown against her brother and ended with her decapitating Michael. However, we definitely needed an 8th installment, so Hollywood blessed us with Halloween: Ressurection. This movie reveals that Michael Myer’s switched places with a paramedic before Laurie kidnapped him and killed him. Michael finds his sister in a sanitarium and kills her in the first ten minutes of the movie since Jamie Lee Curtis got sick of being asked to do Halloween movies. The rest of the movie is not that important. Then we have Rob Zombie’s two reboot movies… We don’t need to speak about those.
If that continuity seems a bit too complicated, you are not alone in this. Look, I’m not here to crap on the franchise, nor do I resent you if you enjoy any of these movies. I’m actually looking forward to this new movie since John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis seem excited about it, although this seems like a retread of the plot for H20.
I just find myself wondering at what point do we say enough is enough? At what point do our favorite franchises get too big for their own good? As much as I love the horror icons, do I really need to see more installments of a franchise that is ten movies deep? I even apply that logic to my favorite horror series, the Alien franchise.
As long as Hollywood can make money off these movies, they have no real incentive to stop even if their movies leave something to be desired. It’s a weird place that I find myself, torn between the excitement of these old franchises possibly recapturing some semblance of their former glory or the more likely scenario of being disappointed by yet another lackluster sequel.