The “Halloween” Franchise Represents a Recurring Hollywood Theme (31 Nightmares #18)

31 Nightmares

The next “Halloween” film marks John Carpenter’s return to the franchise, after a 35 year absent.

The last “Halloween” film he was involved with was “Halloween III: Season of the Witch.” He and Debra Hill left the series after that.

Carpenter’s “Halloween” was an accidental masterpiece that is praised for, among other aspects, its suspense, inventive camera work, and use of original music. “Halloween” not only launched an iconic horror franchise but also a horror icon.

“Halloween” (1987) and the sequel, “Halloween II” pretty much tell an open and closed story, even with as many problems that plagued “Halloween II.” The film’s significant decrease in quality really shows while watching it. As Carpenter has  expressed, that the script didn’t turn out as he and Debra Hill, producer and writer, had expected. That’s a shame too, as Carpenter and Hill saw so need for a sequel, as they saw “Halloween” as an standalone story. That’s why he refused to direct, which the film really misses.

“Halloween II’s” commercial success led to another film, the infamous “Halloween III: Season of the Witch.”Given that Michael Myers died, along with Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance), at the end of “Halloween II” (1980), “Season of the Witch” took the franchise in a much different direction. Carpenter and Hill served as producers, with Carpenter still working on the score. Given how reluctant they were about “Halloween II,” especially after how that turned out, they were even more reluctant to be involved with a third “Halloween” movie. They only did it as long as the film wasn’t a direct sequel to “Halloween II,” so Michael Myers didn’t get brought back from the grave, yet. Instead “Season of the Witch” served as an anthology film, which was Carpenter’s idea for how to do future installments. The first movie was called “Halloween,” so anything can happen then on or around that holiday. Only problem with that plan, from a business standpoint, is that “Season of the Witch” underperformed at the box office. “Season of the Witch’s” disappointing box office made the studio throw Carpenter’s idea out of the window and bring Michael Myers, and Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) back from the dead in “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers,” thus ending Carpenter and Hill’s involvement with the series.

I don’t think it’s fair to say “Halloween III” is a bad movie just because it’s different and doesn’t have Michael Myers, but there’s also people that just don’t like it for being a bad movie. Carpenter’s idea was still admirable though.

In “Halloween 4” we learn that Laurie (off screen) died prior to the events of the movie, and her daughter, Jamie Lloyd, takes over as the movie’s protagonist. Due the decision to have Strode be dead, “Halloween 4,” “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers,” and “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” were all later ignored in the franchise’s continuity, so Jamie Lee Curtis could return for “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.” “Halloween H20” ends with Strode cutting off Michael Myers’ head, but, in “Halloween: Resurrection,” they reveal that she actually killed a paramedic that Michael put in his place, so they could keep Michael alive.

Are you kidding me! They killed Michael Myers and Loomis originally (for the original intention of them staying dead), but then “Halloween 4” had them actually survive the explosions, with Michael being in a coma for 10 years. Donald Pleasance, unfortunately, died in 1994, so he couldn’t reprise his role. They had him presumably die from natural, having survived the hospital explosion. Why did they just not say he died in the hospital, since “Halloween H20” is a direct sequel to “Halloween II?” Did they not do it, since Pleasance had died? Even though they were too cheap to get the rights to use the audio and just re-recorded it. Then, in “Halloween: Resurrection,” Michael just kills Laurie, so they pretty much just brought the character back to kill her again. Seems like they would’ve just been smarter to reboot before doing “Resurrection.” You’re movie’s pretty much dead on arrival with that subtitle.

Even though it didn’t work out, I respect “Halloween III” for going the anthology route. This is just a series that should’ve been rebooted probably, as the continuity is just completely messed up.

 

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