The new Halloween will focus on tension and dread and “not just go for gore”

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I’m not much for horror movies. However, the reason for my reticence for the genre is very different to that of, say, Trevor. Whereas he possesses the constitution of a flighty gerbil and thus simply can’t physically make it through a horror movie, my issue is that most modern entries in the genre are not really about horror. True horror to me is that stomach-churning, bed-wetting, crush-the-armrest-of-your-chair-into-a-mush-of-foam-and-springs-with-a-death-grip terror that comes from unending suspense, but so many recent movies think that just having a barrage of super explicit violence is all that’s necessary.

One of the genre’s greatest franchises, Halloween, definitely did not believe in that approach. John Carpenter’s original 1978 film was really about the threat of the almost supernatural Michael Myers, not so much how anatomically-correctly he could eviscerate his victims. As we recently learned, much to our surprise, we will soon be returning to the world of that early film, as writer/director David Gordon Green and his co-writer Danny McBride will be reviving the franchise with a sequel that picks up after the events of Halloween, ignoring all the films that came after it. This approach doesn’t just allow the filmmakers to bring back Jamie Lee Curtis as original heroine Laurie Strode – who actually died twice in the sequels (it’s complicated) – but as McBride explained to Charleston City Paper (via IndieWire):

We’re trying to [go for the same tone]. The original is all about tension. Laurie Strode doesn’t even know that Michael Myers exists until the last minutes of the movie. So much of it you’re in anticipation of what’s going to happen and the dread that Carpenter spins so effortlessly in that film, I think we were really trying to get it back to that.

We’re trying to mine that dread. Mine that tension and not just go for gore and ultra-violence that you see some horror movies lean on. To us, it was all about bringing back the creep factor and trying to find the horror in your own backyard, in our own homes.

Well, that sounds exactly like my idea of a horrific good time. And apparently, it sounded just as good to John Carpenter himself, as McBride and Green actually first went to the franchise creator to get his approval.

We sat down for a few weeks, tried to come up with a take that made sense, and felt like it was being true to the original. Then actually had to go in and pitch to John Carpenter and see if it got his seal of approval. He liked it. He liked what we were doing and wanted us to go for it. It’s hugely inspiring.

Carpenter like it so much that he will actually be providing the score for the film, much like he did with the iconic music of the original. We’ll be able to hear and see what the three men produce when this still untitled Halloween revival hits cinemas on October 19, 2018.

Last Updated: December 4, 2017

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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