Feels almost like cheating, with this review being a week early…
1.) Marketability of the Idea
Some of you may remember my part in a review done on Halloween 3 which the Cap’n kind of tricked me into doing.
It really had nothing to do with the Michael Myers narrative, wasn’t scary, and pretty much downright silly.
Will this script get us back to the original story, being neither a reboot nor true sequel?
Not only is it an established franchise, the writers at the helm have some success of their own (one of which is Danny McBride nonetheless) and although it might not be in the horror genre, it can be adequately argued they’re fans of the franchise.
What I’m saying is, it’s a green light.
But what did the hardcore fans and general audiences alike think?
Halloween (2018) Box Office Stats
If this doesn’t encourage you to commit to writing a horror thriller, I’m not sure what else will.
$10M budget and it’s already cleared just under $100M worldwide? That’s your marketability argument right there.
2.) Plot Stability
Before we get too far into this section it needs to be stated:
I’m a baby when it comes to horror.
Where the Cap’n seems to devour it, I can tolerate only the mildest of things scary.
That’s only when I watch it. I can read horror scripts all day long and not be affected.
My fear boils down to a simple premise that for whatever reason revolves around me washing my face, either at the sink or in the shower.
If I’ve watched something scary, anytime that chore happens I’m always nervous whatever baddie I just witnessed will be right over my shoulder, or just outside the steamed up shower door.
That’s not a fun feeling for me.
(The one exception being The Ring which caused me to fear my TV for a week straight, and anytime I opened the door to my apartment, I was scared to death that the screen would suddenly pop on to static!)
It also should be stated that in being said coward means my involvement with the Halloween franchise is limited to this script and the previous review of Halloween 3.
With those two caveats out of the way, this script did work.
It moved quickly, and escalated, both with the Laurie’s apprehension with the approach of Halloween and Michael being transferred (and forgotten) in a hellish state prison.
(Why they would choose to move him on Halloween seems odd. The middle of February feels like a perfect time to transfer a murdering mental patient like Mr. Myers.)
We’ll cover it in the next section, but the writers did a good job with the character connections as well.
Once he gets free, because it’s inevitable that he will, Michael really makes up for the lost forty years while going on his killing spree.
All of the horror elements were here, jump scares, killing promiscuous teens, Easter Eggs, etc. so it worked.
(Even I caught the Halloween 3 Silver Shamrock masks cameo during trick or treat!)
Here are two of my questions though…
First, didn’t Michael Myers get loose in some of the earlier sequels?
Second, how does this story fit into the Halloween universe?
Michael escapes the transfer bus, but so too do some of the other patients, some of which are dangerous.
Nothing is ever done with these other folks, at least nothing more than a passing comment from Hawkins about catching them.
There could have been something worthwhile there, and added to the tension, otherwise just have Michael kill them along with the guards if you’re not going to take it anywhere.
Lastly, I didn’t care for the doc being in on it. Too predictable.
3.) Quality of Characters
Here’s where the story stick out to me in relation to the franchise.
We’re given a 60 year old Laurie Strode, who’s done nothing but train for the day when Michael will return so she can kill him.
Add into that the fact that she has a now estranged daughter, who was taken away from Laurie because she could focus on nothing other than getting her family prepared.
Lastly, throw in the 2018 version of Laurie in the form of her granddaughter Allyson. (Believe that name was changed in later drafts/film.)
That’s 3 generations of women that Michael Myers will be after, and all three of them have their own set of priorities to live for, some of which even conflict.
(Like Shanah not wanting her “crazy” mother to be involved in Allyson’s life.)
If the ending to the film is open ended like the script, then there’s a sequel of ass kicking women who will be after Mr. Myers the next round.
It was also cool that Hawkins is the officer who originally brought Michael Myers into custody, and argued for his due process.
What I wish would have happened was this be more of a moment between he and Laurie, thinking she’ll be pissed, only to have her want Michael to escape so she can kill him.
As written, it’s just kind of glossed over, and seems like a pretty big plot point for connecting this story to the original.
Lastly, I couldn’t stand the Cameron, Allyson, and Oscar love triangle. Anytime the three of them interacted in a group I wanted to reach into the pages and stab them myself.
(Also, who are the Elams? I tried searching their names with “halloween” but didn’t find anything.)
4.) Dialogue and Description
The description was fine. Nothing fancy, but it got the job done.
The dialogue also worked for what this story was, with the one issue I had being that Allyson would always call Laurie “Grandmother” which came off as fucking weird.
“Grandmother? Grandmother? Would you like tea, Grandmother?”
Two cool portions I came across were as follows.
He’ll be locked away till the end
of his days.
That’s the idea.
Do you surrender any efforts of
-Because everyone knows 40 years is
when you typically turn the corner.
OFFICER HAWKINS (CONT’D)
Michael Myers. The Babysitter
Murders, 1978. It’s forty years to
the day. You think this is a
coincidence or part of some greater
The Sheriff looks at Sartain laying there.
Look Frank, I don’t need to incite
panic until we have all the facts.
Myers loose with a bunch of nutbags
in Haddonfield on Halloween night
is a fucking joke if it’s not
legit. It sounds like a joke. It
would ruin our department. And if
it is legit. If Myers did escape,
we’re gonna have a serious circus
on our hands.
What I like about both of these is that they’re so damn practical.
That’s what I wish was in more horror stories, people acting rationally.
Laurie knows Michael hasn’t changed, and if free, he will come for her and her family.
And although he’s wrong, the Sheriff initially doesn’t want to start a mass panic over a coincidence.
That makes sense!
(Unfortunately, the script doesn’t follow through on everything practical, when the police shut down the dance, and then have most of the kids walk home on the Myers infested streets, with a good portion of them being drunk.)
Wow the typos.
But almost reading my mind as I read the script, 3way texted me with the information that this script was converted from a text file or something like that.
So the attack of typos weren’t necessarily the fault of the writers.
Still, make sure to clean up your scripts!
And these 95 pages (after a long winded 145 pages the previous week) was fucking refreshing, especially with how fast it read.
That’s always a good thing.
6.) What I liked…
This “final” chapter working in the Halloween universe? Did it work?
7.) What needs work…
Fixing the teenage relationships or eliminating them altogether.
Rating: Read it if you’re looking for a modern horror thriller, or just a fan of the franchise.
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