An excerpt from my script review for Halloween Kills which will be available 10/18/21:
2.) Plot Stability
So, which timeline is correct?
The 2018 version more or less “erased” the earlier sequels, if I remember correctly and from what I’ve been told.
By that logic, the correct order is…
Halloween Kills (2021)
(And then Halloween Ends coming in 2022!!!)
Personally, I’m a little bummed that Halloween 3 is now no longer canon. Remember the double feature review the Cap’n and I did of that one, about some mind controlling Halloween masks or something, being produced by a company just looking to make some cash on things other than St. Patrick’s Day merchandise…?
Anyway, I’m sad it’s gone, but being pretty devoid of Michael Myers, that may be for the best.
But…how does all this relate to this particular section?
The version of the script we reviewed relied heavily on seeing the 2018 version, and a bit on the initial 1978 one.
There were multiple times that I couldn’t remember who someone was, or what they did that pissed another character off.
And I’d read the scripts, if not viewed the movies.
(Remember I’m a huge baby when it comes to watching scary things.)
And that’s a problem.
If you’re lucky enough to write a franchise of your own, or be assigned a shot at writing something in one, remember you can’t take for granted that the audience knows everything about the history going in.
There needs to be some sort of balance between exposition and a “stand alone” project.
Think of it this way…
Horror has a very dedicated following in the genre, just look at our very own Cap’n and Reals.
But not everyone will have seen every horror film ever made, even in popular franchises.
There could easily be audience members that weren’t old enough for the 2018 version, but suddenly want to see Michael Myers gutting some folks in 2021.
(And boy they won’t be disappointed!)
Or take us “older” members that don’t recall exactly what happened in the now three year old previous film.
When writing something in a franchise you should include “just enough” exposition to fill in those new viewers without boring the fuck out of the dedicated ones.
For instance, we didn’t need all the exposition with Officer Hawkins in the flashback.
He shot his partner by accident in one scene…okay that sucks.
But just as…sucky?…is the fact that he didn’t allow Loomis to kill Myers, meaning evil later kills more innocent people and children.
All the flashbacks and time jumping got confusing, most of which was just to deliver exposition and felt disjointed.
(Same with showing Lonnie and Co. as kids.)
Then there are issues like Allyson and Cameron.
She’s pissed at him, and I remember that, but completely forgot why.
When writing you shouldn’t rely on a previous rewatch right before the audience views the new one.
Will some do it? Sure.
But you should treat this relationship as you would any other in a script, implementing subtext and showing the tension between the two characters.
Then if you want later in the story, she can explode at him in front of his father with a brief line of what happened.
This reminds the dedicated viewer while surprising the new one.
Lastly, also remember that if you reboot a project, shit’s going to get confusing by nature, especially when you’ve got six or seven previous films that are now irrelevant.
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