John Carpenter's 1978 horror masterpiece, Halloween, remains one of the most terrifying movies of the genre. The simplistic nature of the plot - a masked man stalking a babysitter on Halloween - combined with the unexplained motivations of a relentless killing machine created a film that uses the unknown and the everyday to scare the audience. It stood alone as a complete story, one that centered around both Michael Myers and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), but Hollywood wanted more from it.
The Halloween sequels began three years later and never stopped, bringing us some of the worst Halloween film mistakes. Although some of the follow-ups came close to re-creating the mood and terror of the original, most of them provided a master class in oversights to avoid when crafting a horror movie. There are definitely some specific plotlines and elements the 2018 reboot should avoid, in order to stay true to its roots.
The original Halloween mask was a mass-produced Captain Kirk (William Shatner) face that was spray-painted and had the eyes cut out. Many of the sequels attempted to introduce new masks, to mixed reactions.
The mask in Halloween 5 is usually touted as the worst look, with fans pointing to how cheap it appears and the fact that the mask's neck flaps in the wind. In contrast, Halloween: Resurrection's disguise had thick, dark eyebrows drawn on it and too much detail. 2009's Halloween II had a very Texas Chainsaw Massacre air to it that allowed the audience to see too much of the killer's face.
Speaking of the remakes, Carpenter commented that Rob Zombie's Michael Myers was too huge: "He's supposed to be a force of nature. He's supposed to be almost supernatural. And he was too big. It wasn't normal."
Fans received a sneak peak at the Myers mask that will appear in 2018's Halloween, which was modeled after the original Captain Kirk but aged to look 40 years older. And based on his appearances in the trailer, it appears The Shape finally and truly returns to Haddonfield.
1982's Halloween III: Season of the Witch was an attempt to make the franchise an anthology series connected by the creepy holiday. Fans, however, expected to see masked killer Michael Myers. Instead, they got killer masks that triggered the deaths of children when a toy company's jingle played.
Many fans and regular moviegoers had no idea Myers wasn't present in the film, prompting some - like Jason Mantzoukas of the podcast How Did This Get Made? - to spend the entire film waiting for the horror icon to pop out and start killing.
Of course, producers noted the failure of Halloween III and quickly brought Myers back into the fold. He hasn't been absent from a film in the series since, and 2018's Halloween is no exception. Taking things one step further, Nick Castle - the original Michael Myers - wears the mask once again in 2018.
After Halloween in 1978, Carpenter was done with his vision of The Shape and wanted to move on. He was pulled back into the franchise by his agents and money, and he penned the original's serviceable sequel. After the franchise's creator left, main character Laurie Strode was killed off. Telepathic connections were introduced. Druid curses came into play. Busta Rhymes appeared in a movie where he successfully fought off Michael Myers twice.
Carpenter's eye for framing scenes, scoring them, and building tension is needed to bring the franchise back to where it began.
To the delight of fans, Carpenter came on board for 2018's Halloween as a producer, and he personally approved the script by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green. Carpenter is also working on the new film's score.
The original Halloween is about a babysitter being stalked by a masked killer who murdered his own sister at the age of 6. Halloween II is about that babysitter being stalked again, but this time she's also the killer's baby sister. Halloween III: Season of the Witch doesn't even concern Myers and his family, and comes across as stagnant, thanks to its questionable plot and the myriad plot holes within it.
Every successive movie complicated the premise until Myers had become a psychologically unwell child who was bullied, abused, and institutionalized for killing. He is also cursed by a druid cult to seek out and murder a family member every Halloween. Not to mention, he's immortal.
Screenwriter Danny McBride and writer/director David Gordon Green promise to return the series to its origins, eschewing body count and gore, and focusing on suspense, tension, and dread. Here's hoping they stay true to this vision.