Universal and Blumhouse premiered a trailer for the new “Halloween” at CinemaCon today, and by all accounts, it was a raging success. According to attending press, the film unquestionably forgets about all the sequels and considers the original John Carpenter classic the only film that matters – at least to this new spin.
Here’s what Gizmodo says :
Universal and Blumhouse have yet to release a trailer for their new take on John Carpenter’s Halloween to the masses, but they showed one to a select few at CinemaCon. And it was incredibly scary, even for a trailer. Want to know what thrills and chills to expect? We’ve got a full description.
The trailer starts with a woman checking sound – “1, 2, 3, testing.” She and another man are making a documentary about a murderer, as tends to be a thing these days. It’s about a man who escaped from a mental institution 40 years ago, killed several people, and was shot by his doctor. As this is being explained, we see the crew setting up, looking at some documents and listening to audio explaining the horrific situation from 1978. There are drawings of Dr. Loomis and more.
The filmmakers walk out into a courtyard that looks like a giant red and white checkerboard. All across the area, patients have spread into their own little areas and the crew walks up to one in particular. “Hello Michael,” the man says, “I have something you might like to see.” He goes into his bag and pulls out something. First, we see hair, then, white. Yes, this is his mask. The mask. As it’s being revealed, the other patients are getting agitated, making noise, screaming, one person is chained up and banging the chain down over and over again and the tension gets incredibly high.
Cut to Haddonfield, Illinois. Kids are walking on the streets very much like the original movie and, we realise, one of these is the granddaughter of Laurie Strode, the girl who Michael Myers terrorised 40 years ago. The girl explains that her grandmother has long been traumatized by the incident and that, despite rumours, Michael is not her brother. (Which is a nod to the fact this movie ignores every other Halloween movie besides the first one).
Enter Laurie Strode 2018, played once again by Jamie Lee Curtis. She looks very rustic, think Carhartt jacket and a flannel shirt. Apparently, she’s spent the last 40 years preparing in case Michael ever returned. She’s trained, she has guns, her house apparently has secret passages and booby traps. She tells someone that she prays every night that Michael Myers would escape and they ask why. “So I can kill him,” she says. And we cut to her in the woods blowing away a dummy for target practice.
Next, Laurie learns that a bus from the mental institution crashed and that Michael has escaped. The trailer then shifts to a bathroom where a girl is sitting in a toilet stall. A pair of boots enters the room. She explains that the stall is occupied. We see that, in another room, a man in a garage has been killed. Back in the bathroom, a closed fist goes over the top of the stall and drops something onto the girl. It’s teeth. She screams. Cut to Myers finding the mask and putting it back on.
Then the John Carpenter score kicks in.
Michael has made his way back to Haddonfield. Laurie says she’s going to protect her family and we see that it’s Halloween and the streets are packed with kids. Then, she sees him in an upstairs window. Laurie takes aim and fires. But she hit a mirror.
A long montage now of knives, guns, general horror stuff. People running, people screaming. One of the shots is someone sitting down in a sheet with the eyes cut out like a ghost, much like the original movie. Finally, Laurie is creeping around, obviously looking for someone and screams “Michael!”
The trailer ends in the room of a young boy. He asks his babysitter to close the closet door. She tries, but it won’t close. She tries again. And again. Finally, she opens the door to see what’s blocking it and, yup, it’s Michael Myers. He grabs her and the trailer ends.
What we gleaned from the trailer, as well as the presentation itself, is that this Halloween is going to be really scary. It uses modern tropes, like the true crime documentary, to tell a modern story of a woman who has been scared for 40 years. A woman who had the worst night ever and since then has been dreading, but preparing, for it to happen again. And it does.
Cinema Blend had equally good things to say :
The hook of the movie blends the new wave of true-crime documentary case solving (so popular on streaming platforms now) with the classic aesthetic of John Carpenter’s original. We meet a documentary crew who is heading back to Illinois to profile Laurie and her family 40 years after the attack by Michael Myers. In the process of researching and filming their true-crime doc, they encounter Michael in the high-security hospital that has detained him since the events of the first movie. And, in the yard of the facility, they present Michael with a gift… his original mask.
From there, we catch up with Laurie, who actually admits that she has been hoping (for 40 years) that Michael would escape. Why? So she can kill him, she states, and she fires a live round into a mannequin she has stationed around her house for target practice. The footage looks worn and dusty in the best ways, dated, as if it also has been waiting 40 years to be let loose. Which is exactly what happens. A prison transport bus flips. Michael was on it. And now he’s on the loose, heading for Laurie.
The footage in the Halloween presentation was visceral and scary, with a visual hue that tilted back to the look of the original. The scares were both tense and intense, with Michael threatening Laurie’s granddaughter as she sat in a bathroom stall (Michael actually reaches over the top of the stall and drops a handful of human teeth to the ground before he starts hammering on the door, to be let in). There’s a spectacular closest scare at the end of the footage. All in all, it looks riveting, terrifying and perfectly in line with the original film.
Here’s THR‘s take :
“Everyone in my family turns into a nutcase this time of year,” says the granddaughter of Curtis’ Laurie Strode at the beginning of what looked like a fully finished trailer.
Strode has outfitted her house with weapons and traps in case killer Mike Meyers returns, which would allow her to finally get revenge for what he put her through four decades prior.
“Every night, I prayed that he would escape,” says Strode in the footage. “So that I can kill him.”
After Meyers escapes the mental institution, it looks like she is getting her wish. The footage featured plenty of jump scares with a particularly terrifying sequence in a gas station bathroom.
“Except for Star Wars, I can’t think of another movie where the same actor is playing the same part 40 years later, and that in and of itself is worth celebrating,” said Curtis as she introduced the footage with producer Jason Blum, who talked about how John Carpenter’s original Halloween (1978) started his favorite genre, the slasher flick.
Curtis has played Laurie Strode in multiple Halloween films over the years since the original introduced the world to the mask-wearing mass-murderer Michael Myers. Of the new movie, the actress said, “It’s old school meets new school with Laurie at the center of it. And it’s going to scare the living shit out of all of you.”
David Gordon Green is directing the new movie from a script co-written by him and frequent collaborator Danny McBride.
“Halloween” opens October 19.