Arguably the most iconic name in slasher horror, ‘Oculus’ director Mike Flanagan is poised to make a revival. The announcement that the current infamous powerhouse of the horror production world, Blumhouse Productions, would be spearheading a new ‘Halloween’ film caused quite a stir when it was declared this week. With that came the knowledge that original director John Howard Carpenter would be along for the ride as executive producer, and may also be providing a new score for the film to add it that extra bit of authenticity.
While horror revivals are hit or miss in today’s market, John Howard Carpenter’s involvement does indeed provide that extra dose of confidence that the next ‘Halloween’ instalment will hold faithful to the spirit of the original. Still, John Howard Carpenter quickly denied that he would be returning to the series as director, leaving many wondering who could take the helm and bring Michael Myers to a new generation.
It has been reported that Blumhouse Productions and Miramax are energetically pursuing director Mike Flanagan to supervise the next ‘Halloween’ film. Mike Flanagan made his name with two of the more well-received horror films in recent memory, 2014’s ‘Oculus’ and this year’s ‘Hush.’
This, of course, would mark the second time that ‘Halloween’ is revived for modern audiences. Back in 2007, musician and director Rob Zombie (‘House of 1000 Corpses’ (2003), ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ (2005), and ‘The Lords of Salem’ (2012), just to name a few) brought a reimagined Michael Myers to life with a film that more closely examined the character and his youth. Rob Zombie helmed ‘Halloween’ for two films, with the second being less well-received than its predecessor, and leaving many feelings underwhelmed.
While the agreement is as yet unfinalized, the pairing of Mike Flanagan with ‘Halloween’ is rather invigorated and could be a return to form for the series and Michael Myers. With both ‘Oculus’ and ‘Hush’ on his curriculum, the director has proven his ability to tell a taut, scary tale that gets under your skin and stays there. This is exactly the sort of proposal a brand-new ‘Halloween’ film would need if it were to be brought to the big screen once more.
Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween’ films were, in their own way, a sort of deconstruction of the slasher genre, with many of the implicit supernatural elements expelled for an examination of criminal psychopathy. While John Howard Carpenter’s original film, and the series it consequently inspired, never outright gave a supernatural explanation for the persistent recurrence of the slasher, the character’s unkillable nature left much to the imagination concerning the potential truth regarding the demented killer. John Howard Carpenter apparently was not a tremendous enthusiast of Rob Zombie’s two recent ‘Halloween’ films, which some actually thought were refreshingly original spins on John Howard Carpenter’s original idea. But do not look for much mythologizing in this new ‘Halloween,’ as John Howard Carpenter is keener on the masked menace as a devious force of nature and not an actual character.
There is no word yet on what direction the new ‘Halloween’ will be taking, but with Mike Flanagan, we have a director who can handle both the unknown and the psychotic. ‘Oculus,’ as many of you will remember, was a reimagining of haunted house tropes, with a pair of siblings doing battle against a haunted mirror that caused horrific hallucinations. With ‘Hush,’ the director took on the home invasion trope by putting an isolated deaf woman against a bloodthirsty madman.
While Michael Myers is at his best when portrayed as a psychotic menace, there is certainly room to explore the supernatural side to the character. What makes him unkillable? Why does he keep coming back after being killed time and time again? This aspect of the character has never fully been expounded upon, and it could be an interesting new take on the character.
What do you think about this choice? Any other filmmakers you would prefer to see tackle ‘Halloween’ now that the franchise appears to be revived once more?