Fans are still riding the high of that Halloween trailer. It’s a stunning look at a movie that, for people who love horror, feels like an event. Halloween is an anniversary driven franchise about an anniversary obsessed killer and it looks like they’ve pulled out all the stops for the new film, which will be coming our way on October 19th. While people were excited by the prospect of Jamie Lee Curtis returning to the role of Laurie Strode and especially the return of John Carpenter as producer, not to mention the capable hands of Blumhouse, it’s no surprise that fans had some reservations as well.
Mainly, there are some people who were very upset at the idea that Michael and Laurie would no longer be siblings, or that this sequel would cancel out everything after the original film. I’m less worried about that, as I can revisit those movies whenever I want and I think the sibling storyline was perfectly resolved in Halloween H20. I like not knowing what the expect from this series again. I like not knowing what the shape is going to do. Having him stripped of that clear-cut motivation really makes him unnerving again.
Luckily, even though this movie is not in continuity with the other entries in the Halloween saga, save the first, it clearly doesn’t look down on them. That’s incredibly refreshing to me. There are Easter Eggs and homages in this trailer to virtually every single Halloween movie. And because there are ten films preceding this one, that’s a whole lot to go through. And if there’s anything I missed in putting this together, definitely don’t hesitate to let me know.
Breaking down every single reference is not going to be easy, but it’s fun to point out the homages and similarities to previous exploits—both those that featured Michael Myers and those that didn’t. With that in mind, let’s jump right in.
The Opening Sketches
When the documentary crew mention their investigation, a few interesting details are dropped. One is the explanation of the new timeline, mentioning that Michael killed three teenagers on Halloween in 1978 and was presumably apprehended moments after the movie ended, negating any sequel possibilities in the interim. We see a few shots of the knife as well as a sketch of Annie’s knife wound and a picture of her corpse. There’s also a sketch of Dr. Loomis in there, a necessary visual reference to one of the cornerstones of the series, the Ahab to Michael’s white whale.
There’s a lot going on in this sequence in the courtyard of the institution. The patients are unnerved and the dog is going crazy. This could be a reference to Lester, the dog in the original Halloween. Lester went nuts, barking at Michael Myers in attempt to warn Annie and Lindsay of the dangers lurking outside the house before Michael picked the dog up and silenced him. Here’s hoping that this new dog fares better. The patients are also screaming and hollering as soon as Michael is presented with the mask. It’s worth noting that this has precedence in the original as well. In the original script, Loomis’ “the evil is gone” line is something told to him by one of the patients, who are terrified of Michael and are almost celebrating the fact that he’s finally left.
The Tracking Shot
This might not seem like a big deal at all, but it feels like one of the most overt references of the entire trailer. We’re revealing our three main teenage characters in a tracking shot as they walk down the street talking with one another. This is exactly what Carpenter and cinematographer Dean Cundey did in the original Halloween to introduce the trio of Laurie, Lynda and Annie. It was an impressive and efficient way to introduce the teens together and to focus on their natural, pretty authentic dialogue.
“Wasn’t It Her Brother?”
Yeah, this has to be the most overt reference to the other movies out of the entire trailer. It’s the only real dig at any of the sequels, but it’s still fun and good natured. John Carpenter is an executive producer on the film and the notion of Laurie and Michael being brother and sister is a decision that he made. Plus, it’s so ingrained in people’s minds that it sort of had to be addressed.
There’s also a close up of a scar on Laurie’s shoulder as this line is being said. That is, of course, not any old scar. That’s where Michael sliced her shoulder in the original Halloween. This was also referenced in H20, with Laurie looking down in disbelief after getting cut in the exact same place.
Laurie and the Police Officer
We’re introduced to a shot of Laurie talking to Will Patton as one of Haddonfield’s finest as she explains that she prayed that Michael would escape so that she could kill him. It’s long been expected that Laurie would be our new Loomis, and this pretty much confirms it. Both the dialogue and the shot itself heavily echo Loomis’s relationship with Sheriff Brackett in the original Halloween. The line also ideologically separates Laurie from Loomis. He wanted Michael to be contained forever, whereas she just wants it over. It’s also similar, whether pointedly or not, to something Loomis says in Halloween 5, when he mentions he prayed that Michael would burn in Hell.
The Bus Crash
This is one of the more overt references. The patients wandering into the street after the bus crashes bear a strong and intentional resemblance to the moment in the original when Loomis pulls up to the gate of the institution only to find the patients wandering around aimlessly on the grass. This is also when Michael steals the car he uses to get to Haddonfield, so it will be curious to see if this scene plays out in a similar way.
The Bathroom & Gas Station
These are two overlapping references on top of each other. A woman alone in a restroom with Michael bears heavy similarities to H20. In that film, Michael waits at a restroom after his car runs out of gas so that he can steal another, as Illinois to California is a bit of a hike. The woman actually makes it out fine in that scenario, but if this trailer is any indication, that’s definitely not going to be the case here.
Meanwhile, the discovery of the mechanic’s body stripped of coveralls feels like a direct reference to the same thing happening in Halloween 4. The shop even looks pretty much the same. Everything about it, at least in the trailer, bears a similar tone and aesthetic.
Putting on the Mask
It could be unintentional, but the shot of Michael putting on the mask, which is one of the highlights of the trailer and is definitely designed to be a big moment, feels incredibly similar to the scene in Rob Zombie’s Halloween in which adult Michael puts on the mask for the first time. The two shots are even framed similarly and I can’t help but feel a connection between them, whether it’s supposed to be there or not.
The Trick-or-Treaters Bumping into Michael
The scene of two trick-or-treating kids bumping into the shape as they walk down the street bears heavy similarities to a moment in the original Halloween when young Lonnie runs straight into Michael after picking on Tommy Doyle. The music sting is even basically the same. This one feels intentional.
The Knife Flip
This might feel small, but there’s a moment where the camera is following behind Michael as he flips the position of the knife in his hand. This was something he did once in Halloween H20, but it’s something he did regularly in Halloween: Resurrection. Accidental or not, it definitely feels like an homage to that movie. If it is, I have to give them respect for truly acknowledging everything.
The Silver Shamrock Masks
This has to be one of the best and most exciting Easter Eggs of the whole trailer, even though it’s the easiest to miss. When Laurie is screaming to the kids on the street to get inside, three kids run by her wearing the classic Silver Shamrock masks from Halloween III. This is the first time Season of the Witch will be referenced in any other Halloween movie and I could not be happier about that. Given that it was the black sheep of the franchise for so long, it’s exciting to finally the turnaround of general opinion on the film reflected on screen, at least for a moment.
This is one of the more puzzling shots, and one of the most intriguing because of that. Who is that person under the sheet? Is it Michael? Is it a body that he’s left there to be found? Why is there a jack-o-lantern in the fish tank? However the scene plays out, it is a definite homage to the moment in the original Halloween when Michael dresses up in a sheet in order to scare Lynda. The jack-o-lantern in the fish tank also looks extremely similar to the one in the original movie’s opening credits.
The Long Shot of Michael Walking Across the Street
That silhouetted shot looking back at Michael as our heroine pounds on the door to be let in is a direct shout out to the exact same thing happening in the original movie. The lengthy sequence of Laurie begging for Tommy to open the door as Michael slowly crosses the street, advancing on her, is so expertly tense that it wound up being the crux of the original trailer. It’s no surprise for a nearly identical sequence to make it into the trailer here.
“You Don’t Believe in the Boogeyman”
Laurie’s reference to the boogeyman evokes many scenes in the original, as it’s something on Tommy Doyle’s mind the entire movie. When he asks her what the boogeyman is, she says there’s no such thing, so the line in the new trailer brings things full circle in a nice way. The much more well known example would be at the end of the film, when Loomis looks down at Laurie after shooting Michael off the balcony and she says “It was the boogeyman.”
Laurie saying Michael’s name in a taunting way heavily evokes the best scene in Halloween H20, in which Laurie realizes she can’t run anymore and that she has to end this once and for all, locking herself inside the school with Michael and screaming his name into the open air as she picks up an ax and the iconic theme kicks in. Here, it feels like much more of a taunting, even less dramatic moment.
The Closet Scene
While it’s a very different closet scene, the original’s sequence inside the closet is still one of the most iconic moments from that film. In that, though, Laurie hid inside the closet from Michael only for him to burst through the door in an attempt to get her out. Here, it’s much more unsettling to slowly reveal that Michael is in fact hiding inside the closet.