Column – The Confusing Timelines of ‘Halloween’ Explained

Now that the trailer for the new 'Halloween' is out, let's take a look at the mess that is the 'Halloween' timeline.

Written by J.T. Johnson

Recently, a new trailer was released for “Halloween”, a movie that is scheduled to come out on October 19. It features the return of a scarred Laurie Strode, played once again by Jamie Lee Curtis. This time, she wants Michael Myers to escape from the mental asylum so that she can finally kill him 40 years after the events of the original film.

One thing that might confuse some audience members, though, is that this film is ignoring every single sequel and remake that has come out after the original “Halloween”. It’s actually more necessary than one might think when considering the tangled mess that the sequels had gotten themselves into over the years. Let me explain.

After “Halloween” was released, it was followed by “Halloween II” in 1981. This film featured the return of Laurie Strode and Dr. Sam Loomis as they had to confront Michael Myers one last time. Once “Halloween II” was out, original “Halloween” director and writer John Carpenter wanted to take the series into a new direction.

“Halloween III: Season of the Witch” was a film that told a completely new story not involving Michael Myers. The attempt was to turn the series into an anthology of films that would tell a different story with the connecting theme being that they were set during Halloween. After the poor box office reception of “Season”, though, the series went on a brief hiatus.

In 1988, the filmmakers brought back Michael Myers and this began what I like to refer to as the “Loomis Trilogy”. Starting with “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers”, Donald Pleasence returned as Sam Loomis and would continue to play the role in “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” and “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers”. In 1998, though, original star Jamie Lee Curtis expressed interest in returning for another film.

This presented a problem due to the fact that the past three films had stated that Laurie had died. After attempts to reconcile this inconsistency, the filmmakers behind “Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later” decided that every film after “Halloween II” would be ignored. A new timeline featuring “H20” and “Halloween: Resurrection” had begun.

Due to the confusing nature of the timelines, the filmmakers decided to reboot the entire franchise at a time where it felt like every horror film was getting a remake. In 2007, director Rob Zombie released the “Halloween” remake and it continued with the abysmal “Halloween II” in 2009. Once “Halloween II” failed at the box office, the series seemed to stall altogether.

There were also rights issues over the years concerning who could distribute the films. Since “The Curse of Michael Myers”, Dimension Films had produced and distributed each entry. Once they didn’t produce another film after a certain amount of time, they lost the distribution rights. Eventually, Universal Studios and Miramax obtained the rights and sought out Blumhouse Productions to make the new film coming out later this year.

They have returned to the original creator, Mr. Carpenter, to executive produce and compose the music for the new “Halloween”. New writers Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green have also decided to reset the original timeline once again. No films beyond the original exist anymore, including the original “Halloween II”. This means that Laurie and Michael are no longer related and this is something that is confirmed in the new trailer.

Therefore, in order to get ready for the new film, all you need to do is watch the original “Halloween” in order to get ready for the new film. As a longtime “Halloween” fan, I’ll leave by saying that I was very impressed with what I saw in the recently released trailer. I think that the filmmakers made the right call in resetting the utterly confusing timeline and the new film looks to be another scary entry from Blumhouse Productions, the same people who recently gave us “Get Out”, “Split” and “Happy Death Day”.

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