Today’s post is going to be a little… different.
It’s going to be very long.
And it’s going to get surprisingly personal.
I know that sounds bizarre when I’m essentially just doing a horror movie recommendation, but bear with me and you’ll understand why. I initially wrote this post weeks ago, right after I saw the movie, because I had so many complex emotions. But I held it to post today because today’s the perfect day to both recommend, and discuss my personal connection to, Blumhouse’s new modern take on the Michael Myer’s saga. Today is all about 2018’s Halloween.
First off, before I get into the personal connection, I want to focus on the movie itself. Taking it solely as a fan, I really dug this new Halloween. Quite a bit. It’s both a fantastic follow up to Carpenter’s masterpiece, and quite the love letter to it as well. In fact, I’m pretty sure this might be my 2nd favorite Halloween movie after the original (or possibly 3rd favorite, because I do LOVE me some Halloween 3.) The decision to erase all the Halloween sequels and make this one a direct sequel to the original was both a risky move, and a pretty genius one. This new Halloween picks up 40 years after Michael Myers was captured, and has been locked away ever since. Meanwhile, Laurie may have escaped, but her entire life has been altered because of their original confrontation. Now, after all this time, the two are on a collision course once again. This new Halloween manages to both hold the original in respect, and give us something new at the same time. What worked best is how it managed to capture the mood and atmosphere of what made the original so great, and place it all within a modern day setting. It absolutely feels like the same world, and I give it mad respect for being able to pull that off. Jamie Lee Curtis is outstanding, as always, as is the rest of the cast. There are quite a few twists and turns that keep you on your toes, as well as just enough of that Danny McBride humor. Plus, there are a ton of homages to many of the sequels directly for the fans (even though these sequels technically didn’t happen any more.) Overall, it’s really a standout new film in the series and it’s damn good fun.
Now… onto the personal stuff.
Most of you who know me are fully aware of the roller coaster history of my TV show, The Final Girls, and specifically with Jamie Lee Curtis. If you need a refresher, here are some old posts from years back:
Here’s how it began:
My Big News – An Explanation & Initial Internet Roundup.
Here’s how it ended:
Let’s Finally Discuss What Happened To My Show And Jamie Lee Curtis
Long story short, I went from living my absolute childhood dream of creating and selling a slasher TV show with my one of my idols, Jamie, to having it all taken away from me in the blink of an eye. Well, actually it was a long and drawn out process. A blink would have been easier and far less torturous. Regardless how horrible that whole experience was, to have everything and then nothing, I’ve moved on. The trauma healed.
Well, life isn’t without irony.
My series The Final Girls focused on girls that were survivors of slasher scenarios and the PTSD they still endure. Essentially it was all about what happened AFTER the credits of a slasher movie rolled. They had PTSD. They needed help. They required someone who had been there as well to help usher them through this recovery process and finally take on their slashers that ruined their lives. The new Halloween movie focuses on Laurie Strode, a survivor of a slasher scenario and the PTSD she still endures. Pretty much the same scenario. And now, in a diabolical twist, now I myself, am living in that same scenario. I’m having some PTSD having to relive the trauma of losing my TV show from years ago. Sadly, all the garbage I went through feels fresh once again.
Before I continue I want to make this PERFECTLY CLEAR. I am not, in any way, claiming that this new Halloween was a direct result of anything from my series, The Final Girls, or Jamie’s connection to both projects, or ANYTHING like that. My series was an idea conceived by a massive horror fanatic, and this new Halloween is a movie conceived by massive horror fanatics. Various kinds of mental concepts are always in the ether, and I full understand that. For that reason, when your ideas actually get made (or on the verge of getting made), it really is like hitting the jackpot. A lot of things have to line up. And with The Final Girls I felt I’d finally had things line up. But alas it wasn’t meant to be. Although I am, in fact, happy, that this new Halloween was able to make these concepts come to life. The post-slasher PTSD concept is a fantastic one and I love that it was the actual Laurie Strode going through it. Saying that, it doesn’t make what I’m about to explain any easier to handle.
There are many things about my TV show that wasn’t made public, for numerous reasons. I still won’t list most of that, but I will say one key thing because it pertains specifically to this situation and why I’m having PTSD. When I wrote and conceived Jamie’s character in The Final Girls, a strong, older, slasher-survivor, going by the (self given) name of Ma’at, she was always supposed to have been… Laurie Strode, all grown up. I obviously didn’t have the rights to do that, but as a fan and writer I always wanted that to be who this character was, and that concept to be the driving force. When Jamie came on board, holy lord, it was like I truly won the horror lottery. I will never forget our hours spent together (along with fellow producer and horror icon Steve Miner) pitching around town. Such amazing memories. But I digress…
Alas, when we sold the show, we were told we had to plan a 7-episode first season. As we mapped out that season, even though the leadup focused on the other final girls, the finale was always envisioned as having Ma’at finally confront her original slasher villain in a final battle of baddassery. I still remember Jamie’s amazing ideas for how she wanted to kick some serious ass. Jamie always had amazing ideas, which is but only one of the many reasons why I truly loved developing this show with her. She’s an amazing woman, through and through. Anyway, for those of you who have seen the new Halloween, you can probably understand why this was difficult for me. What I watched on screen… played out in an extremely similar fashion for what we always planned for my TV show. It’s such a strange feeling to watch your same ideas play out, but in a different project. And yet it’s complex, because like I said, these ideas are in the ether. This is what ANY insane horror fanatic would kill to see. They would kill to see Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, all grown up, kick some serious Michael Myers ass. This is what I envisioned. This is what the new Halloween filmmakers envisioned. This is what I would guess a million other horror fanatics have envisioned over the years. So while I had a wonderful time watching the film from a pure horror fan perspective, the fact that I had to relive all my own past traumas and experience some PTSD, exactly like the characters I was watching on screen, made it one of the most complex viewing experiences of my life.
Ma’at may not have ever lived to kick ass on the small screen, but dammit all to Hell, I’m SO happy that Laurie got to finally do it on the big screen.
Anyway, thank you everyone for both reading this, and letting me work through this extremely complex situation. Writing, as it has always been, is my catharsis.
Well, with that bit of horror therapy, our October Horror Pick time has come to an end for 2018. As usual, I’ve had an absolute blast doing this, even though I’ve spent FAR too much time on it that probably should have been dedicated to my current projects. I thank each and every reader from the bottom of my heart for coming along with me. Because like I’ve said a million times, the only thing better than watching a horror movie, is watching it with an entire community. Thanks all for being my community.
Peace out, and see you in 2019!