The Arrow's Halloween 8 Script Review

  “Contains some spoilers”

PLOT CRUNCH: Michael survives the ending of H20, dispatches of Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and then heads back home. When he gets there, a group of teens have taken over his house and broadcasting live over the Internet (and yes, it’s Halloween night). Michael is not too happy with his newfound roommates and decides to clean house...Myers style!

LOWDOWN: "Halloween 8", "Halloween 8:", "Halloween H2K" or "Halloween: Evil Never Dies" are some of the many titles which this entry might bare. Arrow just read the script by Larry Brand and he can’t say that he’s overjoyed with delight.

First off, don’t expect Josh Hartnett to return or the character of John either. They brush him off early in the script with just one line and that’s that. Our beloved Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis who will return because it’s in her contract-- I hear she's getting 3 million for her cameo) is dispatched within the first 10 minutes and fortunately for us her demise is a glorious one. One problem though: she has the worst dialogue, extremely corny. Bring in a script doctor for that scene for the love of Strode! Her lines are atrocious and her last words deserve to be better.

For those of you wondering if it was Michael who lost his head at the end of H20, well here’s your answer: no. I won’t give away how, but I will say that you can all stop thinking that the killer is Tommy Doyle or any other character from the series. The way that they explain it is very simple (maybe too simple) and goes to show that Michael is actually much smarter than we thought. What a sneaky little mass murderer.

My main problem with the script is that they ignore Michael’s main motivation in order for him to make a pit stop at his house to kill some paper thin teens. I mean, his new purpose is supposed to be hunting John down, right? The script ignores the set up H20 slapped our way and goes the "stand alone" route (I'm not counting H3 as a real Halloween flick). That's a first for the Halloween movies and I can't say that I am thrilled about that...actually, it sucks big time! In the script, Laurie tells Michael: “You’ll never find my son”. Well, she doesn’t have to worry cause good old Mike doesn’t seem to be too concerned with that, not one bit. He’s too busy getting rid of pesky trespassers.

Which brings me to the main characters. You’ve seen them all a million times, they’re the same as in every other recent slasher flicks. You got the tough black guy, the cocky webmaster, the feminist chick, the mousy, shy virginal heroine etc... No big stretch here. None of the characters really stand out and I was looking forward to all of their demises (ok...I'll be honest...I wanted the virginal heroine to make it). The only exception to the standard rule is the inclusion of a kid that has a crush on the heroine. He’s been macking her on the net and I will admit that it's kind of cute. I only hope they cast a kool kid for the part since most kids have a tendency to get on my damn nerves in movies.

The script gives us a poor successor to Loomis (Donald Pleasence). He’s a cop and his name is Donaldson (I’m sure the name is an homage to Donald Pleasence…RIP). Too bad the character spends half the story talking on his cell phone and when it comes down to action, he’s not very effective. This cop is no SHAFT, that’s fer sure.

The script also does the “Kevin Williamson light” stuff. Slapping in references to Blade Runner, Barton Fink, Psycho, Oliver Stone and Orson Wells. It's not as distracting as in H20, but it's still a tad annoying. It actually feels forced. Was it in the writer's contract to put in movie references? They're really not necessary. The script also overdoes it with the fake scares. You know what I’m talking about. BOO! Oh, it's my friend. BOO! Oh, it’s a dummy falling out of the closet. All the script is missing is a damn cat leaping out of nowhere and it’s BOO scare content would be complete. 

Now for the good news: Rick Rosenthal is at the helm (he will be directing the film) and I consider that good news. He directed Halloween 2 and that entry (in my opinion) had the creepiest Michael of the series. Ironically, H8 has a tense hospital scene in the beginning and a fire filled conclusion. Two territories Rosenthal covered in H2. Do me proud, buddy!

What might save the flick is the visual flair that it could have (if directed properly). This sequel goes “Blair Witch” on our arse with camera’s everywhere, head cams…the works. Hopefully Rosenthal will capitalize on that and give us some real eye candy. The script also has its share of gnarly violent bits. My two favorite kills are: 1- a wonderful beheading with a groovy head cam moment that follows and 2- Michael slapping this dude's head in an oven and crushing his skull with the door. The bodycount seems to be higher here than in the other Halloween flicks (right up Rosenthal’s alley, Part 2 also had a high bodycount) and I'm not sure if that’s good news, but you can take it as you see fit.

In the suspense department, there’s nothing new. Lots of Michael creeping around and striking at the least expected moment. Although I will admit to really digging the end stalk sequence involving the heroine. It’s pretty intense stuff. I also liked the whole exploration of the internet phenomenon thang, to which we can all certainly relate. The koolest aspect of the script is that Michael has become a cultural icon. There's a scene where Michael stares at a billboard of himself (they’re promoting the net broadcast). Shades of Friday The 13th: Part 8 when Jason stares at a billboard with a hockey mask on it. The script makes full use of the fame Michael has acquired and deals with that aspect in sometimes witty ways..

BOTTOM LINE: I personally think this sequel is unnecessary. I mean they’re not even sticking to the main storyline (Michael should be hunting John not playing cat and mouse with some teens he doesn’t care about) and it just feels detached from the rest of the series. Apart from Laurie Strode's small appearance, nobody from the previous films shows up. The killer could've been Roger Ebert and I wouldn't have felt the difference. H8 is your typical slasher flick with a 2k twist. They slap the net theme in there for good measure (the net cams might be fun) but other than that, there’s nothing here we haven’t seen before. Flashy directing and a good (and hopefully hot) cast might save the flick from being horrible, but I doubt it will reach higher than the average recent slasher film. Maybe if it wasn't a Halloween sequel it could have passed, but as the 8th chapter (actually 7th, H3 is not a real Halloween sequel) to one of my favorite horror series; it fails. Let's face it guys, Halloween as we know it is dead. In my book of the dead, the real Michael died at the end of Part 4. This one is just a cash cow on two legs.

BULL'S EYE: I hear they’re thinking of Tyra Banks for a main part. I hope they think again…Arrow is not a fan.

Arrow reviews Halloween
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Arrow reviews Halloween IV
Arrow reviews Halloween V
Arrow reviews Halloween VI
Arrow reviews Halloween VI (producer's cut)
Arrow reviews Halloween: H20

Arrow interviews Michael Myers (Dick Warlock)

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