It's the Booze Talkin': We want a new horror movie tradition on Halloween!

For many a year, the 10th month of the year brought us a brand new horror film from a popular franchise. The funny thing was that even if you didn’t like the series, many would still come because a good scare on Halloween can be an incredibly fun experience. A like-minded group waiting for something terrifying or horrific in the darkened theatre is especially satisfying when fall roles around. Of course, this type of thing is getting harder and harder to accomplish, but the studio who can find that perfect holiday fit is sure to reap the box office benefits. So why are we not seeing more franchise worthy films coming out?

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Let’s start with HALLOWEEN. Michael Myers stalked babysitters in John Carpenter’s landmark independent feature which became a staple for horror films everywhere. Released on October 14th in 1978, the film stuck around and became a massive success. And what happens when something makes a killing in theatres? Well, we get sequels. Times have changed of course, and a follow-up wasn’t rushed out to find a 1979 release. In fact, HALLOWEEN 2 hit the local cinemas on October 30th, in 1981. And yes, it made enough money to warrant yet another film. Once again, released near All Hallow's Eve, the next one did disappoint simply because it didn’t have Myers and Strode. Still, HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH did well enough to bring back the pale faced psycho for even more adventures. That formula worked on and off until HALLOWEEN (6): THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS was released in September of 1995.

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Bringing audiences the latest adventures of a maniac like Myers near his favorite day of the year was a no-brainer. However, after THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS the rest of the series found themselves in front of fans a few months before. Both of Rob Zombie’s attempts had an August release - which along with September has become quite regular for many features. Yet releasing a film when trick or treaters are ready to take over the neighborhood suddenly became a thing again with the release of James Wan’s SAW in 2004, on October 29th. And boom, suddenly Lionsgate had a brand new hit film with a bunch of sequels that further pushed gruesome bloodshed into a yearly routine.

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Even more so than HALLOWEEN, the SAW franchise was a brand new tradition for those looking to get shocked closer to the end of the month. From 2004 up until 2010, we gave witness to some disturbing traps that helped make that time of year all the more creepy. Of course like most of the major franchises, SAW began to lose a little of its shock value. So leave it to Paramount Pictures to release a cheap little film about a woman haunted by demons, one that also happened to be “found footage,” and suddenly fans were clamoring for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY - the first of which came out a couple of weeks before SAW IV. Perhaps we needed a break from the grim world of Jigsaw, but either way, we had a brand new tradition until folks grew tired of the slamming doors and creepy possessions. Nobody had all that much interest delving into PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION in 2014.

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Aside from the one off-shoot called PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES which had a January release in 2014, SAW and PA each had a decent run. Then, in 2015, we discovered that there was no Michael Myers, no Jigsaw and no possessed Katie stomping around. So now, we are heading into our second year of not having a cool Halloween-themed franchise. However, we do have a sequel to the 2014 hit OUIJA. That nearly unwatchable teen scream couldn’t conjure up any real fears. Sure it made money, but you’d be hard pressed to find a genre fan that really loved the film. The question is, can they make something superior to the weak frights found in the first one? Is this really our new October franchise?

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OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL may not appear to be something to get excited about, yet part of me would love to see something come of it. After all, we’ve had a few decent ouija-related features, including my personal favorite, the totally 80’s WITCHBOARD (1986) starring Tawny Kitaen. So that could be why I am slightly looking forward to this prequel. You've also got writer/director Mike Flanagan. From his super disturbing OCULUS to the extra tense Netflix feature HUSH, the man has a knack for suspense. The cast also seems to be solid. You have Guillermo del Toro favorite Doug Jones, as well as Henry Thomas, Lin Shaye, Kate Siegel and Elizabeth Reaser. And frankly, while the trailer didn’t blow me away, it certainly looks better than the first film. If this works, I can’t say that this wouldn’t be an intriguing regular release for October. It’s surely possible.

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Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but we want a new horror movie tradition for Halloween! While I don’t know if any October viewing will ever be as cool as a new HALLOWEEN flick, I’m never opposed to an event release when the leaves begin to fall and the nights get longer. We all complain about a lack of originality when it comes to horror, but come on, you all know that waiting for another movie to hit theatres at an expected time can be a great feeling, even if the movie sucks. Hell, I had a blast with both SAW and PARANORMAL even when the sequels were terrible. At least you could take pleasure in knowing you all shared in the fun of trashing a silly continuation. Either way, let’s see if we can bring back the fun of the holiday to the cinema. And hey, maybe when SAW: LEGACY hits theatres on October 27th of 2017, it will remind us how cool a fright filled Halloween shock can be.

Extra Tidbit: Which horror franchise would you like to see as a regular October release?
Source: JoBlo.com



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