The first trailer for Halloween 2018 showcases plenty of shocks, suspense, and moments of grisly nostalgic flair, but arguably the most notable takeaway belongs to a single line of dialogue confirming a major Michael Myers retcon.
Set 40 years after John Carpenter's Halloween in 1978, Halloween 2018 will break new ground in the franchise - namely by retconning every other sequel that came before it. Jamie Lee Curtis will reprise her role as Laurie Strode, one of the few survivors of Michael Myers' killing spree, and is revealed to have been preparing herself for his inevitable return. After Michael escapes confinement yet again, having done so in the original movie when he fled Smith's Grove Sanitarium, he proceeds to find Strode and kill her. However, despite the fact that Michael and Laurie were discovered to be siblings in Halloween II, this new, direct sequel is officially retconning their familial ties.
Even though this retcon was implied after director David Gordon Green and co-writer Danny McBride confirmed that their sequel would ignore Halloween II through 8, as well as Rob Zombie's remake and sequel, the trailer outright confirms it. In the trailer, Laurie's granddaughter Allyson (played by Andi Matichak) is strolling through a neighborhood with her two friends (very much akin to a scene in the original movie with Curtis and co-stars Nancy Kyes and P.J. Soles), when one of her friends Dave (played by Miles Robbins) asks, "Wasn't it her brother who murdered all those babysitters?" Allyson promptly corrects him by explaining that this idea was just based on something people made up over the years.
In Halloween II, it's revealed that Michael and Laurie are long-lost siblings; and in the sixth installment, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, it's revealed that Michael is required to kill any surviving members of his family per the Druid Curse of Thorn. Now that these story elements have been officially retconned from the series, Michael's motivation will take a much more simplified shape. In the sequel, the motivation propelling Michael to pursue Laurie in the sequel could easily stem out of revenge, but keeping with the spirit of the original, the lack of motivation could be what makes him so scary in the first place. In the first movie, his psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (played by Donald Pleasance) explains that he saw in Michael "no reason, no conscience, no understanding in even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong." Now, Green and McBride are harkening back to Michael's aimless pursuits, as opposed to any specific direction.
All that said, even with the confirmed retcon of Laurie and Michael's relationship, this isn't to say that Halloween 2018 won't ultimately pull the rug out from underneath audiences and confirm that there is a deeper connection between the hero and villain. Though the more satisfying approach to their relationship gravitates towards a "less is more" approach, which is the direction Green and McBride appear to be heading, anything is possible.
- Halloween (2018) release date: Oct 19, 2018