The Jamie Lloyd Era
Whereas the first two Halloween movies centered around Michael Myers attacking Laurie Strode, parts 4, 5, and 6 place Laurie's daughter Jamie (played by Danielle Harris, and later by J.C. Brandy) center stage. In Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, it's revealed that Laurie died in a car accident, putting her daughter in the custody of a foster family. This era of the franchise brought Michael and Dr. Sam Loomis back into the mix, while also introducing Thorn - a Druid cult that drove Michael to kill members of his family every Halloween as the result of an ancient curse.
In the trailer, the first callback to this era includes the disrobed corpse of a mechanic. In Halloween 4, Michael visits an auto repair shop, kills the mechanic, and steals his uniform - which he appears to do again in Halloween 2018.
There is then a reference to both Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers with the inclusion of the Mark of Thorn. The mark appears in both movies, notably as a tattoo on Michael's wrist. It's hard to tell if that's the case in the new canon, but it's nevertheless in the trailer: in the scene in which documentarian Dana Haines (played by Rhian Rees) is sitting on the toilet, there is some graffiti on the stall that includes the Mark of Thorn. However, it requires as a keen eye, as the mark is weaved into some additional abstract graffiti drawn around it.
And while these appear to be the last of the this era's references, there is a brief shot of a young woman running away from Michael whose Halloween costume looks to be a mix between the costumes worn by Tina (played by Wendy Foxworth) and Samantha (played by Tamara Glynn) in Halloween 5.
H20 and Halloween: Resurrection
After the Jamie Lloyd era, the Halloween franchise returned to its roots. Though Dr. Sam Loomis had been killed off in Halloween 6 on account of Donald Pleasance's actual death, Jamie Lee Curtis returned as Laurie Strode in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, revealing that she had faked her death in order to evade Michael Myers. And while the Halloween 2018 trailer does reveal the scar that Laurie has in H20, which was the result of being stabbed in the arm by Michael in the original Halloween, the more direct H20 reference involves a completely different character altogether.
In the trailer, documentarian Dana Haines is sitting on a toilet in a public restroom. She is then greeted by none other than Michael Myers, who proceeds to taunt her from outside the stall before full-on attacking her. This moment is reminiscent of a scene from H20 in which a woman and her young daughter are involved in a similar situation. In H20, Michael enters the bathroom while the woman and her daughter are in separate stalls, takes her purse, and proceeds to steal her keys - resulting in a non-violent robbery. In Halloween 2018, the scene is decidedly more violent, with Michael dropping a handful of human teeth by her feet before attempting to break into the stall.
What's more is that Dana's name is also a possible nod to Halloween: Resurrection, the follow-up movie to H20. In an earlier shot from the trailer when Dana is inside Smith's Grove Sanitarium, her visitor name tag reveals her last name: Haines. And though this may well be a coincidence, Haines is the last name of a Smith's Grove security guard (and eventual Michael Myers victim) in Halloween: Resurrection.
Is There Room For Any More Halloween References?
Now that a significant number of references to the retconned sequels have already been revealed in the trailer (though none, apparently, were from Rob Zombie's remake and subsequent sequel), it begs the question as to whether there's any room for more. As deliberate fan service, the references remind audiences that their beloved series is in respectful hands, but there is such a thing as "too much". Over-saturation can run the risk of overkill, and given that the whole point of Halloween 2018 is to pretend those sequels never existed in the first place, some well-placed restraint can potentially do wonders.
That said, Halloween 2018 wouldn't be any different from movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, T2: Trainspotting, or Jurassic World - sequels released well after the original that lean as heavily on throwbacks as they do original material. The takeaway from those movies have been hit or miss in this department, so whether or not this approach feels like a trigger for cheap nostalgia or a fan-servicing treat depends on the individual fan. And given that this franchise is inspired by a holiday predicated on overindulgence, maybe these references are actually more on-brand than their surface-level appeal suggests.
- Halloween (2018) release date: Oct 19, 2018