TV and Film

Scrap That! Start Over: Rebooting Halloween and The Terminator

jamie lee curtis halloween 2018 main (Custom)

Isn’t it great how easy it is to forget our past mistakes? No matter how spectacular our pitiful, brainless screw ups and questionable judgement that results in years of bitterness and regret are, we can simply pluck it out of existence and move forward with our past errors fluttering away in some alternative universe. Isn’t it great?

No, because this is real life and unless you delete a sweat inducing post on social media in the hope it will never resurface again, (which it undoubtedly will) your mistakes will remain private and attempts at blatant overlooking won’t be held up for mass scrutiny.

Basically, be grateful you’re not Hollywood. In a parasite film world that milks the innovation and originality of every last franchise, audiences are often left with a series of films and TV shows that have so much potential but through misdirection and poorly judged creative decisions, (usually because the dollar sign is the main objective as opposed to creativity) audiences are left with a mess of a narrative that results in a simple afterlife; brutal dissection and scrutiny thanks to the Internets platform for bloggers and vloggers to spout their passionate opinions as if it’s as important as real life politics. I shouldn’t judge, I still believe The X-Files is really a documentary series.

Now when producers approach rebooting a franchise, it’s neither a scrap it/start over nor a continuation of the original story, but a combination of the two.

In recent weeks, the new installments of two much (milked) loved franchises have been announced, bringing back original players and virtually putting two fingers to the continuity of previous episodes as though they never happened. Halloween will be released in time for the originals half a century decade shy celebration with Jamie Lee Curtis returning to her iconic role as Laurie Strode. And 2019 sees Terminator 6: The Return of Biggest Let Down of a Franchise with Most Potential, with Arnie paired with the original Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton.

Granted, film studios overlooking or quietly ignoring the continuity of previous films (when thinking about the spike in their bank balance) is nothing new. 1998’s Halloween H20 might as well have been called, “Because the ones since Halloween 2 were garbage, this is an apology.” Of course that wasn’t the end as Halloween Resurrection brought Laurie Strode back and killed her off in what I still believe is one of the biggest betrayals in cinema history.

And The Terminator. Oh Arnie. What should have been a franchise with so much genuine potential was let down by sequels and a TV series that bolstered contradicted timelines, awful special effects and misjudged casting that resulted in the film franchise equivalent of Snakes & Ladders.

Thankfully the new Halloween film will apparently ignore the improved continuity as established in H20 and James Cameron has referred to the films post T2 as being a “bad dream.”

Ah right. Fine. After all the thought of seeing Jamie Lee Curtis run from Michael Myers and Linda Hamilton with a machete gun is enough to get our nostalgic tongues waggling. We can go along with that can’t we film goers?

Actually, yes we can. I can say that without an ounce of sarcasm. It’s actually refreshing when producers publically admit to past mistakes as opposed to obsessive fan boys (which yes I am one so no trolling please, thank you kindly sir or madam) trying to justify what is an unmitigated mess.

Naturally as an ambitious screenwriter myself, I care about the story above all else and not the fat cheque that comes with it; though I get that some people see it the other way around. Film buffs can make up our interpretations of franchises quite easily. I’ve always said there’s only three Halloween movies; the original, 2 and H20. Similarly there are only A Nightmare on Elm Street is really a trilogy; the original, Dream Warrior and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. The rest are just cash grabs or “bad dreams” which make the decent installments all the more satisfying. But how much more of this can we tolerate?

Which makes me question, in all seriousness, how many times can an audience invest in the latest chapter of a franchise knowing there’s a potential it won’t actually be canon in years to come? How many rubbish Alien sequels do we need so that the Sigourney Weavers of this world can finally return and remind us how it’s far better to drink an old bottle of wine as opposed to fresh but tasteless replicates.

Imagine a perfect franchise; one that can produce sequels that are necessary, as brilliant and innovative as their original sibling (hopefully Blade Runner: 2049, time will tell) and never need to kiss the feet of the Movie Gods and ask for forgiveness. I can’t think of one immediately.

Doesn’t matter. Rant over. In fanboy mode I proclaim; roll on October 2018 and summer 2019. God I’m a fickle so and so.

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