Horror movies save lives! If you don’t believe it, listen to Joseph Scott, a quick-thinking fan of Halloween who came to see his hero, Jamie Lee Curtis at San Diego Comicon.
Of all the headlining news coming out of Comicon this year, nothing was perhaps as memorable as a moment that happened at the Halloween Hall H panel on Friday night. When the question and answer portion of the panel started up, a bearded, middle-aged man approached the microphone. Joseph Scott was the target of a home invasion by a man with a knife 34 years ago, and in a quavering voice, he credited the character Laurie Strode for getting him through the incident, and saving his life. When the invader was stalking through his house, he thought to himself, “What would Jamie Lee Curtis do?” The tearful testimonial was one of those few moments in a convention Q&A that justifies panels having these fan interactions. He ended his story with stating that the movie moved him from being a victim to being a victor. (Points for eloquence Joseph!) I’m actually rather glad that Joseph didn’t retreat to a coat closet and try to fight the man off with a wire shirt hanger, as that trick might work only in the movies. I do wonder whether they caught the invader. He didn’t go much further in his story to describe how that all resolved itself, other than he was fortunate to be alive today.
Jamie Lee, clearly moved by the man’s story, came down from the podium, hugged, and held Joseph’s face in an emotional embrace. It was an intimate private moment that was in the most public of places. Add in the narration from moderator Yvette Nicole Brown, and this will go down in San Diego Comicon historical lore. (Side by side with Tom Hiddleston doing his Avengers Age of Ultron speech in full Loki garb, and the kid asking Ryan Reynolds to do the Green Lantern Corps speech with him.) The irony isn’t lost that this was a HORROR movie that brought out the feels. It also cements Ms. Curtis as worthy of the fan adoration that she’s built up over the years. Yep, she’s still got it. I’m a bigger fan than ever.
Even more encouraging is that the buzz coming out of Hall H from the Halloween panel was very positive. The producers brought along some Comicon exclusive (meaning we won’t get to see it yet) new footage of the opening sequence, which, like the original Carpenter film, took advantage of a very long, very intense, and very violent singular tracking shot. Some of my fears were that the film was going to end up in the quick cut frantic horror slasher fare that was so prevalent in the 90’s and 00’s. It’s comforting to know that current horror directors are recognizing that the stress and the scary tension gets built out of patience. Director David Gordon Green and Producer Jason Blum also addressed the fact that the movie, as a direct sequel to the first Halloween, is bypassing all of the sequels done to date. Though the movie re-directs the course of the storyline, they acknowledged that they have homages in this movie that tie back to all the other sequels, so they aren’t rejecting the remainder of them out-of-hand. I applaud the decision to do a semi-reboot, as it neatly excises out the mostly inferior sequel material and replaces it with new and improved canonical lore. Hopefully, the movie will justify this decision, and all signs so far point to a quality production.
I can’t help but feel, however, that this probably should be a one-and-done sequel. At this point, Michael (and the actor within, Nick Castle) is an old man. A psychotic old man, yes, but he’s up there. I think that trying to franchise sequel this movie, even if it is a hit, would just cheapen the whole point of the method of this reboot. I could be proved wrong, but that’s my strong inclination. And please… don’t do a full reboot of the original, again. (That means YOU, Rob Zombie! Stay away!)
To watch the emotional Hall H moment, here is the Comicon coverage, courtesy of We Live Entertainment. who covered much of the Comicon Hall H panel presentations. Now that the big Warner Brothers presentation is done, most of the big studios have done their pitches. DC comics may have come out with the most attention, but Halloween had the best moment. Check it out: