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Small Details You Missed In The Halloween Trailer

David Gordon Green's 40-years-later follow-up to John Carpenter's classic Halloween picked up extra attention when it was announced that Carpenter himself would be returning to the series for the first time in 36 years to serve as executive producer and composer. Anticipation got even hotter when Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle were revealed to be reprising their respective roles as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers (or as hardcore fans know him, the Shape). An intriguing cast and crew of Halloween newcomers, including Judy Greer as Laurie's daughter and Danny McBride sharing scripting duties with Green, sent speculation into overdrive.

Halloween's trailer debuted at CinemaCon in April, but the footage remained otherwise under wraps with surprisingly few reports of leaks (a testament, perhaps, to Blumhouse's careful marketing strategy and the sacredness of Halloween among horror hounds). Now it's finally been released to the public, and fans seem to agree it was worth the wait. After all the guessing, which hints does the trailer give us about what awaits in this installment of the Halloween saga? Join us as we cut into some details you might have missed. 

Cleaning up the timeline

Halloween co-screenwriter Danny McBride hinted early on that the new film wouldn't be particularly concerned with any of the original film's other sequels. It's an understandable decision; over 40 years, the ten Halloween movies have included a remake (and its sequel), an unrelated spinoff, and multiple attempts to rewrite or retcon some pretty convoluted continuity. First Laurie had only a daughter, then only a son. First she was dead, then she wasn't...and then she was again. Then there was all the "Curse of Thorn" stuff, but we'll get to that later.

The trailer lays out a new timeline with a number of details that strip the story down to its bones. Michael is cited as having murdered three teenagers (presumably Annie, Bob, and Linda) on Halloween night in 1978. He's been in custody ever since, meaning definitively that no other sequels have happened in the world of this new Halloween. Based on that body count, it seems even the Carpenter-scripted Halloween II, which took place on the same night as its predecessor, wasn't safe from the purge.

Sequel nods

The sequels may be now banished to an alternate timeline (or multiple alternate timelines), but that doesn't mean there aren't echoes of them in the new Halloween. Some are clearly intentional, while others may just be coincidental. Either way, the trailer promises that fans who are nostalgic for Halloween history won't be entirely forsaken by the new movie. We're given a glimpse of a truck stop setting not unlike one in which Dr. Sam Loomis faced off with Michael in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, and a scene of Myers stalking in a public restroom will likely seem familiar to anyone who remembers Halloween: H20.

The most significant reference to the sequels, though, is definitely a line in which Laurie's granddaughter, Allyson, clarifies that Michael Myers is not, in fact, her grandmother's brother. "That was something that people made up," she shrugs, shutting down one of the core tenets of the Halloween mythos. The sibling connection was first revealed in Halloween II and would be explored and explained throughout the series as an ancient curse that drove Michael to slaughter his own bloodline. Rob Zombie even worked the family angle into his remake of the original film.

With this line of dialogue, the trailer acknowledges this legacy while simultaneously wiping the slate clean and returning to the elemental horror of Myers' unknowable motivations. Carpenter, who has admitted regrets about Halloween II, likely doesn't mind. 

Loomis looms large

Donald Pleasence's performance as Dr. Sam Loomis was always one of the most consistent elements of the Halloween series. Appearing in five entries as the Van Helsing to Michael Myers' Dracula, Loomis dedicated his life to stopping Myers by any means necessary. Sadly, Pleasence passed away just after completing work on 1995's Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, but no tribute to the original classic would be complete without an acknowledgement of the good doctor.

As the trailer begins, we meet two documentarians preparing to interview Michael in prison. Quick flashes show us excerpts from Loomis' notes, including his first-hand accounts of his early encounters with the young boy who had just murdered his sister Judith. We also see a courtroom sketch of Loomis testifying at Michael's trial, hinting at the events that immediately followed Halloween night 1978 in this new timeline. Hopefully, we'll get to find out how the rest of the doctor's life transpired in a world where he didn't have to fight his greatest nemesis over and over again. Appropriately, this montage is closed out by the very same sound of Loomis' gunshots that sent Michael over a balcony at the end of the original movie. 

Maximum security?

The trailer is very dedicated to selling us on the idea that Michael Myers is no less dangerous just because he's a senior citizen. A montage shows us several details about the facility in which he's apparently spent the past four decades. Snipers patrol the roof. A control panel operates double electronic doors and fire prevention measures. Attack dogs bare their teeth. Even in the open-air yard, inmates (including Michael, standing still and at the ready as ever) are chained to small, regulated squares.

And yet, something seems slightly...off. There may be a plethora of security redundancies in place, but they all appear to be woefully out of date. An array of security cameras display their feeds on tiny, ancient CRT monitors that could just as well be nearly as old as the original movie. Maybe the film is making a comment on the state of America's prison systems, or perhaps this particular institution is just a strange fortress that hasn't moved on with the rest of the world. At any rate, one thing we know for sure is that it won't be able to hold Myers for much longer. 

Dreaming of a green Halloween

As Laurie's granddaughter walks with her friends down the streets of Haddonfield, it's hard not to recall the original gang of doomed babysitters trekking home from school in 1978. It's also hard not to notice the lush green trees standing in opposition to the bright orange leaves scattered on the ground. With everything so clearly in bloom, where did all that dead foliage come from? Tradition.

The original Halloween was an extremely low-budget production, and things like shooting locations and set decoration were not always within the control of John Carpenter and producer/co-writer Debra Hill. Turning sunny spring days in Southern California into creepy October afternoons in Illinois provided a number of headaches for the crew. Carpenter and Oscar-winning cinematographer Dean Cundey worked tirelessly to bring out a more autumnal color palette, going so far as to scatter fake leaves around each of their settings. They only had one bag of leaves, though, so they had to be gathered up again at the end of each scene.

The trick worked, as the film went on to be hailed for its effective atmosphere. For diehard fans, though, the paradoxical sight of green and orange leaves intermingling has always been part of the Halloween experience. It's heartwarming to see, then, that this new Halloween (which was shot in a South Carolina winter) has recreated this particular element of autumn in Haddonfield.

Eerie echoes

The visual callbacks to Carpenter's classic don't stop at the leaves on the ground. While the trailer promises that director David Gordon Green is bringing a unique and striking visual style to Halloween, it also grants a few nods to specific moments from original movie. A shot of escaped inmates wandering on a road in a car's headlights immediately recalls Dr. Loomis' very first scene. A shape (which may or may not be the Shape) waits menacingly under a cute ghost sheet, just as Michael did before killing Linda in 1978. Some might even say that Will Patton, in his role as a Haddonfield police officer, bears a striking resemblance to Charles Cyphers as Sheriff Leigh Brackett.

For Green and McBride, recapturing Carpenter's aesthetic in a fresh light was a major priority. "It seemed to be such a simple formula of what made it so spooky and I haven't even seen that duplicated in the other ones," McBride said about the visuals in a Collider interview. Green also cited Michael's "arts and crafts projects," such as his creative corpse tableaus, that had been somewhat lacking in the series since the original film. That spirit is certainly alive in the trailer's shot of Myers taunting a would-be victim with a handful of teeth. 

Laurie's life

Halloween made both Jamie Lee Curtis and the character of Laurie Strode iconic. The series has long struggled with the task of living up to her original performance. She remained bedridden for most of the first sequel, then supposedly died in a car accident once Curtis stopped reprising the role, only to have her return in H20 under an assumed identity, having faked her death. Finally, she was murdered by Michael in the opening minutes of Halloween: Resurrection. So, if this new Halloween ignores all but that one night of terror, what's Laurie been up to for 40 years? Preparing, it seems.

Our first glimpse of Laurie in the trailer is of the scar she still bears from Michael's knife. It's a clear visual metaphor for her refusal to forget about him. We see her practicing her marksmanship and declaring her intention to wait for his return, but on closer inspection, her preparedness goes even deeper than that. Not only does she have a secret bunker of some kind, but the exterior of her house is outfitted with surveillance equipment, and massive stocks of canned food can be spotted as she arms herself for the final face-off. Michael has his own scars, too — look closely and you'll notice a hole in the mask where Laurie stabbed him with a knitting needle.

The spree begins

The trailer's brief recap of the events of 1978 serves as a reminder that the body count of the original Halloween is surprisingly low — at least by the standards of the slasher films that would follow it. Rather than gore and relentless brutality, it relied on unsettling tension and creative kills. It remains to be seen just how relentless Myers' return will be, but the trailer does offer some quick glances at the murderous mayhem to come.

Michael's pursuit of the documentarian, Dana, as she hides in a bathroom stall is far from subtle. But blink and you might miss that one of his tools in this scene is the bloodied body of Dana's partner, Martin, who is being used by the killer as a human battering ram to break down the door. We also spot an unfortunate mechanic who falls victim to Michael's need for a new pair of overalls. Another man can be seen getting attacked from behind as a horrified Allyson watches. Finally, a shot of a yellow-sleeved arm grasping desperately for help suggests that Myers hasn't lost his penchant for offing innocent babysitters. Of course the final victim tally will have to wait until October 19, 2018 — the Night He Comes Home...again.