John Carpenter’s 1978 film Halloween, while borrowing from certain precursors (Bava films and giallos, for example), would end up establishing a template that would be followed by horror movies for about a decade. While most would only glean the superficial elements to copy (set it on a holiday! killer wears a mask!), some would end up adding their own twists and inspiration from Carpenter’s iconic film. But what if it were released today? How would producers market Carpenter’s film in today’s film climate?
YouTube user Adam Eyster re-imagines the Halloween trailer if it were made today, in the age of Platinum Dunes remakes and James Wan (The Conjuring) style films. There are certain similarities between this version and the original trailer—both showcase the homicidal actions of a young boy, Loomis’ disgust at finding true evil, and the fact that people are gonna die. The original trailer, though, perhaps fitting in with the style of the time, uses more whole segments of the film, plays up the dread of the implied menace of Myers, and only uses Carpenter’s equally iconic score. Eyster’s version reflects the worst of today’s movie trailers: It uses quick cuts to make the film appear both more brutal and more action packed, inserts a topical (and possibly ironic?) pop song into the trailer, and over explains the origins of the story and the plot. It’s an interesting exercise to think about how the same content can be marketed multiple ways depending on the styles of the time. And mostly it‘s just an excuse to once again enjoy Donald Pleasance talking about how much he hates a little boy.
Here’s the original for comparison’s sake: