“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

The Shape of Evil: confronting darkness through the ‘Halloween’ series

A new publication called Drugstore Culture recruited me to write some stuff for them, so over the past month or so I rewatched the entire HALLOWEEN series (including the two Rob Zombie ones) and wrote about it as a whole.

This is pretty different from my usual approach. I tried to dig non-judgmentally into the symbols of each chapter (even RESURRECTION!) to find deeper meaning we can apply to our current world or to things I’ve been going through in my life. I was surprised how much I found in III and 6, actually. It’s kind of a weird piece I think but perhaps obsessive in an unusual way, and hopefully some of you will like it.

By the way, I filed this before seeing the new one, so the bad news is I should’ve added a few lines about it, the good news is there are no spoilers for that particular one. Just ten other movies.

READ “THE SHAPE OF EVIL: CONFRONTING DARKNESS THROUGH THE ‘HALLOWEEN’ SERIES” ON DRUG STORE CULTURE

 

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 26th, 2018 at 2:15 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

9 Responses to “The Shape of Evil: confronting darkness through the ‘Halloween’ series”

  1. A handy guide to choosing your journey through the Halloween mulitverse:

    Handy Chart Lays Out the 'Halloween' Franchise's "Choose Your Own Adventure" Timeline - Bloody Disgusting

    The franchise gets real interesting with this year's David Gordon Green-directed Halloween, as it's not quite a continuation of the original franchise or R

  2. Super enjoyed reading it Vern

  3. Excellent overview/defense of the series, Vern. Your takeaway on it sounds a lot like Carpenter’s, which he expressed at then very end of his first commentary track for HALLOWEEN: “If there’s any point to be made in the film, it’s that you can survive the night. […] Being aware of evil is an important thing in life. All children need to be told that the world can be bad, and dark, and dangerous. But with a little luck and awareness, you can survive.”

    I think of this quote, delivered so matter-of-factly in that indelible calm and confident Carpenter way, when I need a little pep talk. I think this concept, of facing the boogeyman and realizing you’re stronger than it, even if just by a little, is what got me into horror as a scaredy-cat young kid in the first place. Really, isn’t that what most horror is about? To look the night in the eye, to know it for what it is, to fight it with whatever defenses you have, no matter how weak or few, and maybe, just maybe, live to see the dawn. It applies to any and all challenges, obstacles, or trauma we may face.

    So just remember what old John Carpenter does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, John Carpenter just looks that big old storm right square in the eye and he says:

    YOU CAN SURVIVE THE NIGHT.

  4. Great piece, Vern. I read bits of it to my wife and she talked a little about how that same feeling- not the fear of death, but the idea that you might get away in the end- is what really drew her to true crime shows after the death by suicide of a close family member. As she put it, “if these folks can get through the worst day of their lives and come out the other side, than so can I.”

  5. Awesome Mr. M. That was a great read too.

  6. Excellent analysis and glad you’re getting some freelance work.

    I realized something similar on my last rewatch of Nightmare on Elm Street Series. It’s not about who Freddy kills. It’s about who’s strong enough to face him. It’s not the martial artist or the wizard. It’s usually the girl everyone underestimated.

    It’s why I love H2O so much. And maybe why I love Busta Rhymes kickboxing Michael Myers. But seriously, it’s the survivors that give us hope, whatever the evil is.

  7. Crushinator Jones

    October 29th, 2018 at 11:09 am

    This was a very good article, thanks Vern.

  8. Great write-up, Vern. You just made my crappy Monday worthwhile.

  9. Awesome work Vern. This was a great read!

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