January 2, 2016

Dimension loses rights to Halloween! A Recap of Their Reign.

There was some big news about the Halloween franchise this week. Dimension has reportedly lost the rights to the series. Right now, the licence is apparently being shopped around to see who will next express a keen curiosity in taking over. Dimension had the rights for twenty years and did not waste much time when they first developed Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers after shortly acquiring it.

To kick off the new year, why don’t we analyze their past objectives during their regnant and see what was successful. And what wasn’t.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

It had been six long years since the release of Halloweeen 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. But Dimension’s takeover of the franchise didn’t exactly start off with flying colours! The movie had to be almost entirely reshot after claims that it didn’t test well with audiences. For years it had been claimed that the infamous Producer’s Cut which had been circulated online and in the black market was, in fact, the superior version. That version was released officially for the first time last year, and in all it’s HD glory, unfortunately failed to live up to expectations. The theatrical version is only a marginal improvement but the idea to give away the mystery of Myers’ insanity and indestructibility all but nearly killed off the “boogeyman” for good! On the bright side, it is better than it’s predecessor, Halloween 5, if only for it’s smoother pacing and Donald Pleasence’s last role before his tragic death in 1995. Dimension would have their work cut out for them if they were to make an installment worthy of high critical praise.

Halloween: H20 (1998)

But thankfully for them, actress Jamie Lee Curtis came up with the novel idea of approaching them with the idea to make a Halloween movie that would celebrate the twenty year anniversary of the original. Ignoring all the previous entries except for the first two, Halloween: H20 would go back and reinvestigate the story of Laurie Strode’s psychological and physical battles with the masked madman. With Curtis on board, the film was given much media coverage both in the US and the UK despite only opening at number 3 at the box office there. Still, that was a lot better than being a direct to video release as Halloween 6 was given. Despite the intention of Curtis to kill off her fictional brother for good, Dimension had other plans four years later….

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

It seemed that lopping Michael Myers’ head off would not be enough to prevent him from trying to make a killing at the box office, and Halloween: Resurrection proved that. Sort of. Jamie Lee Curtis returned for a ten minute cameo at the beginning of the movie, a part that was heavily marketed to grab the attention of audiences. Unfortunately, the first ten minutes happened to be the best part of the film! The rest of it tried capitalising on the ‘Big Brother/reality television’ angle that had not long gotten off the ground. The director of 1981’s Halloween II, Rick Rosenthal returned to the directing chair for this one, but some of the elements that made the earlier movies a hit just didn’t work here. Halloween: Resurrection moved at a snail’s pace with nothing much to show for it except letting then hip hop music star, Busta Rhymes show off and dig the hole deeper for what was a well beaten horse by then.

Halloween (2007)

Malek Akkad, son of Moustapha Akkad, saw fit to reboot the Halloween series after probably noticing what a mess that had become of it all. Up until this point, there were three continuity routes that the previous eight Halloween movies created and everything became one big knot that was impossible to untie! Industrial rock star, Rob Zombie was given his chance to share his own vision of what a Halloween movie should be. Renowned actors such as Malcolm McDowell and horror fan favourites, Bill Moseley and Brad Dourif were cast. Even former Halloween child actor Danielle Harris was bought back, much to the delight of the fans. But the script was leaked some months before the movie’s release and some of its aspects did not go down too well! Zombie and Harris came to it’s defense, stating that it wasn’t the final draft. But only about 10% of that was, in fact, true. Michael Myers returned in what was his most bloodiest outing so far. But the style and technical creativity that made the original a classic was long gone. Halloween turned out to be a superficial gory fun ride for nearly two hours but there was little else to redeem from it.

Halloween II (2009)

Rob Zombie, like John Carpenter once stated, said that there was no more story to tell after being given the opportunity to direct Halloween (2007). But Dimension were not prepared to let him get off the hook that easily! Persuading him to return once more, Rob took command again for the sequel to the remake. Admittedly, Halloween II did not turn out as bad as many people say it did. The cinematography was quite dark in places but it was also in the original and in Halloween 2 (1981). Still, and as was in Halloween: Resurrection, the first quarter of an hour was the best part about this movie. And it also took place in a hospital, just like it had in the aforementioned. Perhaps Dimension should have taken notice before letting the rights expire! Malcolm McDowell does an admirable job once again, as did Danielle Harris, but going down the route of Friday 13th and making Myers a mumma’s boy probably wasn’t the most brightest of ideas. Did Rob Zombie intentionally sabotage his own movie? Let’s leave you to wonder about that.

About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.


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