With more news coming out about Halloween Returns, I’m allowing myself to be cautiously optimistic about seeing Michael Myers back on the big screen. I wasn’t a big fan of the Rob Zombie movies, and 2002’s Halloween Resurrection wasn’t exactly what I look for in a film featuring “The Shape” either, so it has been a while since I have gotten my fix of Michael Myers. All of the comments that I have seen from director Marcus Dunstan indicate that the movie won’t be a dull retread with no understanding of what made the original film work. In recent years however, there haven’t been many big time slashers to hit theaters and make a big impact at the box office. Is 2016 about to change that?
With new Halloween and Friday the 13th movies on the way for 2016, we’ll get to see how much of an appetite for blockbuster slasher films the general movie going audience has. In recent years the highest grossing horror movies have been ghost stories with slashers few and far between. The last big slasher franchise film was 2011’s Scream 4, and that movie failed to make back its $40 million budget during its domestic release. That movie’s failure to reach the box office heights of its predecessors is slightly ironic as the success of the original Scream inspired the slasher boom that occurred during the late 1990’s and even provided inspiration for the return of Michael Myers in 1998’s Halloween H20. If Halloween Returns helps reignite the genre, maybe we can see some new original properties that have been lacking in recent years. There have been movies like 2013’s Texas Chainsaw 3D that made money, but nothing has been all that well liked critically and also had any type of mainstream impact.
In horror there are usually visible trends as far as the types of movies that audiences typically respond to, and with the slasher currently in decline, we’ll get to see if brand recognition can revitalize the genre. There are rumors of the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Hellraiser series returning to screens as well, so there could be a number of familiar names in theaters before too long. In today’s entertainment climate, there are so many movies and television shows that pull elements from multiple genres, that younger audiences may not want just a straight slasher. The genre has certainly seen its fair share of terrible movies, but also some of the most well known and highest grossing horror movies of all time as well. Will any of the reboot/relaunches/recalibrations of classic franchises set a new slasher boom into motion? We’ll have to find out next year.