'Halloween Returns' Delayed: What's Next For Struggling Horror Series?

Aric Mitchell

Halloween Returns, the next installment in the horror franchise, will face further delays, according to series producer Malek Akkad.

In recent comments to the Daily Dead, Akkad said that fans would have to be a bit more patient than intended before the next installment in the Michael Myers franchise comes around.

While some might be disappointed in this news, Akkad insists the next iteration is in good hands and the extra time will result in a better movie.

For fans flummoxed by the often confusing and bloated mythos of Laurie Strode, Jamie Lloyd, and boogeyman family member Myers himself, this could also be good news.

Then again, Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (the guys behind all the bad Saw sequels) are in charge, so you never know. One potential positive is that the pair also created The Collector and The Collection films, which were pretty solid horror entries.

Still, that's not a guarantee they can play in another's sandbox.

Rob Zombie couldn't do it with his 2007 reboot and sequel, and the revolving door of creators behind original sequels -- Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, H20: Halloween 20 Years Later, and Halloween: Resurrection -- all failed to varying degrees as well.

Still, like his late father, Akkad knows a meal ticket when he sees one, and each of the Halloween films, bad or not, have turned a profit, which is why Myers continues to be around close to four decades later.

It's also why you can find an endless selection of fan films continuing the Haddonfield murder saga on YouTube.

Most adhere to the family connection storyline that John Carpenter introduced (and seemingly wrapped up) in 1981's Halloween II, which is, to date, the only sequel that most horror fans and critics will agree to accept.

"Although, I have to say, and this is somewhat new news -- but unfortunately things happen in Hollywood where you have issues with studios and different variables -- we've had to take a step back and now we're trying to refigure this beast that is the new Halloween. So there is a bit of a delay... But this new Halloween isn't going to be quite what has been announced and what people are expecting, so we're making some changes there as well."

It's a tough question to answer.

The first two Halloween movies are generally accepted as canon. Then you have 4, 5, and 6, which bring in the "Thorn" storyline, and H20 which is a direct sequel to the first two films. That's followed by Resurrection, which is a sequel to H20 at first; then it attempts to start a new narrative, but falls on its face.

Finally, you've got the Zombie movies, which are their own beast altogether (and seldom worthy of acknowledgement).

If they make a direct sequel to Zombie's films (they're not), then they're basically continuing a mythos that has been largely rejected by fans of the original. If they try another reboot -- well, that's been done, too. And by now, the Laurie Strode-as-sister stuff has sucked all the suspense and surprise out of what was a fine pair of Golden Age slasher movies.

In other words, they've boxed themselves in where they can't make a credible sequel to either timeline and they can't do yet another remake/reboot without looking foolish.

Suggestion: As good as 1981's Halloween II is, get rid of it, and make Halloween Returns another direct sequel to the original. Synopsis:

"It's 1988. After Myers was shot six times, his body was never recovered. The town of Haddonfield has never been the same. Tommy and Lindsey -- the children from the first film -- have lived with the memory of that night for 10 years and now they're about to graduate high school. They don't talk much because they want to forget; but the closer they get to Haddonfield High's homecoming night/celebration, which coincides with Halloween, they both start to fear history will repeat itself. They feel a presence stalking their every move. Lindsey thinks she sees the man in the white mask -- because final girl and all -- but most of her friends think she's crazy. Then people start to die. But has Michael Myers come home, or is there someone else behind the mask?"

Or you could just ditch Halloween Returns altogether and stop making sequels. What do you think, readers?

[Image via Halloween 6]