Prominent Bowling Green Reference Throughout Surprisingly Effective New ‘Halloween’
I could've written that headline in 1978, except that I wasn't writing headlines in 1978. I wasn't going to R-rated movies at the time, either.
But, around here, one of the big things that jumped out for audiences of John Carpenter's original Halloween was the recurrence of Bowling Green/Warren County references throughout that film. (And, also, Carpenter's The Fog two years later.)
John Carpenter attended Western Kentucky University and so loved the campus and Bowling Green, that he dropped geographic Easter eggs into those two films. (Of course, that's back when Easter eggs ONLY referred to those colorful oval things you hid for the kids on Easter Sunday.)
Now, 40 years later, director David Gordon Green and his pal, Danny McBride, have written a sequel to the original that professes to completely ignore every other Halloween film that's been released in the last four decades.
I think they've accomplished their mission, even if, during the film's brisk 104 minute run time, you get the sense that Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has HAD encounters with her "evil twin" sporadically over the last 40 years.
Her home has become a seemingly impenetrable fortress, even though she, thankfully, doesn't seem to be crippled by an exaggerated paranoia like she was 20 years ago in the mishandled Halloween H20.
No, Laurie is now a singularly-focused warrior preparing herself and her family for the impending transfer of Michael Myers to another facility.
And since we know from the original (and those sequels that "never happened") how good Michael is at escaping, it's RED ALERT, fictional Haddonfield, Illinois!
Green and McBride have such a great affection for the original that they've not only commandeered several slasher film tropes (INVENTED in the first film, for the most part) and put them right back, essentially, where they started--and used them highly effectively--they've also paid homage to John Carpenter by referencing his beloved Bowling Green and Warren County.
A Smith's Grove mention makes a return early on in the film and all the sheriff's cars you see all through the movie say "Warren County."
It's a nice touch since, unlike Carpenter, Green and McBride don't HAVE a connection to Bowling Green but recognized how important that was to him.
I like the new Halloween. It's as much a psychological thriller as it is a horror movie and packs in some genuinely solid jolts as well as a couple of very quiet, slow-burn moments of dread at the institution and at the scene of a bus accident.
I've sort of been making fun of the fact that we're to forget all other Halloween sequels that have been made since 1978, but considering the fact that I haven't liked ANY of those other sequels and I'm impressed with this one, I guess I need to shut up.