The Shape of things to come…

I’ll be honest, there is no other movie I’m looking forward to more than Halloween. I know who is involved and that Blumhouse is producing and I have steered clear of any other details. This is becoming a more common trend in die-hard movie fans that we’ll address in an editorial soon. So when the trailer starts I was surprised to find Michael Myers has been in an asylum all this time while lone survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) built secret panic rooms and became an expert shot and all around badass. Of course I want to know how he was captured and more, but I quickly let those thoughts subside as I watched this chilling opening that does something that the majority of the entries after the original film failed to do…

It scared me.

The sequel to the original Halloween wipes the butcher knife clean of the blood and rust the series has garnered these last forty years. Nothing after the original entry happened, not even the family ties of Laurie and Michael that this trailer cheekily addresses as an urban legend. Gone are all the convoluted and convenient horror tropes of the aforementioned and the horrible druid Cult of Thorn curse that over-explained Michael’s supernatural abilities of, well, not dying.

The tone is perfect. Brown leaves litter the ground as carved jack-o-lanterns sit on hay bales in yards with sheet ghosts firmly planted for decoration. It is the fall and it is definitely Halloween. The feeling that envokes is surprisingly something that the series often has failed to capture, especially considering its namesake.

There are a few nice callbacks including a scene that has a costumed child running into Michael as he roams the neighborhood street with original music cue and all. These are nice nods that aren’t overly threading the needle of Myers dilapidated mask in nostalgic repair.

The teeth, the mirror shot, and the closet scene. That closet scene!

Regardless of what the end result turns out to be, we know John Carpenter is giving us a new score. For that alone this sequel is worth the risk. Also, the franchise has never had another truly great film. Debate all you want for the stand alone third entry (Tom Atkins forever), the pitch perfect feeling of the season of Halloween in The Return of Michael Myers opening titles (which this trailer is already rivaling), or the self aware Scream era H2O entry. But nothing has lived up to Carpenter’s original work four decades ago. If there is ever a chance for another Halloween movie to do so, it’s this one.

David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Snow Angels) is directing from a script he co-wrote with Danny McBride (Alien: Covenant, Vice Principals) and Jeff Fradley. Halloween also stars Will Patton, Virginia “Ginny” Gardener, Dylan Arnold, Drew Scheid, Miles Robbins, and features the return of Nick Castle as The Shape himself.

October 19th is the night he returns home.


Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat is the definitive Halloween movie.

If you’ve seen it, and you probably have by now, then you know why. No other movie encompasses the spirit of Halloween more than Trick ‘r Treat does.

Trick ‘r Treat is an anthology that has five interwoven stories that occur on Halloween. There’s a woman who loathes the holiday and has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband and perhaps something else; There’s a high school principal with a secret life; a college virgin may have just met the guy to lose it to; a group of young teens who pull a mean prank; and a mean old man meets his match with a  supernatural trick-or-treater, Trick ‘r Treat mascot Sam.

Sam is short for Samhain, the festival of the Dead meaning “Summer’s End” and pronounced “saag-win” or “aaaa-ween.” It’s a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year. For many, Samhain also is the beginning of the spiritual new year.

Sam is the spiritual essence of Halloween. He’s cute, playful, a prankster, supernatural, and scary.

Trick ‘r Treat was set to release in 2007, but for some reason Warner Bros. (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) decided to pull it from release with no rhyme or reason. It was two years later before it was released straight to video without much of a marketing push. Despite the overwhelming onslaught of straight to video releases in the horror genre, Trick ‘r Treat still managed to gain a cult following. Why? Because it’s just that good. This list is about our favorite things to watch during Halloween, and ultimately what feels most like the holiday. Sure, there’s more than a few on the list that aren’t directly Halloween related, but still are films that are a must watch this time of the year (The Exorcist, The Shining).

But Trick ‘r Treat is something special in that it completely loves Halloween. From every corner of the frame it is soaked in the lore and the visual appreciation for All Hallows’ Eve.

This is evident in the the trailer embedded below.


In the years since its release, Trick ‘r Treat continues to gain a following as being the Halloween movie to watch. AtmosFEARfx just released a Trick ‘r Treat video for their interactive Halloween decorations collection. FEARnet even ran a 24 hour marathon just like the seminal Christmas classic, A Christmas Story has. Here’s an ad for that (I love that Sam has a Dead Man’s Bones lunchbox tin).


Creator, Michael Dougherty created Sam years ago in his 1996 animated short Season’s Greetings. Just like the movie, this is also a Halloween gem that deserves a viewing.

We can’t really say much more than that. Trick ‘r Treat is the best Halloween movie. Period.

Michael Dougherty knows his craft and thankfully is working more and more. Krampus had a major studio release and is one of the best Christmas horror movies ever too. Krampus was the best decorated house at this years Halloween Horror Nights if you were wondering.  And just last week it was announced that he would take on the directing duties of Godzilla 2 that has me genuinely excited (despite the first having scale and looking great it was kind of a bore). Shit… this is probably going to delay Trick ‘r Treat 2 though. Choices!

We hope you’ve had an amazing and frightful Halloween season. Thank you for sharing it in some part with us here at Inside Pop Culture. Check out our other must-see picks on our 31 Days of Halloween list here.


Featured Artist | Sooki Martinsen

Sooki is so cool. Once again, the work in our featured image is IPC’s own, Sooki Martinsen. If you missed her work on yesterdays entry, Halloween then go check that out. To see more of her work go to Here is Sooki’s take on Sam from Trick ‘r Treat.



Come on, you knew this one was coming. How could it not? John Carpenter’s Halloween remains the apex slasher film. It is the horror movie that other horror movies wish they could be. It continues to frighten us with each new viewing and leaves the audience on a knifes edge of sanity by the time the credits roll. The moment you hear Halloween’s all too familiar theme music, no matter the situation, you become a little more on edge, a little more alert of your surroundings.

Halloween was co-written, scored, and directed by John Carpenter on a budget of $300,000. (Roughly 10 dollars in today’s money.). It was released in 1978. It tells the story of a young boy named Michael Myers who for reasons unknown kills his older sister on Halloween night. Michael is committed to a mental hospital under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis. Michael escapes the facility as an adult and returns to his hometown for a killing spree while Loomis attempts to track him down.

Halloween set a lot of trends that would become commonplace in slasher films in the eighties and nineties. If Scream satirized the trend, Halloween set it. The fake out where the killer is not really dead, the pure virgin who stands as the lone survivor, these archetypes and others can trace their origins to Halloween.

I believe the reason Halloween became such an important pillar of the horror landscape is simple. The film contains very little blood or gore, and maintains a pretty low body count. It does not frighten us because of what we know, it frightens us because of what we do not know. Michael Myers is seemingly a mad man with no motivation. He’s the Shape, as he’s referred to in the credits. He starts to kill as a child and does not stop until he is seemingly killed by Dr. Loomis. His mask is a ghostly white that only barely resembles a human face, it is a blank canvas on to which the viewer projects their worst fear, Michael Myers can be anyone, anything; he serves no higher purpose but to kill.

Each sequel gives us a little more information on Michael Myers, and each movie gets little worse for it. Rob Zombie’s 2007 reboot dedicates a considerable amount of run time to delving deep into Michael Myers disturbed childhood in an effort to find a method to his madness. It completely misses the point, the madness is the method.

Halloween was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry because of its cultural significance in 2006. If it is not already a part of your October routine, it should be.

Don’t miss our other must-see picks on our 31 Days of Halloween list here. And stay spooky everybody!


Featured Artist | Sooki Martinsen

The work in our featured image is IPC’s own, Sooki Martinsen. A childhood friend who we’re fortunate enough to have help us with things like what you see above and below. Sooki is like, TALENTED. To see more of her work go to Here is Sooki’s take on Michael Myers.



You can read about demonic possession. You can listen to stories about it. Or you can watch it happen as a growling beast asserts itself, amongst other things, into the body of a child in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist.


Father Karras is in the subway and a bum says to him, “Father, could you help an old altar boy? I’m Cat’lick.” Later in the film during the exorcism we hear the demon, Pazuzu say those same words in the same voice. This scene is the one that scares me the most in The Exorcist. A movie so full of moments that truly horrify.

This is the demons way of confirming that evil is all around us, even when we don’t think it is. That’s never left me. Whether it’s true or not I’m not sure, but it’s still effective.

The images during the final exorcism scene with the priests chanting “The power of Christ compels you!” over her body as it levitates above the bed are forever stained in our imaginations and our pop culture subconsciousness. This is an absolute classic not only in horror, but in film as a whole.


The power of pop culture compels you to see what else made our must-see picks on our 31 Days of Halloween list here.


Today is National Pumpkin Day!

So naturally we just had to scour the internets for some cool pop culture inspired jack-o-lanterns to get you (and us) in the carving spirit!

1 | Keep it classy with a monster design.


2 | Embrace the Force with this Star Wars pumpkin.


3 | Declare your house with these Game of Thrones crests.


4 | Or go traditionally scary with these horror icons of the 80’s.


5 | Test your knife skills with this terrifying and amazing Predator pumpkin.


6 | Express your love for zombies, or killing them, with The Walking Dead.


7 | Here’s Johnny! 


8 | One ticket to Hogwarts please.


9 | Assemble with the Avengers.


10 | Or go on an adventure with Indy.


11 | Saving people, hunting things. Join the Winchester boys with this badass jack-o-lantern.


12 | Or haunt my nightmares forever with this Weeping Angel design.


Need more inspiration? Head over to Zombie Pumpkins website for all kinds of cool (and cheap!) stencils. Time to put on some spooky music and get to carving!