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October Needs a New Horror Franchise

Saw doll

Remember back just a few years ago when every October we got a new Paranormal Activity movie? and for nearly a decade before that we got a new Saw movie every Halloween season? Those were great times, some might even say the best of times (okay I don’t know about that, but they were good times nonetheless). For so long we could count on a new movie from one of these franchises to be released every October for our seasonal viewing pleasure. It was great, even when the movies weren’t so good as they came to be in later installments of the series, but it was a new horror flick to see on the big screen at the perfect time of year.

I only bring this up to say, we need a new franchise to dominate the October Halloween season. So many studios look to release their new horror films in early spring in order to be out on Bluray and DVD before the holidays. I get it, it’s a smart marketing move but come on, there has to be some value in having a horror movie guaranteed in theaters every October. The ringer is the movie doesn’t even have to be great, its bonus points if it is but in reality us horror fans just want to be able to hit the theater to see a new creepy movie on the big screen come the season.

I am constantly thinking back to Carpenter’s original idea for the Halloween franchise, how he wanted to turn it into a yearly anthology film series, telling a new story with each new film. He attempted to make this happen beginning with the third, and now coveted, movie in the series Season of the Witch but Michael Myers pull was too strong at the time and this was never brought to fruition. How great would it be to have a franchise dedicated to producing one new horror film a year directly dealing with the Holiday and its respective festivities?

I know, I am not the first person to bring this up but hindsight is always 20/20 and in this case Carpenter had a winning idea on his hand. Maybe we don’t ever actually get to see this happen, though it seems like a foolproof idea with horror being such a success at the box office this year, but there is still hope for October to get back to its one time glory. Revival screenings are doing a fine job filling this gap but we shouldn’t have to rely on just the old classics the satisfy our cravings for the macabre.

Maybe the rise of indie horror on VOD has something to do with it as well, when it’s so easy to watch new films from the comfort of your own home it’s easy to lose your desire to go out. Still, I like to believe the horror community, as well as people who just enjoy the holiday want to go out and have communal experiences celebrating this time of year. To me, there is nothing better than seeing a scary movie in a packed theater Halloween weekend.

Next year alone we are scheduled to see the release of a new Friday the 13th movie as well as potential new films in the Halloween and Saw franchises. Though these are established IP’s that have long since passed their prime there is some hope for the studios to get it right this time and reignite the fire that made these names so iconic in the first place. Especially with the new Halloween movie being produced over at Blumhouse, and with John Carpenter himself attached as an Executive Producer there is a lot to get excited about in the future.

I can think of nothing I would love more than to go out to the movies next year on Friday October 13 (my birthday) and get to see a great new addition to the Jason Voorhees canon. Will this happen? Who knows but we can always hope and with the past success of franchises like the ones I have mentioned I can’t imagine the studio mentality will let us go too much longer without another reliable franchise. Give me something fresh and original, or give me a new take on something classic, at this point I don’t really care, I just want a new franchise to look forward to every Halloween.

I turn this to you, the readers now. What are your favorite memories of seeing horror films in theaters at Halloween time? What would you like to see happen in the future as far as genre movies being released in October?

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I am Zach and I watch movies. They're pretty much my life, especially horror flicks because they're rad. I am also a freelance (and by 'freelance' I mean I have a blog) film critic and writer, If you would like to follow me outside of here you can find me anytime on Twitter @ZachWWMovies
  • Great article! And happy almost birthday! Mine is on the 24th. No wonder we love Halloween so much.

    It was a tradition for me and my best friend to see the new Saw every year. I heard Paramount wanted Rings to be their new Halloween franchise (barf), but now they pushed it back AGAIN. I doubt we’ll get one annually now.

  • Zachary Kindron

    Oh yeah, me and one of my best friends did the same with all of the Paranormal movies, even the God awful last one, but how crazy is it that two Zach’s with a “ch” both have October birthdays writing on a Halloween site. Life can be fun sometimes haha

  • I know right. When I posted my first article, I saw yours up and got momentarily confused. Lol. And just side note: I actually spell my name as just “Zac” when abbreviated, my parents just wanted me to be different. Lol. Though I see a ton of just c’s around now. Not so special after all. :)

  • Ardis

    Great post and I definitely agree being a budding writer of horror screenplays. I find it strange actually during the month of October there is rarely any really big horror films opening / playing in theatres. Shouldn’t that be the one day when there’s an overflow of horror movies at the movies? I was never a fan of the ‘Saw’ series but I’d even see that if it were playing near / on Halloween being the series is a gore-fest- rather than what probably will be out – the same old ghost / demon / exorcist movies that are being done to death.

  • Zachary Kindron

    Exactly! They can get away with releasing subpar horror and still getting us in theaters, but with the rising popularity of the holiday again I am surprised no studio has made any real attempt at taking over the month. Hopefully something in the coming years is able to do that, It really does seem like a no-brainer to release something big in October

  • Zachary Kindron

    True, growing up I knew very few people with my name, especially with this spelling but in my growing years i have met plenty of others haha Still, having October birthdays makes us special in our own right

  • True. :)