22nd Jun2018

‘For the Love of the Boogeyman: 40 Years of Halloween’ Review

by Philip Rogers

Love-Boogeyman-poster

This documentary is by fans and for the fans, chronicling why John Carpenter’s classic has stood the test of time. Bringing together some of the brightest voices from independent horror we will explore what makes the film so special. From the music, the mask to Michael Myers, everyone has their own take on Halloween (1978), and why it is the blueprint for slasher horror and in our humble opinion, has never been bettered.

2018 is a big year for Halloween fans as it marks 40 years since the release of John Carpenters original holiday classic which introduced us to the bogeyman Michael Myers. In addition, we can also look forward to a new sequel which follows on from the original film and looks to rewrite the history of the series, bringing back Jamie Leigh Curtis as Laurie Strode, Nick Castle as The Shape and John Carpenter as the producer.

The Halloween series has continued to remain popular among horror fans which is highlighted in the new documentary For the Love of the Boogeyman: 40 Years of Halloween. Written, produced and directed by Paul Downey the documentary brings together fans and independent horror filmmakers who give their own views on Halloween and how it influenced their own careers. Fans of the genre will probably recognise some of those who have participated in the documentary, which includes; Phillip Escott, Daniel Mark Young, James Secker, Justin M Seaman, Johnny Holt, Rocky Gray, Darren Jones, Jack Norman, Dave McRae, Jack Norman, Nils Reucker, David Hastings, James Plumb, James Morrissey, Liam Banks, kevin Somerfield, Richard Stringham, Troy Escamilla, Nathan Thomas Milliner, Dave McRae, Rick Gawel, Brett De Jager, J. Blake Fichera, P.J. Starks.

The documentary is divided with relevant themes to the film, with the excerpts from the contributors edited together as they give their personal views on; John Carpenter, Jamie Leigh Curtis, The mask, the music etc. It is interesting to hear their personal views regarding aspects of the film and even though some of the responses can become slightly repetitious, the excerpts between the participants are kept short, so the film never seems to lose momentum and keeps moving.

Fans who are hoping to find a more in-depth critical analysis of the film or hoping to find some new information regarding the film may be disappointed, although this has been covered in numerous documentaries previously. For the Love of the Boogeyman: 40 Years of Halloween is a fan made documentary, made for the fans by the fans, so there is no participation from anyone involved in the original film. The same can be said for the images, as Trancus Films refused them a licence to use any pictures from the original film. They have got around this by including some brilliant fan artwork and creating their own shots of Michael Myers. Their ingenuity actual works well for the film and it is one of the few documentaries where they can honestly say it is 100% original.

The documentary is broken up with a narration from Troy Dennison who gives some history behind the original film and a fan made homage which creates a unique Halloween sub story. Done on a budget, it does feel a bit strange at first because it is clear to see that this is a garage in the UK which is being represented an American petrol station. However, if you can see past the limitations of the budget, it is actually a well-made and entertaining homage which helps to break up the documentary.

At 43 minutes it maintains your interest and keeps you entertained throughout. I do think it would have benefited from a longer running time to explore other areas of the film, but this is a positive for the documentary, because it leaves you wanting more.

For the Love of the Boogeyman: 40 Years of Halloween may not offer anything new in terms of content, however as a fan made documentary it delivers what it sets out to achieve. An original and intimate perspective of the original Halloween film, from a new generation of filmmakers which it has continued to inspire. The legacy of Halloween continues to resonate among horror fans and is still recognised as one of the greatest horror films of all time. For long term fans of the film or those who may be looking to see the film for the first time For the Love of the Boogeyman: 40 years of Halloween is a great way to celebrate the anniversary and reflect on some of the elements that made the film so good.

For the Love of the Boogeyman: 40 Years of Halloween is due to be released on Facebook and YouTube on October 12th 2018.

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