Thursday, August 2, 2018

Analysis Of Symbols: Halloween 2018

As discussed below, there are many changes with this new Halloween and it basically ignores all previous Halloween's except the original film. One of the significant changes is that, originally, Michael Myers was the brother of Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and he was under an ancient curse to wipe out his whole bloodline. Because the large knife he used to plunge into his victims (the echoes of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho) and the promiscuity of Myers' victims, the "slasher films" prominent throughout the 1980s came to be seen as the moral teachings of what sex actually does to the soul and try to convince teenagers to wait to have sex. With Myers being Laurie's brother, this added an incestuous dimension to the film and, although Michael Myers is still incarcerated for having killed his older sister Judith, Laurie is not related to him, meaning that we really don't have a motivation for why he's killing,... at least not at this point. The film makers have stated that they would like to make two more films after this Halloween: those films would be shot back-to-back and be scheduled for a quick turn-around time, but they are waiting to see how this one does first; so, "final confrontation?" It doesn't necessarily have to be the "same" villain or the "same" heroine; this could indeed be the final confrontation between Michael Myers and Laurie, but one of them could be still standing at the end and go onto the next film.
POLL: Over the many years I have done this blog, people have suggested that I make videos for YouTube; I have started a poll, in the right-hand column of this blog (mobile users, please navigate to the Week's Most Popular Posts) so you can let me know which you prefer: reading posts or watching videos. Please take a moment to record your vote so I know the medium you most prefer to receive this content. Even if this is the first time you have visited this site, you are welcome to vote, but please, so there is an accurate accounting, only vote once. Writing is important to my own thought process, so even if there is an overwhelming number of readers who prefer the videos to the written posts, I will continue writing posts at this blog; however, there are times when I would be able to post more and more regularly because the writing process does take me awhile, so that is the reason I am taking a poll to discover how you want to interact with The Fine Art Diner. Thank you so much for taking the time to vote!
It's just a simple pumpkin, however, there are a number of devices employed in this image to provide clues as to why it appears more menacing then it should. First, the eyes are not symmetrical. There have been plenty of "crazy eyes" lately, but the right eye being larger than the left eye demonstrates that the right eye, being bigger, "sees more" than the left eye that is smaller. Next, the "nose" is slanted to the right side, and also fails to be symmetrical; the nose symbolizes a person's character (yes, I know the pumpkin isn't a person, just generally speaking): because the face is the seat of a person's identity--the means by which others distinguish us from the crowd--and the nose is the most prominent feature of the face, it reveals a person's sense of honor and their overall character; then there is the mouth. The right side of the mouth is much smaller than the left side of the mouth. Now, the right side of the pumpkin (lined up with the big eye, the nose and small mouth) is flat and even; the left side of the pumpkin (the small eye, basically no nose and big mouth) is slanted, and we can tell by looking at how the tree grows in the background. What we can deduce is that the pumpkin provides a visual commentary on the differences between the Right (the political conservatives) and the Left (the Liberals): the Right sees more and has a greater emphasis on their sense of honor, whereas the Left has a greater emphasis on their appetites (more on this below) and slant everything to their advantage. 
This is really a well-done trailer, and it truly looks horrifying: while remaining "true" to the original John Carpenter Halloween of 1978. Speaking of Carpenter, he has returned to guide and produce the film's resurrection, and that includes a cleaned-up time-line that basically erases all the other sequels but for the original film (so Laurie [Jamie Lee Curtis] never died, his psychiatrist didn't die, there weren't other murders, etc., but most importantly, Michael Myers has been in custody since the end of the very first film, and this is going to have repercussions for how we understand the film today. There are a few changes, however, and we will discuss these as well as whether the film appears to be socialist or capitalist.
Let's start by assuming that this film is going to go pro-socialist (I don't think it will, but let's just argue that for a moment) and see where that takes us with what we have. Michael Myers is a white male, and we know that socialists hate white males because they have been the dominant power-holders in Western civilization for a really, really long time. Laurie is female, and as Hillary Clinton declared after her presidential loss in 2016, "The future is female," so the idea of Laurie (a minority who has been oppressed by the fear of Michael Myers for forty years) killing the white male who has terrorized her for so long is finally going to destroy him once and for all is an appealing plot to those who want to start a revolution against the capitalism white male power symbolizes in the eyes of socialists. There are, however, some massive problems with the surmounting details of this trailer and while I could definitely be wrong--as always, we only have about 2 minutes of a 2 hour film--I think we have sufficient evidence to counter this pro-socialist narrative and see one that casts the villain as a socialist.
Not much is known about Martin's character at this point (Jefferson Hall, top image holding the mask) apart from being some kind of investigator/documentary film maker (does he have academic credentials in psychology, or is this just a project he randomly picked to work on?) but there is an important detail we do know: he is after facts.  Holding up the mask to Myers and trying to get him to look at it is Martin's attempt to make Myers "face reality" and hold him accountable for what he did. These are both traits the Left hates: those who want facts instead of lies, and those who look to reality rather than utopia.What does Myers do in this scene? One could argue Michael Myers does nothing, but the truth is, Myers refuse to turn around and face his own real self in the mask and he refuses to accept accountability for what he did. THIS IS THE LEFT. This is the reason Myers is "tethered" to the weight in the courtyard where this scene takes place: Martin is trying to "pin him down" and make him confirm the truth, but Myers refuses to do so; we have seen similar scenes to this in Hitman: Agent 47, for example, when Agent 47's car is speared and tethered by officials in an effort to hold him down; Dom in Fast and Furious 8 is stealing nuke codes from the Russians and his team launches tethers at his car to keep him from going anywhere and in The Mummy we see the Mummy in the forest being stabbed with tethering devices by Prodigium soldiers (there is also a scene in the new trailer for the upcoming film The Nun where a demon disguised as a nun pins a holy nun against the wall). Trying to "pin down" Liberals, such as Hillary Clinton, and make them face facts is like trying to get Michael Myers to face you and accept responsibility for what he has done.
In the second image, we see the dead body of a car mechanic who has been murdered by Myers and the mechanic is naked; why? Myers needed to get out of his inmate clothing so he stole the uniform of a car mechanic. On one level, we have seen something like this before in Man Of Steel: after having saved the crew on an exploding oil rig, Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) steals some clothes from a truck parked at a house, but this truly echoes the plight of Kent: he doesn't have an identity of his own so he is having to "steal" the identity of normal people; what about Michael Myers? IF Myers is going to be a socialist figure, then it makes sense that he would "dress himself in the uniform of the working man" to wage war against those who stand in his way to power. Now, if you will look closely at this middle image (you can click on it to enlarge) the dead man's body lies in a pool of blood, and there is a metal object on the ground beside him; it's almost like he's been castrated and the metal object is the phallic symbol; why? As you have heard me say countless times, socialists have labeled the white man as their enemy because they are the "power holders" in Western civilization, and this mechanic is skilled, he's a worker who performs a service to people who have cars, so this would make the mechanic a "worthy kill" in the eyes of Myers who wants to assume the identity--not of a skilled worker--rather, of someone who has been "left behind" in a prosperous economy and wants more of his "fair share."
The murder of the car mechanic receives greater emphasis from the bottom image: Martin, the investigator who holds up the mask in the top image, has been murdered by Myers and his dead body is now being used as a battering ram in the women's bathroom as Myers attempts to get to Dana, Martin's female partner in the investigation. Why use Martin's body? Having killed a white male, Myers has gained power because he got away with it (think of the #MeToo movement and the way men have been removed from their position simply because they have been accused, with no due process or trial, just by accusation, and the more men who have been removed power, the greater the power of #MeToo and #TimesUp has become) so the "trophy" of Martin's dead body becomes the means to be emboldened to seek out more trophies (this is discussed further below with the teeth).
Conservatives have a joke about liberals: if they want free healthcare, free food and only the cops to have guns, they should go to prison, and that is exactly where Michael Myers has spent nearly his entire life. When we see the security at the hospital where the documentary film is being filmed, those security measures are to keep the inmates inside the prison; this isn't very different from the opening scene of The Man From UNCLE when we see the security around the Berlin Wall and the measures the socialist/communist government was taking to keep "citizens" inside the Wall during the Cold War. When we see the security around Laurie's house, it's to keep Michael Myers out, it's for her personal safety and protection, and this is one of the main points of separation between a socialist and capitalist narrative of the film: Laurie is not a victim.
This top image is of the mannequins Laurie uses for target practice; notice how they resemble the mask of Myers, with their dirty, white color and the holes and decay? That's because the color white symbolizes the person whose soul is alive in faith, hope and charity, or the dead corpse of a person who is dead to faith, hope and charity (a corpse turns white as it decomposes). Laurie's greatest strength is that she knows exactly what Michael Myers is: someone who has no soul (this is symbolic because if he were an actual person, of course he would have a soul, regardless of how evil he was, but this is a fictitious work so Michael Myers is someone with no soul). This means that Laurie--who prays every night as she tells the sheriff--is protecting her soul from the soul-less-ness of Michael Myers.
On another level, we can see the difference between Laurie--who is prepared and armed to do battle--with Dana, the woman trapped in the bathroom stall by Myers and who has no protection. It would generally make sense to say that, had Martin not been killed, Martin would help to protect her, however, since Martin is dead, he's now being used to kill Dana (and this is a primary objective of socialists, to demonize "toxic masculinity" and the impulse men have to defend and protect women, because if men stop being masculine, they are no longer going to recognize the impulse to protect women, children, their homes or homeland). There is another dimension to Myers attacking Dana in the women's bathroom: the transgender problem. The last two years of the Obama administration saw legislation being forced upon schools, businesses and any public building to allow transgendered individuals to use the bathroom which they "identified with" rather than use the facilities of the gender with which they were born.
The new Halloween shares some similarities with the 2016 film Cure For Wellness which takes place in an "asylum," the doctor wears a mask to hide his real identity and, most importantly, many patients lose their teeth. Teeth are a part of the mouth and obviously allow us to eat solid food. As part of the mouth, teeth contribute to symbolizing the appetites, and we know there are bad appetites (sex, drugs, gambling, any self-destructive pursuit) but, as Cure For Wellness and Halloween are pointing out, there are also good appetites: personal success, integrity, virtue. When Myers opens his hand and the pulled teeth fall out, we don't know if they are the teeth of the mechanic who has been killed, Martin's or someone else's, but it's a terribly threatening situation, and it could be Myers (as a socialist figure) accusing Dana of a specific appetite: wanting privacy in the bathroom. (We have seen pulled teeth used in another great horror film, The Blair Witch Project, when one of the boys had what appeared to be some of his pulled teeth wrapped in a piece of his torn shirt). 
Let's take a detour. I know I have been on a Harry Potter kick lately, however, there was an important detail which links up here nicely and we have more information on it then the Halloween trailer. In Chamber Of Secrets, the Slytherin Chamber Of Secrets is located in the girls' bathroom; why? The "genocide" of the muggle-born students is a socialist agenda (think of the Holocaust launched by the Nazis and NAZI stands for national socialist party of Germany), and socialism is a matriarchal system (emphasis is placed on survival of the species rather than on the development of the individual as in a patriarchal system) so being in the girls' bathroom--where waste is disposed of--is the perfect place to release a monster that will dispose of the "waste" of the muggle-born students who Salazer Slytherin believed should not be at Hogwarts. So, back to Halloween, we have the "face of socialism" in Michael Myers attacking a woman's bathroom stall; this should be a place of privacy for her as she "disposes of her waste" but the real waste Myers has come to dispose of is Martin, the white male heterosexual documentary film maker, and now her; in other words, women who think it's okay to attack white men because of their masculine/white privilege should be wary because the same monster is apt to come looking for them as well. Rather than quelling his appetite for murder, having killed the mechanic and now the film maker only makes Myers want to kill more, and that's the problem with revolutions (as anyone who has studied the French or Soviet Revolutions knows) when the monster is unleashed, he's impossible to stop and is even likely to kill the very ones who unleashed him to begin with. In this circumstance, the teeth aren't indicting Dana, it's Myers making a statement to her that he has appetites himself and they are violent ones (because he has pulled the teeth out of the head of his victim[s]).
"I've prayed every night that he would escape."
"Why the hell would you do that?"
"So I can kill him."
This brief dialogue reveals a number of important clues regarding the universe in which this story takes place. First of all, there is a God (Laurie prays every night); secondly, there is a hell (the sheriff can't invoke a place that he doesn't believe exists). This is fundamentally opposed to socialism because socialism emphatically denies there is any god so the government can become god and create all the "morality" and ethics for that society (consider, for example, how difficult it would be in China to enforce the one-child rule via forced birth control and abortions if the citizens were Christians, the government wouldn't have a chance). But this dialogue, and numerous images in the film, also lead us to the undermining of another important socialist tenant: the government is supposed to take care of you because you can't take care of yourself.
The first shot we see of Laurie--after all these years--is the scar on her arm from when Myers stabbed her. The arm symbolizes strength, and in stabbing Laurie in the arm, Myers intended to weaken her by making her see that she is his victim and she isn't strong enough to overcome him; the opposite happened. Laurie has used that scar to strengthen her and insure she won't be his victim again.
In the bottom image, we see a young girl babysitting a little boy in bed. Now, why does Myers like killing babysitters? Because these young girls use their free time to watch the kids of couples who have sufficient expendable income to not only go out and enjoy themselves for the evening, but also to pay a sitter to watch their kids for the night. The sitter, in turn, has some extra money with which to buy things she wants/needs or to save that money. babysitting is, in other words, a service that has arisen out of the free market addressing the need of parents who occasionally need someone to watch their kids, and the need has been met by (mostly) young women who are happy to exchange their time and experience to earn some extra money (and the idea of "earn" rather than just "give" is important, because "basic income" is being touted more and more across the US, so instead of providing a service like babysitting, young women like the one above would just be given $400 a month by the government). At least in the trailer, the white babysitter and the black child appear to be getting along well; the boy asks her to shut the closet door, and she can't because Michael Myers is hiding in there. (In The Conjuring, we also saw the witch Bathsheba hiding in the armoire, the stand-alone clothes closet). It's possible that there is something specific about this closet we don't get from the trailer, however, my first thought was, "Liberals want to make blacks thinking that whites are racists, and they want to 'bring white racism against blacks out of the closet' and expose it" but, just as Myers doesn't belong in this closet--it's not his house--so that manufactured racism the Left is always talking about also doesn't belong at the feet of conservatives because it shouldn't be there, and it's only there to kill white people, not actually do anything to help black people. So, while socialism wants women to think they need a socialist society to level the playing field against men, Halloween is attempting (at least, I think) to demonstrate how socialism actually hurts women, by leaving them unprotected, not able to offer a service like babysitting or find a babysitter for your own kids when you yourself want to go out.
Laurie is armed and dangerous.
She has been training and preparing herself for this final showdown, not leaving her safety to anyone else, especially the government. Laurie has taken responsibility for herself and her property, which socialists argue people are not capable of doing: to socialists, people are dumb animals who have to have all their needs provided for them. Laurie proves otherwise. Socialists particularly want women to feel at a disadvantage and helpless since it's their plight in society and the workplace that socialists want to capture: women don't have power, socialists tell them, so give us power and we will make life better for you. The problem is, and I believe Halloween is going to do this in every scene, many people believe that socialism really wants to take care of them and really wants to make their life better, and this is the reason why Michael Myers escapes from a bus,...
Why a mask?
When we commit sins, the beauty and brilliance of our souls diminish with each act of sinfulness we make; our soul is the greatest testament we have to our individuality and our dignity. Without our soul, we have no individuality, we have no identity. The greater our virtue, however, the greater our individuality. Horror villains typically have a mask or disfigured face because they represent how sin has eaten up a soul and left it with no identity but the scars of addiction and eternal death. When we see a villain like Michael Myers, the fear comes from the possibility that, "It could be us," our soul could come to look like him: no body. Giving ourselves to addiction and sinful behaviors doesn't increase our individuality because those behaviors are self-destructive and hence, we sabotage ourselves when we commit them, rather than ennobling ourselves. 
It's rather a familiar cinematic device: a group of highly dangerous criminals are being transported on a bus and the bus crashes, allowing the inmates to escape (Fast Five from 2011, when Dom is being transported and Brian and Mia wreck the bus and The Fugitive with Harrison Ford of 1993 are two examples); so if it's so familiar, why use it again? This is the type of "silly plot point" that horror-genre critics despise, so why risk using it? "Seriously," they ask, "They take Michael Myers out of the prison on Halloween and think everything will be okay?" But this is the very point: because Michael Myers and the danger he poses has been forgotten, people have to be reminded. Even if it's a "prison bus," a "bus" most often reminds Americans (at least) of the big yellow school bus which picks kids up and drops them off after school; and a bus serves as a "vehicle of education," so when we see a bus, we are going to be "schooled about something" and, in this case, it's the danger of letting what Michael Myers symbolizes to roam about freely.
This is a part of the "documentation" of Michael Myers, and this is at least the third time we have seen "paper work" on an important character (consider James Bond's papers retrieved from the fire at his home in Spectre, and the MACUSA papers on Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindlewald). There is something very interesting about this photo (yes, he stands with his back to us and his face to the wall, and that would be an indication of refusing to "face reality" and the real world, preferring, instead, to live in a world where he can create his own reality like a painting on a black canvas [the wall]): his right shoulder appears to be severely bruised. Why does this matter? The shoulders symbolize burdens we take on, we don't take on are willing or unwilling to carry; the bruised shoulder indicates that he has a "chip on his shoulder" and the burden he has made his own is to make everyone else feel the same pain he has felt, regardless of whether that is a realistic assessment of reality or not. 
Once again, please take a moment to vote in the poll (top of the right-hand column) regarding whether you prefer reading posts or would like to have videos to watch, I deeply appreciate it and it will help shape the future of this blog. Thank you!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner