Over at Alex on Film I’ve been dipping my toe into the Halloween franchise. John Carpenter’s 1978 original was one of the most successful, and influential, movies of all time. It was followed up by a raft of sequels, and then a franchise reset in 2007 directed by Rob Zombie, followed by a sequel in 2009. I think Carpenter’s film holds up pretty well, though the violence seems tame by today’s standards. Heaven knows restraint wasn’t an aesthetic decision, it’s just that Carpenter didn’t have any budget. Zombie’s reset starts off as a somewhat interesting new direction, and has some curious casting, but then settles into what is just a rehash. Halloween II is an incoherent mess.