‘For the Love of the Boogeyman’ Documentary Celebrates Indie Spirit of ‘Halloween’ [Review]

The U.K.-based website Bloody-Flicks has completed production on a new documentary, For the Love of the Boogeyman: 40 Years of Halloween, about the impact of John Carpenter’s 1978 classic and how its independent spirit continues to inspire generations of filmmakers.

What sets For the Love of the Boogeyman apart from the numerous other docs that have covered similar territory over the last four decades is that it does not feature those who worked on the historic film talking about their experiences, but rather it focuses on today’s young independent filmmakers who are taking what they have learned from Carpenter and Halloween into new directions in their own films.

The documentary is billed as being “by fans and for the fans,” chronicling why John Carpenter’s classic has stood the test of time through interviews with a number indie filmmakers, including Justin Seaman (writer/director of 2016 Halloween International Film Festival award winner The Barn), Richard Stringham (writer/director of 2017 HIFF award winner Close Calls), Rocky Gray (director/producer of 10/31), P.J Starks (producer of Volumes of Blood, 10/31), Nathan Thomas Milliner (writer/director of On a Dark and Bloody Ground), and many more.

With a brisk runtime of just over 40 minutes, the doc wastes no time in diving into what elevates Halloween so far above the standard slasher to achieve the level of masterpiece. It is divided into sections that discuss specific elements of the film, such as Carpenter’s innovative directing style, the terrifying simplicity of The Shape himself, the stellar cast (specifically Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence), and the iconic score.

It can never be overstated how much Carpenter’s Halloween changed film, and yet it is still refreshing to hear that 40 years after its release, the groundbreaking artistry behind the blockbuster is still the “Holy Grail” for this current crop of raw talents making names for themselves on the independent festival circuit.

Each section of the film is divided by a wrap-around short depicting a certain escaped mental patient silently stalking and then killing an unlucky mechanic, before putting on the victim’s jumpsuit and a familiar mask and heading toward Haddonfield.

Writer and director Paul Downey also includes images of stunning artwork inspired by Halloween by Nathan Thomas Milliner and Paul Stier, and some truly amazing still photography by Tetsuya Kaizu in character as Michael Myers.

A love letter to John Carpenter’s Halloween, the documentary will encourage even younger viewers to seek out the film and experience it for themselves, reminding us old school fans what made it so great in the first place. It is an inspiration to anyone who watches it to follow their dreams (or nightmares), to break the established barriers of what should and shouldn’t be, to create their own lasting impression on the art of cinema.

For the Love of the Boogeyman: 40 Years of Halloween will be released online on October 12, 2018.

You can check out the official teaser trailer for the documentary, as well as two new posters created for the film by Paul Stier, below.


(Click an image to enlarge.)

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Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.