McBridled Enthusiasm

So, I think it is safe to say that we all did a double take when we saw that Danny McBride and David Gordon Green are the masterminds behind the next Halloween reboot.

I’ve talked to a lot of people about this, and the consensus is, “REALLY?! Kenny Powers?”

Don’t get me wrong, I was surprised, but I am here to tell you that I am convinced that this could be the most exciting thing to happen to the Halloween franchise in a looooonnnnnggggg time! Look at the recent excitement over Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele. Yes, Jordan Peele of Keanu. Comedians making horror movies seems really, really strange, at first glance even sacrilegious, but comedians just might be the best suited to make horror movies that work.

Take Kenny Powers in Eastbound and Down, for instance. Kenny Powers is, at best, insensitive and offensive to literally everyone that he runs into. That’s what makes it funny. For it to remain funny, though, we must sympathize for him, or at the very least root for him. And amazingly, we do! We love every hair on that greasy perm-mulleted head of his. When life (and/or karma) kicks him in the teeth, we cringe for him, and hope against hope that it will all work out the next time. Danny McBride toes the line of ALMOST-too-much brilliantly, and it is this restraint that makes Kenny Powers a sympathetic character.

Now, imagine if Kenny Powers stuck his foot over that imaginary line. You can’t tell me that he wouldn’t be slaughtering anyone who got in his way and then complaining to a dry cleaner about the blood stains on his Ed Hardy beater.

I imagine that Danny McBride’s approach to horror will be much like how he portrayed himself in This is the End – one minute he’s lovable and underestimated, the next he’s lording over a cult of street people and cannibalizing freshly killed human beings. And we will totally buy it. He’s going to hit us hard, unexpected, and bloody, and it’s going to be amazing! The barriers between social misfit, sociopath, and psychotic are complicated and hard to see, and Danny McBride and David Gordon Green have shown that they are comfortable identifying when a character has gone too far…as well as seeing when they can push it just a little bit further.

And, really…isn’t that what good horror is all about? Pushing the envelope?

Danny McBride has made a career out of showing that he can restrain himself – I for one am excited to see what happens when he’s let loose!

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