Writer/Director Rene Rivas’s “Spirit of Haddonfield” brings Halloween back to its roots.
The Spirit of Haddonfield (TSOH) opens with various shots of a suburban neighborhood: carved pumpkins, leaves scattered on the sidewalks, houses dressed in Halloween decor, trick or treaters, the sun setting behind the fall trees, the stillness, the uneasiness, etc. It’s classic Haddonfield and this introduction was very reminiscient of the Halloween 4 opening. Writer/director Rene Rivas demonstrates his chops from the outset and signals to the audience that this Halloween fan film is in capable hands.
TSOH’s alternate timeline is set 20 years after H20 as we follow our female lead Hannah (played by Hannah Owens) during her walk home from school. Once Michael Myers emerges to stalk & torment Hannah, the film maintains its unrelenting pace until the credits roll.
You would be wise to take Rivas’s recommendation to turn the lights off and sound up when watching TSOH as the sound design is top notch. In some scenes, we can only hear Myers lurking around as he slowly draws near — adding to the trepidation. John Carpenter’s sound cues from the original are implemented effectively throughout.
Vicente Disanti hits a home run with his portayal of Michael Myers. Focused and methodical, he feels very much like Nick Castle’s Myers from the original. That sentiment holds true with the cinematography as the camera is always moving — holding still only when ratcheting up the tension. Fans will enjoy several easter eggs planted throughout the film as well.
Rivas imprints his unique style just enough while successfully paying homage to the beloved Halloween franchise in this love letter to the original 1978 film. The 15 minute runtime may leave you wanting more…which begs the question: will we get more? Fans will have to stay tuned.
The Spirit of Haddonfield is a not-for-profit Halloween fan film produced by Rene Rivas Productions in association with Left Lane Labs and Womp Stomp Films. It is slated for an October 1st release on YouTube.