Halloween Review

Halloween (2018) Movie Review By Stephen McLaughlin

Halloween Review

Director: David Gordon Green
Writers: David Gordon Green (screenplay), Danny McBride (screenplay)
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak 

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

Director David Gordon Green along with a screenplay collaboration with Danny McBride brings “The Shape” AKA Michael Myers back to our screens with the blessing of John Carpenter and the return of Jamie Lee Curtis and the original Myers in Nick Castle to the franchise which looked dead and buried after those Rob Zombie incarnations. Forget Halloween II, Halloween III (Which was nothing to do with Michael Myers anyway) Halloween IV, Halloween V, Halloween: H20 and Halloween: Resurrection as the Director and Writers are vetoing the lot of them and those Rob Zombie ones as well, because Halloween (2018) is a direct sequel to the original Halloween (1978)

Is it a worthy sequel? Perhaps. Is it a good film? It’s okay, just not great

The trailers for this release were impressive. We got to see a lot of action, we got to see a lot of Laurie Strode, we got to see a lot of Michael Myers and we got to hear that chilling theme from Carpenter. What is not to like? Well I have to admit I had concerns that they may have been showing us a little too much. In fact, this movies running time is 1 hour and 46 minutes and for the first half of that felt like an extended version of the trailers. Is that a bad thing? Maybe not if that second half can up the ante. There are some minor annoyances I had with this film, not enough for me not to like the film but nevertheless elements in this did stand out. Remember those two character in the trailer who visit Michael in the institution? Aaron Korey (Jefferson Hall) and Dana Haines (Rhian Rees) Well they are nothing more that a couple of podcasters who happen to acquire the mask that Michael wore during his last murder spree. How does that happen? A vital piece of evidence wore by a serial killer. Absolutely baffling. From the trailer I thought they would have been FBI or some form of Law Enforcement. Their main purpose is really just for exposition, that annoyed me a little in terms of screenwriting. I felt there could have been more ways to cut corners in storytelling and basically their purpose is for Michael to get the Mask back. It’s far too elaborate and deliberate.

Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) really was the “New Loomis” as Laurie Strode actually says in the film. Unfortunately you will see where this character is coming from when you view this movie. I don’t really want to go into this review full of spoilers but this character and his story is a little predictable and he doesn’t really think of consequence after his plans have been fulfilled. You’ll see what I mean. 

Jamie Lee Curtis has reprised this role four times since the 1978 original and in this sequel I think this is the version of the character we longed to see. If I was comparing the changes in character from that first film to this one I would say she reminded me of the change in Sarah Connor from The Terminator to Terminator 2 in body and mind. The mental torture from those events in the original film have certainly prepared Strode for Michael’s possible return one day. Sadly Jamie Lee Curtis and her character aren’t in the movie as much as I thought she would be. That screen time is shared with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and more so her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) So right away the angle they are going for in the movie is similar to the original in the sense that this is geared at at teenage audience and perspective, which didn’t bother me at all. I didn’t expect that direction judging on the trailers emphasising it was going to be more about a head to head confrontation between Strode and Myers. The relationship between Laurie and Karen is strained and there appears to be more of a connection between Laurie and Allyson.

Michael Myers terrified me as a kid. My Grandmother once put on Halloween II and the shock element to that film stayed with me. I think my Granny loved to scare her Grandchildren a little. There are some sequences that remind me of the original and Halloween II in the new one. I’m sure there will be screen comparisons from enthusiasts on YouTube soon and I don’t have a problem with that. In fact, David Gordon Green pays homage to the original quite a bit and also does some role reversals regarding the main characters which I liked. It was also great to see Nick Castle return and although now in his 70’s adds that human side to the character and we get to see a slight bit of his face. Thankfully they don’t reveal him and Michael doesn’t utter a single word throughout. The younger James Jude Courtney would of course play the action scenes of Michael, being a stuntman and having that physical presence was a wise decision and it also makes Castle’s participation in the film more as an honorary appointment more than anything else.

Overall, Halloween (2018) wasn’t the film I thought I was going to be. I think it slots in nicely as a sequel to the original in terms of look but there was some misplaced humour and dialogue in there that looked out of place by the screenwriters. The closing scenes certainly leave their options open on a sequel and Danny McBride has suggested its possible. I’m conflicted in this instance. As much as I love the characters and that haunting theme by John Carpenter, I’m unsure on whether or not the franchise has the legs for another instalment without falling foul to the mistakes of The now disregarded sequels. It’s an enjoyable watch and I recommend giving it a watch.

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