Review of "Halloween" by The Headless Critic
Halloween (2018) – 2018
Production by: Blumhouse, Miramax, Rough House Pictures, Trancas Films
Distribution by: Universal Pictures
On Halloween night in 1978 an escaped mental patient named Michael Myers killed five people in the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois. He was captured that night and has remained locked away in an asylum for the criminally insane for the last forty years. A local legend, the transferring of Michael from his local institution to a larger, more secure facility has drawn attention from media outlets and those who survived that night forty years ago. On a bus ride to his final destination pure evil escapes again. This time someone is waiting for him to come home.
In 1978 John Carpenter created a horror slasherpiece that has set the bar for horror movies for the last forty years. Seven sequels and two remakes are dismissed as a thing of legend in this direct sequel to Carpenter’s original film. It’s hard not to compare Halloween 2018 to what may be the greatest slasher movie ever created. The ninth director to helm the Halloween franchise comes in the form of comedy director David Gordon Green along with his creative partner Danny McBride. The East Bound and Down boys pay homage to the last forty years of Halloween sometimes being annoyingly cliché with their role reversals. Green’s first attempt at a horror feature plays it safe like The Force Awakens with a remake/sequel.
The look of the characters in Haddonfield is small town perfect. It isn’t a town of unrealistic Hollywood beauties. Judy Greer doesn’t fit the role of Laurie Strode’s daughter at all nor does she fit well in a slasher movie. She does have an excellent scene when she has to face off with Michael though. Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) has a girl next door innocence about her that works as well as Jamie Lee Curtis’ look did in 1978. Allyson’s character doesn’t get time to define herself as she splits screen time thinly with Laurie and Michael. Her characters interactions are also largely limited to teenage love interests Cameron (Dylan Arnold), Dave (Miles Robbins) and Oscar (Drew Scheid) who are so cliché and their dialogue so unrealistic it’s hard to reach depth against characters so shallow.
Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) may be the greatest “final girl” of all time. The last forty years of life given to Laurie in this sequel are sad and not what I want to see as a Halloween fan. Her house is absolutely ridiculous. They attempt to recreate Sarah Connor from Terminator 2 in her character. With your killer being a man who killed five people instead of a machine that’s going to change the future of the world, it’s an over-the-top unrealistic level of direction for her character to reach.
The best part of Halloween 2018 may be Michael Myers (Nick Castle & James Jude Courtney). The original gave us a man of average size who killed people because he was evil. Sequels and remakes failed to see the simple brilliance in John Carpenter’s original design. An aged Michael, an aged mask and a character that’s brought back to mortality and a normal size, returns this sequel to its roots. In the beginning of the film the kills are kept realistic. They’re blunt and brutal. By the end of the movie Michael is smashing heads and lighting them up like pumpkins while hanging bodies on the wall by a kitchen knife. For a Halloween film, I prefer the realism.
The Pineapple Express sequel to Halloween is way too comedic for a horror movie providing more laughs than scares. The trailer was good enough to get people in the theater but also killed some intense scenes. The score provided by John Carpenter is as modern day excellent as the original. The twist with the doctor could have worked if Donald Pleasence was still alive to play Dr. Loomis. Without the history of Loomis, the twist is predictable from the time Michael is still in confinement. The entire part about the doctor shouldn’t have made their final cut.
In the original, Michael Myers is the shape in the shadows at the end of the street. In this sequel he’s named The Shape for the credits but for the majority of the film he is the star with the camera following him. It’s more going along for the ride as he kills than wanting survival for his victims. I enjoyed Michael Myers returning. It’s not that it’s a bad movie. It’s far better than the awful Rob Zombie remakes and most of the sequels. When you do a direct sequel to a classic original you just have a lot to live up to.
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3 out of 5 Headless Critics
WYH Interview with Michael Myers himself Nick Castle!