Halloween (2018) Review

Halloween Poster #1

John Carpenter’s original Halloween is one of the most influential horror films of all-time. It revolutionized the slasher genre as we know it today. It even became Hollywood’s first ever horror franchise. Yet the franchise has come on hard times nowadays. We haven’t had a Halloween film since Rob Zombie’s awful Halloween 2 back in 2009. So not only did we have to wait a long time for a Halloween film to come out but we’ve waited even longer for a GOOD Halloween film to come out. So is David Gordon Green’s Halloween sequel/reboot a return to form for the franchise or does it continue the long streak of bad films?

Fortunately (and thankfully), the new Halloween is an entertaining and intense iteration of the classic slasher franchise. It’s not perfect, by any means, but it’s still a fun film that’ll leave you yearning for more films.

Halloween follows Laurie Strode forty years after the events of the first film. Even after forty years, Laurie is still battling the demons that haunt her from that fateful night. But when Michael Myers escapes from captivity, Laurie must come face-to-face with the evil that has haunted her family for years.

Halloween - Michael Myers

Although it’s disappointing to see that Halloween 2 is not a part of the new Halloween canon, it’s easy to see why. PTSD plays a huge part in this film. It poses the question: What would your mentality be after surviving a horrific event? For Laurie Strode, it’s preparing for the day that Michael Myers returns at your door. But as Laurie puts on a tough exterior, Halloween shows that she’s broken and vulnerable. The dichotomy between her different mindsets makes for some compelling scenes.

But Halloween isn’t simply a film about PTSD. The film is both thrilling and incredibly intense. It’s nice to see David Gordon Green’s keen eye for light, shadows, and camera work raise the tension in this film. But the main cause of the tension is, of course, Michael Myers himself. He is more menacing here than he likable in any of the previous films. In this film, he’s willing to kill anyone and when I mean anyone, I mean ANYONE. He doesn’t just kill teenage babysitters anymore.

Thankfully, the people that Myers kills in this version doesn’t necessarily go by the stereotypical rules. They don’t make stupid decisions which get them killed. They make logical and normal decisions that any one of us can make. Yet the aftermath of Myers catching you is brutal and violent. Some brutal kills you see on screen while the rest you just see the bloody aftermath.

Halloween - Jamie Lee Curtis & Judy Greer

Yet with all the killing and bloodshed, Halloween is just one really long build-up to the final showdown between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. A showdown that’s forty years in the making. Sadly, the final showdown isn’t as epic as you’re led to believe. The showdown itself is just one really long and drawn out cat-and-mouse game.

Unfortunately, the new generation of characters introduced in Halloween isn’t that memorable. Sadly, these include the Strode family as well. Yet at the same time, they’re likable enough for you to get nervous when Michael Myers is around.

Regardless, the Strode family are the only characters in the film with any depth and backstory to them. Of course, you expect that since this is a Halloween film. But in this day and age of modern storytelling, all characters should have some depth to them and break the genre stereotypes.

Jamie Lee Curtis brings a lot of energy and emotion to Laurie Strode. She’s able to also showcase the broken and vulnerable mindset of someone with severe PTSD. These PTSD moments leads to a compelling performance by Curtis.

Overall, Halloween is a fun, hilarious and intense return for the franchise. The film has its issues but the entertainment factor far outweighs the negatives here. Besides, it’s nice to see the return of a franchise that revolutionized the slasher genre.

Rating: 4/5 atoms

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