Movie Review: Halloween (2018)
The newest installment of the beloved slasher franchise hit theaters over the weekend with Halloween. It disregarded every prior sequel in the franchise and claimed the spot as the new direct sequel to the 1978 original. It was directed by David Gordon Green and written by Green, Danny McBride, and Jeff Fradley. The film sees the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and Nick Castle as the notorious Michael Myers. The film also stars Judi Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, and Virginia Gardner. Halloween also brought back original director John Carpenter to score the film.
The film begins with two true-crime podcasters traveling to Smith Grove’s Sanitarium to interview mass murderer, Michael Myers. It is the fortieth anniversary of the Haddonfield murders, which has prompted them to visit Michael and even show him his original mask. After an unsuccessful interview, the two podcasters travel to interview Laurie Strode, the sole survivor from the 1978 murders. Laurie has spent her life struggling with the events of that night, and while her family does not understand her rationale, she has also been preparing for Michael’s eventual return. Meanwhile, Michael is supposed to be transported to another facility, but when his bus crashes, he is free once again to terrorize the residents of Haddonfield and try to finish what started 40 years prior.
To maintain total transparency, I’ve never been a huge horror nerd. I enjoyed the original 1978 film in college for one of my film classes, and I decided that I could handle the slasher genre with a few supernatural exceptions. All that to say that when I saw the first trailer of this latest iteration, I was actually very excited. The trailer ticked all the boxes for me: iconic music, beautiful framing, the classic mask, and to cap it all off, Jamie Lee Curtis looked like a pure badass. It followed the path set by The Force Awakens and Blade Runner 2049 of being a continuation of the original material while simultaneously rebooting the franchise for a new generation of fans.
I went in with high expectations, and Halloween didn’t disappoint me. This movie is all about Laurie Strode and her family. The film has a faster pace than I expected, and that was the biggest change from the original. You have about ten minutes to get settled, and then time flies into the third act. It features a strong supporting cast and contains all the nostalgia and easter eggs you’d expect. There are several scenes that I want to go into for its brilliance, but I won’t spoil those for you. There was one aspect of the film I wasn’t expecting, and that was the gore. This movie doesn’t pull any punches in most scenes but also hides some kills from the camera for the imagination to do its work. Overall, though, Jamie Lee Curtis is the star of the show for me. She delivers a believable performance of someone dealing with the grief and paranoia of that original halloween night. Plus, it’s refreshing to see her on screen again with Michael. They share some of the best scenes, and for me, that alone was well worth the price of admission.
Even amongst all the praise, the movie isn’t perfect. There are some weird choices made in regards to Michael’s character. The opening isn’t the strongest, and there are the standard tropes of the genre, but most of those didn’t bother me if I’m honest. My suggestion is to buy a big bucket of popcorn, find a packed showing with your friends, and enjoy the scares and the atmosphere of tension in the audience. It’s very hard to capture magic in a bottle twice, and I think Halloween accomplishes that very difficult task with flying colors.
Jonathan is a film enthusiast, video whiz, and extremely knowledgable about all things Star Wars.. He is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow his many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @beachjd.