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Movie Reviews: Halloween (2018)

KestrelStudiosOct 21, 2018, 7:58:24 PM
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Halloween is a slasher film directed by David Gordon Green and co-written by Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride. (Yes, that Danny McBride.) It is the eleventh film in the franchise, but marketed as the direct sequel to the very first Halloween film made in 1978. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Nick Castle, and a bunch of people you're very happy that Michael finds in the film. It was produced for $15 million and released on October 19, 2018. It is 105 minutes.

The film tells the story of Michael Meyers (Nick Castle), a former serial killer who's been locked up in a mental asylum since he was a young man. After fate frees him from captivity, Michael goes on a rampage again as he tracks down his life antagonist, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).

A murder happened? Laurie Strode has an idea who's to blame (Halloween, 2018).


Laurie Strode in her murder house pining for the day her true love gets out of the mental asylum (Halloween, 2018).

The film also explores the antagonist Laurie's life and her dysfunctional family. Laurie has become an agoraphobic, maladjusted psychopath obsessing over the day she can face Michael again. As a result of this obsession, Laurie has created a murder house that she hopes to lure Michael into. If ever the day should come...

Laurie also has also produced a daughter in her life. Unfortunately, Laurie raised her daughter in the murder house, leaving the poor girl (now a woman with a daughter) traumatized and living in la-la land. As mentioned, there is also a grand-daughter who likes to cross-dress and tease boys with sexual innuendo. But it's not her fault, you creep!

Desperate loser, babysitter, and Laurie's grand-daughter (Halloween, 2018).


Laurie Strode and two friends from the original film. I'm guessing the above picture was a nod to this scene (Halloween, 1978).

The Lowdown (Positives and Negatives)

I've never seen any of the prior Halloween films but the film takes a lot of nods to the original. They must be all the best parts because I really enjoyed the retro-vibes. The film opens up with a decayed carved Halloween pumpkin un-rotting. As it un-rots the nose is revealed to actually be a knife. Neat. You can even see some of the mold un-mold.

I especially liked whoever the actor was that played Michael Meyers. Turns out it was the original actor who played Michael. Damn, that guy is creepy. The way he walks. The way he turns corners and grips his hand in anticipation of murdering someone. We never get a good look of Michael and for a moment I wondered if it was Jean Reno, except taller. The actor who plays Michael is 71 years old and I guess Michael in the film is slightly older than that.

Some journalists trying to talk to Michael Meyers (Halloween, 2018).


Laurie Strode practicing her aim at the murder yard at her murder house.

Some odd things about Michael, however. He gets shot in the film. Hit by a car. Shot in the head. Shot in the shoulder. Rammed by this and that. Yet all the damage disappears in later scenes. The dude is fucking magical or something. It works, however. Supposedly this is a nod to his ambiguous supernatural nature. I like it.

I also enjoyed Jamie Lee Curtis' performance in the film. Not only do I buy into Michael's motivations, I but into Laurie's as well. The scared, obsessive, paranoid, agoraphobic woman that wants nothing more than to kill Michael. Why she wants this so badly, though, when it's a direct sequel to the original Halloween (and ignores the other nine films in the franchise) I have no idea. You'd think she'd move on.

People on this website get a bit tired of the far left pushing their bullshit into media. This film has a bit of that in the film as well. It's up to you how bad you think it is. Nearly all the men are portrayed as pathetic, horny teenagers, even the adult men. You do get some reasonable adult men but you know what ends up happening to them in a film like this. They also have Laurie's granddaughter go with a boyfriend to a dance as Bonnie and Clyde. But guess who is wearing what?

The sweet, young Michael Meyers as a clown for all Hallow's Eve (Halloween, 1978).


Michael Meyers over the years, from 1978 to 2018. Our baby boy has grown into a brooding man with the world on his shoulders.

A possible down-side to the film is how bad all the other acting is in the film. But I think this is a trope in this kind of slasher film. It doesn't detract, really. Instead, when people start dying, you start cheering for their deaths.

I'm also hearing people complain about the pacing of the film. I don't think it's bad, actually. I'm happy they are sparse on combining jump-scares with jump-scare music. And the drawn-out adds to the suspense. People are probably too used to James Wan-like horror these days. I like the work of James Wan, who is one of the few directors out there who know how to use trope-scares right, but I prefer neurotic horror much more.

Don't be nervous, Laurie. I just want to hold you! (Halloween, 2018).


Remember the good times, Laurie? Before the police tore us apart? (Halloween, 1978).

But I also got to give it to the movie of setting up characters before they're killed off. You don't fall in love with them, but you spend more than a minute understanding what they're about to lose. Even some of their long-time dreams. This is an important lesson in story-telling. It's not so much what they want long-term, but the realization they are telling these things to people that will be there when that happens. Then on or both people die. So do those dreams.

There are some cheesy things in the trailer that made it into the movie. Like the weirdos in the mental asylum freaking out when some journalists are trying to talk to Michael. God, that was corny. But for some reason I liked the ridiculousness.

Wow, I'm talking a lot more about this film than I do about others films. I'll just add one more thing I liked. Slasher films set up set pieces focused around killing someone. There is one where a teenager ends up on someone's property. There are motion-detectors that turn on the lights whenever it detects motion. Detect motion: see Michael. Lights turn off. Lights turn on again: Michael is another place. I'm sure you know what's going to happen in a scene like this. And it's good.

Is that who she thinks it is? Oh, the day has come but she panics (Halloween, 2018).


Laurie isn't ready to play the kissing game i the closet (Halloween, 1978).

INTERESTING TIDBITS

Written by Danny McBride, the same guy from Eastbound & Down, Tropic Thunder, and Alien: Covenant, among many other films. Turns out Danny is a huge Halloween fan and that affection shows in the film. I don't know how big a role he played in writing but he's a quality actor and writer and I'm sure it helped the script substantially. Would've very much liked to see him in the film, though.

Laurie, what are you doing? This is no time to take a picture! Watch out!

FINAL VERDICT

In a rare example of synergy, both critics and audiences generally agree about the film. On Rotten Tomatoes, critics score it at 80% and audiences score it at 79%. Metacritic, however, rates it at 68/100. But IMDb has it up at 7.6 based on 11,901 reviews. Holy bat-nuts, Batman.

I really dug the film. I wonder if it's just because I've never seen any of the other films so I'm treated to all the best possible parts put into one film. Something tells me most audiences are in the same position. Audiences are eating up the film at the theater. Just a few days in at it's set to make $80 million on its opening weekend. On a budget of $15 million!

I give the film a 4.0 our of 5.0 stars, a good recommendation, especially if you're not familiar with the Halloween franchise and kind of tired the scare-after-scare barrage of most modern horrors.