Movie Review: Halloween (2018)

A direct sequel to the 1978 film of the same name, 2018’s Halloween is directed by David Gordon Green, and co-written by Green, Danny McBride and Jeff Fradely. Laurie Strode (a returning Jamie Lee Curtis) has lived in isolation since the events of the first film, preparing herself for Michael Myers’ inevitable return. Laurie’s crazy-survivalist life has left her estranged from her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). Set forty years after the original film (and released forty years after the original film), Myers is to be transferred to a new mental institution as the town of Haddonfield looks to celebrate Halloween once more.

+ Michael Myers, or perhaps more specifically, The Shape, is terrifying. Canonically now 61 years old, Myers doesn’t stalk and survey as much as the original film, but is much more direct about his desires. One scene, at a gas station, has several moments taking place entirely in the background which you won’t notice unless you are looking. In another harrowing, extended single-shot scene we see the true force of what The Shape is capable of
+ Jamie Lee Curtis really plays the paranoid-or-is-she survivalist Laurie Strode well (think Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2). The physical appearance hearkens back to her look in the original film, but Curtis is clearly very fit, which would make sense for her character to be if she is to go toe-to-toe with the boogeyman
+ Judy Greer gets a much heftier role as Karen, Laurie’s daughter, though it may at first to appear to be another ‘concerned mother’ (as she was in Ant-Man, Jurassic World and Tommorowland). One short moment of hers in particular is a genuine highlight. Allyson (Matichak) has all the makings of an 80s slasher “final girl”, but due to how horror has evolved since 1978, she gets much more characterisation and feels like a full character in her own right
+ this movie is full of callbacks to the original film, often with the roles reversed. The first half or two-thirds of this almost felt like a (really well done) remake, with minor changes, before becoming it’s own movie
+ it originally seems like the violence will all be off-screen or implied, but that is soon proven to not be the case. This is much more violent than the original, but only once goes over the top to be ‘gore’. The majority of the film is full of such sudden violence it is often not until a second after the fact you realise what you saw.
+ every single piece on the soundtrack is phenomenal. The Shape Hunts Allyson in particular is ominous, intense and terrifying. And what else needs to be said about Carpenter’s original theme?

> in some ways, this was the Terminator 2 to the original Halloween: our original final girl is now a ruthless, crazy-prepared survivalist protecting their children from the nigh-unstoppable killer

Should you see this film: Absolutely yes. I am a huge fan of the Halloween franchise, and while the numerous sequels have had their ups and downs, this is far and away the best movie released since the original, and in many ways it surpasses even that. I have nothing bad to say about this movie, and if it starts the new Renaissance of dialled back slasher films, then I am all for it.

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