Halloween (2018)

halloween 2018 poster
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Gets the horror right and makes Michael scary again

Story feel lazy instead of clever, dull teens

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Halloween

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):   September 8, 2018 (Toronto International Film Festival)/October 19, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

halloween podcaster jefferson hall mask

Oh Michael gets his mask back…nope…he’s getting it back in a really convoluted way later in the movie

It has been forty years since Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) slaughtered the friends of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and left her forever traumatized.  Laurie’s alienated her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and rarely gets to see her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).  When Michael Myers escapes during a prison transfer, Laurie’s fears and dreams come true…it is another Halloween night and her boogyman is now going to become the hunted!

Directed by David Gordon Green, Halloween is a horror thriller.  The movie is the eleventh entry in the Halloween series and followed Rob Zombie’s Halloween II from 2009.  The movie is a straight sequel to John Carpenter’s original 1978 Halloween and was met with the biggest box office return for the series.

halloween laurie strode jamie lee curtis

Laurie’s not hiding in the closet anymore! She’s having other people do it while she attempts to get killed

Halloween was awesome.  It started the whole Halloween franchise, popularized the slasher genre, and created a cast of memorable characters.  In Halloween H20, the series faced a relaunch and Laurie got her revenge, but it was popular so it unfortunately was followed by the dreadful Halloween:  Resurrection.  Rob Zombie relaunched the series again in 2007 with a new cast (and a white trash background for Michael)…I didn’t particularly like it.  I went into the new Halloween sequel with reservations…and both liked and hated aspects of it.  A ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review.

The movie is at its best when it plays with the format of the original film.  Scenes like Laurie falling from the window and Michael seeing she’s gone mimic the original film and reverse the character’s positions.  The teen story is more modernized with jaded teens (much like H20) and they are more aware of what is going on and less hapless victims (but forty years doesn’t change the fact that Michael is still going to end up killing them).  They have no qualms calling the police or running.

halloween 2018 michael myers closet

Wow…you’re the best friend of my sworn enemy’s granddaughter….lucky chance!

The movie unfortunately has some mechanical problems.  It plays out in a very Dickens fashion with characters by chance running into Michael, and while that propels the plot, it doesn’t have to.  Michael just happens upon the podcasters at a gas station who happen to have gotten his mask released from the police which allows him to get back into costume.  I thought from there he would take their research and track down Laurie…instead he happens to run into her granddaughter, and through the fortune of the worst part of the film (the Loomis doctor is now a mad doctor), he is able to get to Laurie’s deathtrap with her granddaughter.  Yes, the trap works, but Laurie tries to screw it up multiple times.  For someone who has planned for years to kill Michael, she does her best to let him kill her through poor execution.

Jamie Lee Curtis continues to be a great scream queen.  She is interestingly paired with generally comedic actress Judy Greer as her daughter and Andi Matichak is a rather bland teen version.  In fact, none of the teens have the personalities of the original teens which is unfortunate, and Haluk Bilginer is way over-the-top (and he’s taking over for someone who was already over-the-top) as the psychiatrist.  James Jude Courtney is once again creating a threatening and dangerous Michael (he’ll kill a kid…though I thought they would have shown real danger if he was willing to kill a baby).

halloween michael vs laurie jamie lee curtis

What part of your plan was this…and isn’t that door rather impractical when you’ve rigged your house full of booby-traps?

The movie gets the horror right.  I felt the Rob Zombie version just gored up the story and many of the Halloween sequels didn’t get the sheer power and danger of Michael who unlike Jason is more methodical.  The movie has jumps and scares, but doesn’t rely just on the jumps and scares to bring the horror.  In addition, you get a nice homage to Halloween III with kids sporting Silver Shamrock masks in trick-or-treat scenes.

Halloween left me with problems.  The basic idea still works:  a masked man kills teens.  The problem is attempting to do something new with it which isn’t necessarily ironic or too clever for its own good…even the sheriff in the movie is indifferent to the problems (yes, you can cancel Halloween and send out warnings).  Scream became reflexive, many movies rely on twists, and other attempts at pure horror like the Nightmare on Elm Street remake don’t really work.  Halloween gets the pure horror right but doesn’t match it well with the story which really pitters out in the end.  With the film’s success, I’m guessing Michael will return…Halloween:  60 Years Later is going to be pretty exciting in 2038.

Related Links:

Halloween (1978)

Halloween II (1981)

Halloween III:  Season of the Witch (1982)

Halloween 4:  The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Halloween V:  The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Halloween:  The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Halloween H20:  20 Years Later (1998)

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Halloween (2007)

Halloween II (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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