Back in 2015, rumors of another Halloween film began to circulate the web. I hoped that they wouldn’t be a continuation of Rob Zombie’s Halloween films. His take on the franchise divided fans of the series, and I was amongst those who did not like what the films turned out to be. However, it was later announced that Jaime Lee Curtis would be returning as Laurie Strode. As soon as that announcement was made, I knew I would see it opening day. I was a bit skeptical when it was revealed that the new film would ignore all the sequels and be the continuation of the original film. While I’m not a fan of any of the films after Halloween II, those films are what made the franchise the massive phenomenon that it is today. Now, after seeing the film, this was a great decision to make.
Halloween (2018) is directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), continuing the tradition of Blumhouse films bringing in non-horror directors. Acclaimed director and creator of the franchise John Carpenter is also the composer for this iteration of his franchise. The first thing I have to praise this film for is not revealing too much in the trailers. I knew that I was going to see this film but didn’t know too much about the story and usually, trailers for films reveal too much. That being said, I was genuinely surprised by a lot of things in the film.
The story takes place 40 years after the events of the original film. Laurie Strode is now a recluse, living in isolation due to her initial confrontation with Michael. Two reporters come to her house and then visit Michael at the institution where he’s being held in hopes of getting the full story of what happened. The night the reporters visit Laurie, Michael is set to be taken to another institution. He manages to hijack the bus and continues where he left off 40 years ago. Laurie must protect her family and find a way to put Michael down once and for all.
Proper praise and recognition for stand out performances have to go to Jaime Lee Curtis, Jibrail Nantambu, Nick Castle, James Jude Courtney, and Judy Greer. Jaime Lee Curtis is such a badass throughout the film. From her first scene, the toll of the events from the original film can be seen in everything she does. The aura of trauma is almost palpable. She’s not afraid of facing off against Michael, which is major character development from her portrayal of Laurie in the first film.
Jibrail plays the character of Julian, who is one of the kids that a character is babysitting. Normally I’m not the biggest fan of child actors in horror films, but the kid is just naturally funny. Definitely found a way to break a little bit of the tension. Both Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney play Michael Myers. Nick is shown on screen without the mask but James portrays him while wearing the mask. The presence of Michael is just as menacing as ever. I wasn’t a fan of Judy Greer’s character throughout most of the film, but the final 20 minutes of the film made me change my mind. She comes close to being just as badass as Jaime.
While the movie is a horror film, I wouldn’t say it falls under the sub-genre of a traditional slasher. Michael still uses a knife but doesn’t hold his iconic weapon until midway through the film. I wouldn’t classify Laurie as the final girl in this film. If anything, the closest portrayal of a final girl in the film would go to her granddaughter, played by Andi Matichack. A few of the characters in the film felt a bit weak. I didn’t like how a few of Michael’s kills were off-screen, again distinguishing against a genre it brought to life. Some of the kills in the original film were filmed that way, but it would make sense now to show the kills, given the trajectory of the sub-genre.
I feel like a few characters could have easily not been included in the film. Or if they were still kept in the film, I would have liked to see them written differently. I can’t point out which characters specifically, but people would probably be able to tell who I’m talking about while watching the film. The pacing of the film was done well and ultimately if people come into the film having not watched the original films, it provides background information on what happened. And of course, the music done by John Carpenter is an essential part of the film. I’m not afraid to admit I started dancing in my seat when the movie theme came on.
While the movie does have its flaws, I highly recommend for you to see Halloween. It pays homage to the original film but also establishes itself as an excellent follow up to the original. It wouldn’t surprise me if a sequel is announced in the upcoming weeks, especially being a Blumhouse picture.
It’s open nationwide now.
Final Rating: 3.5/5