“Halloween” stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner, and Nick Castle. Released on October 19, 2018, the film has Laurie Strode confronting Michael Myers one last time.
The film is directed by David Gordon Green, who also directed films such as “Undertow”, “Pineapple Express”, “Our Brand Is Crisis”, and “Stronger”. It is the eleventh installment in the “Halloween” film series and a direct sequel to the 1978 horror classic of the same name. Forty years ago, a masked man known as Michael Myers murdered five people on Halloween night. The only person that survived Myers’ wrath was high school student Laurie Strode. This sums up John Carpenter’s horror classic, “Halloween”, which was beloved by both critics and slasher fans alike when it was released in 1978. The film spawned multiple sequels and a 2007 remake that failed to be as scary and clever as the original. This year, Hollywood has decided to wipe the slate clean by crafting a true sequel to the slasher gem. The trailers for the film showed some promise by returning to the original film’s roots, which is focusing more on the suspense rather than the bloody violence, but will it be enough to please the hardcore fans? More importantly, will it be able to impress some newcomers?
Taking place 40 years after the events of the first film, the story follows a much older Laurie Strode (Curtis). She now lives in an isolated and fortified cabin to deal with post-traumatic stress as well as prepare for the inevitable return of the masked boogeyman, Michael Myers (who is played by both Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney). When Myers finally managed to escape, Laurie must literally face the demon from her past in order to protect her daughter (Greer) and her granddaughter (Matichak). Like the original film, the 2018 version of “Halloween” is a basic slasher film that added nothing new to the formula, which could lead to some predictable moments for those who have grown up with the genre. However, the film also had a surprising amount of drama to go along with its easy-to-spot horror tropes, mostly in the first act. From my personal perspective, it’s something that I would normally see in any other drama that deals with post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s not an award-worthy representation of the aspect, but David Gordon Green did well in expressing the character of Laurie as a vulnerable, yet determined, person who will do anything to protect herself and her family from Myers’ murderous rampage. Although, this aspect alone may not be appreciated by certain moviegoers who wanted a non-stop thrill ride. As for the “slasher” part of the film, well, it’s pretty much what I expected from a “Halloween” film: simple, intense, and violent. What made the original film an enjoyable watch for me is that it relied on tension and realism rather than cheap jump scares and over-the-top violence to scare its audience. It’s like this film took the main ingredients from the “Halloween” cookbook and sprinkled them into the pot to create a satisfying, but familiar, dish. It might not be able to satisfy some people who wanted to see something different from the ongoing horror franchise, but for those who grew up with the original, it’s an entertaining trip down memory lane. Jamie Lee Curtis was the main highlight of the film thanks to her riveting performance as Laurie. She delivered a somewhat different side to her character and it was an interesting aspect to witness. I haven’t seen her in a movie for quite some time, so it was nice for me to see her onscreen again, especially when she’s returning to the role that landed her into superstardom. Judy Greer was also decent in her role as Karen, Laurie’s daughter, and Andi Matichak was actually quite tolerable as Allyson, Laurie’s teenage granddaughter. Also returning to the franchise was none other than Nick Castle, who worked with James Jude Courtney to bring Michael Myers back to his original glory, and he didn’t disappoint. It’s exactly how I imagined Myers from the original film: silent and deadly. I also enjoyed the musical score that was provided by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies, mostly the iconic theme from the original “Halloween” film. Aside from the usual slasher genre formula, my issue with the film was its ending. The way they ended it was fine. It’s just that they could’ve expanded it a bit more to see where the characters are now, but that’s just me.
Overall, “Halloween” doesn’t change the slasher genre completely, but it does provide an entertaining and worthy continuation of the popular horror franchise. Rather than sinking too deep into cheap horror mediocrity, the film showcases David Gordon Green’s full respect of the franchise and its fans without adding anything out of the ordinary, for better or for worse. It’s understandable that it won’t please a lot of people, including those who prefer fast-paced horror films filled with violence and gore, but I can definitely tell that it will impress a certain amount of fans of the franchise. It would be interesting to see how it will continue if they decided to make another installment, but until that happens, let’s just hope that everyone stays safe on Halloween night.