REVIEW: Halloween [2018]

PEx_MoviesPEx_Movies Administrator PEx Admin
edited October 2018 in Movie Reviews

PEx Reviewer: pabzicles
Director: David Gordon Green

Written By: Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Castle, James Jude Courtney, Judy Greer and Andy Matichak

Running Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes 

MTRCB Rating: R-16 (only 16 years old and above will be admitted)

Photos: United International Pictures

PEx Rating: 9/10

Michael Myers is back! The line that will truly describe this sequel. Producing a sequel can go by the means of direct sequel, to reboot and to retcon. The latter approach seems to the formula of success for this dwindling franchise. With David Gordon Green reverence to the John Carpenter’s 1970s work, he delivers a thrilling, visceral and emotionally satisfying film that captures the essence of what original Halloween was (or what Michael Myers was).

40 years after the bloody Haddonfield murder, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), now a grandmother has spent those years dealing with her paranoia of Michael coming back and prepping herself for their ultimate reunion. However, this preparation and post-traumatic stress take a huge blow on her personal life, resulting to her alienation from her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) and two failed marriages. Her paranoia comes to reality when Michael Myers (Nick Castle/James Jude Courtney), who has been locked up in Smith’s Grove Sanitarium manages to escape and once again, she must face her demon.

From the very start, it will give you the vibe from the original 1978 film. The opening credits sequence where a jack-o lantern on the left and flashing of cast and crew from the film is also present on this one. It throws a lot of homage as an act of fan service like when how Michael Myers steals a knife from a woman after killing her, the mental patients wandering from the crashed bus is reminiscent to Smith’s Grove rainy night escape of Michael and other patients and many more that will surely trigger the Halloween fan on you.

Halloween franchise have been on series of rough roads. It pans out to series of sequels from Halloween II (1981) up to Halloween: Resurrection (2002) and Rob Zombie reboot, the 2007 and 2009 Halloween I and II respectively. Although those installments gained commercial success it nonetheless failed critically which does not live up to the film that started it all. These installments does not even learn from Dr. Loomis conclusion that we must not study the demon. They tried to understand and sympathize to Michael Myers as a killer, regarding him as a human. Creating a backstory, that Laurie is Michael Myers’ sister and after all is a family killer. Thus losing the fear from the unknown the original had and the result is an epic failure. The fate of those reboots/sequels seems to be the fate of Aaron Korey and Dana Haines, true crime podcasters that tried to find out the answer to why Michael did it and everyone that will even try will suffer the same.

The film boasts itself as the only considered canon of franchise by dismissing everything that comes after the 1978 film and it has every right to do so because it respect what Carpenter’s vision was which previous installments failed to do so. First , they get Michael Myers right, by bringing back his ambiguous nature and persisting that he is a pure evil that should be killed and not to learn from. It lacks empathy and kills by sheer randomness. He kills a child, a cop, a mother and everyone that crosses his path and that nature and act itself is the absolute source of fear and terrifying to watch. Second, it gives Laurie Strode her proper due by presenting her fears as the source of courage to face her demon and redeeming herself from once a traumatized innocent teenage girl to now a bad though woman that can stand up to Michael and don’t need saving from any man. It successfully creates her as an absolute heroine.

Green, together with his writing team (Danny McBride & Jeff Fradley) known for their comedic works, do their best to create a horror film infused with comedy. The result is successful. There is no way that comedic dialogues impedes nor deteriorates the horrifying aura it tries to establish. The second act is the cause of relentless scares, the thought of knowing that Michael Myers on the loose and anytime is killing time gives it a suspense and thrilling effect and it pushes through the emotional climax and until you are left with nothing but gasping for breath.

It sure does features some impressive visuals, gory and brutal killings and it manages to create atmosphere that will perfectly captures and sets the mood of every scenarios. Helped even more by the terrific and enhanced score of John Carpenter himself together with Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies.

The film has its flaws by introducing too many storylines and abandons majority all of it along the way. Nevertheless, the most important thing the film offers is its underlying theme. If you dig deep, you can see that it features some mental health conditions and promotes awareness. Laurie for one suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and at the end to face her own demon she needs her family to overcome it. Michael Myers on the other hand, is the existence of anti-social behavior or the lack of considerations for the well-being of others. The role of the family to resolve mental health conditions is one of the key to its treatment.

Halloween 2018 is nothing but a tribute to Carpenter’s original work and everything you have waited for. It is a grand reunion of the casts (Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle) and the role they each portray in the not just a sequel but the only definitive sequel on Halloween franchise that horrors fans and general audiences alike will surely love.

Check out the official discussion thread here: Halloween (2018)

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