HALLOWEEN (2018) [Review]: No Trick; This One’s A Treat.
HERE’S THE STORY
(This movie is unique in that it is played as if all the other sequels never existed). Exactly forty years after the Babysitter Murders in Haddonfield, two podcasters travel to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium to interview Michael Myers, who was captured the events of the first movie. Against good judgment, they go to Michael and try to talk to him, going so far as to show him his old mask and name-dropping Laurie Strode.
Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) has spent the last forty years dealing with extreme PTSD. This has resulted in failed marriages and estrangement from her daughter Karen and granddaughter Allyson. All the while, she has been training herself –and her reluctant family– for Michael’s inevitable return. A bus transport crash causes a number of the inmates, and, in particular, Michael, to escape. As Halloween night comes, Michael returns to the populated streets of Haddonfield, filled with families and children trick-or-treating, and begins to kill innocent victims. Laurie learns about the transport crash and readies herself so that she can kill him once and for all.
JAMIE LEE CURTIS
After a 20-year departure between movies, Curtis returns to the role that made her a star, Laurie Strode. Case and point, a lot of people are making a big deal of the return of Jamie Lee Curtis. This is not the first time she’s returned to the Halloween franchise. She was in the first two movies, she came back for HALLOWEEN H2O a little over 20-years ago and she appeared in a brief cameo at the beginning of HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION (where the character of Laurie Strode was killed off).
However, in keeping with the overall theme of this movie, those sequels are not canon, so this Laurie Strode is the same one from the 1978 movie. Because of the events of that movie, she has been severely traumatized. She has lost most of the major relationships in my life and she’s been getting ready Sarah Connor style for the return of Michael Myers. I like this version of Strode, mainly, because unlike all the other portrayals, this Laurie is not a ‘victim’ per se. While it has made her paranoid, it has also strengthened her into a warrior ready for battle.
THE SUPPORTING CAST
The supporting cast, by and large, was cliché and forgettable. The douchebag boyfriend. The fat friend who likes the main girl. Another douchebag boyfriend with an equally douchey girlfriend. I did like the granddaughter character Allison who wants a relationship with her grandmother, Laurie. Unlike most kids in these movies who makes dumb decisions at inopportune times, she is seen as a victim of bad circumstances through no fault of her own. One character I did not like was the Judy Greer character playing Laurie’s daughter — a character who chastises Laurie all this time for prepping her for battle against this imaginary’ Boogeyman’. Then, of course, when the time comes, she sees Laurie was right the whole time and she’s almost completely unprepared for the consequences.
Other characters who don’t think of the consequences of the actions are the two reporters that initiate this entire little scenario in the movie; due to their ignorance (and arrogance), they unknowingly unleash a killer demon onto a small town and endanger the citizens there, including themselves. I felt no sympathy whatsoever for them and felt they got whatever they deserve. The one character who really stood out the most to me was a little black child who played one of the Allyson’s baby-Sitter friend’s clients. He kind of stole the movie and had some of the best one-liners in the movie.
Now comes the big man that everybody comes to see whenever they see in these movies: The King Slasher himself, MICHAEL MYERS. This time, he’s played once again by the guy who played the character originally in the first movie, Nick Castle. Nick is the one that establish the movements for the character that have been imitated by other actors over the years. It really helps to watch the first movie before watching this movie, so you see that much of Nick’s performance is the same from that first one in 1978. FUN FACT: the basis for the mask (for a lot of people who don’t know) is a Captain Kirk mask from STAR TREK. So, I always find it funny that the face of evil in these movies is William Shatner. Now, they have made a conscious effort to make the mask less like Shatner over the years, but the general basis is still there.
THE LOST ART OF BUIDLING SUSPENSE
One of the bigger things I did enjoy about this movie as compared to most current horror movies is they know how to build suspense. Plus, they had a lot of great tracking shots that let you know that the killer was there, but the victim does not know, and it builds the suspense even further. Halloween also utilizes a lot of music from the original film with a few variations here and there for modern audiences. One of the reasons for this from what I saw was the involvement of the franchise’s creator and original writer director and composer John Carpenter. This also might be the first of the Halloween movies that he’s been involved in since the second one in 1980. I sometimes find that movies that get that touch from the original creator tend to do a little bit better than sequels done by others.
Now, don’t get me wrong.. while there is plenty of suspense, this is a slasher movie especially for modern audiences so there is a lot of blood and gore, yet restrained compared to some other movies I’ve seen in recent years. I thought they went more for story than gore and I appreciated that. Because of the lack of copious amounts of gore and the fact that they took their time and turn the building a lot of suspense, some people may construe this movie as slow. I didn’t at all because of the fact I was intrigued by the story and you don’t really get that with most modern horror movies.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Now comes the all-important question: Would I watch this again? My answer? Yes. I legit enjoyed watching this. I found myself kind of tuned out of a lot of horror movies because of that I know when the scares are coming and that is boring to me. So, a lot of these Conjuring / Insidious /Annabelle and all these other type of movies in the last few years really do nothing for me. I like a good horror movie with a good story that could make me say ‘oh wow don’t go in there’ or ‘why didn’t you call the cops’. I highly recommend this movie especially for those who like a good old-fashioned scare. As such, this movie gets the Belser Seal of Approval. 4/5 Bibles.