Wednesday 24 October 2018

Movie Review: HALLOWEEN (2018)

Halloween 2018

I believe that the biggest problem the Halloween franchise has had is that the original is not just a highly revered classic, but has been put on a pedestal by fans and critics alike. John Carpenter's 1978 Halloween is one of the few movies in the Horror genre which has the respect of the mainstream, along with The Exorcist, The Shining and Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. For this reason, any sequel would always get a hard time, regardless of how good or bad it actually was. I've learned to ignore critics when it comes to Halloween movies, especially after reading so many scathing reviews of Rob Zombie's Halloween remake a few years ago. Personally, I thought it was really good.

Halloween has never been a franchise which has had much regard for continuity. This new one is effectively a sequel to the original, and every other movie is ignored. I think that was a good call as it gives the writers a great deal of freedom when the shackles of the last 40 years of dodgy scripts are removed from the timeline. In Halloween 2018, Laurie Strode, played once again by the living legend that is Jamie Lee Curtis, has been preparing to face her brother and nemesis Michael Myers for four decades, and after he escapes during a bus trip to a new mental facility, Laurie's about to face him one last time. Does this sound familiar? Fortunately, this is a far better movie than H2O.


I'll cut to the chase. Halloween 2018 is the sequel the original deserves, and is easily the best in the franchise after the classic. I love how they developed Laurie's character into a crazy prepper who has spent her entire life waiting for the opportunity to kill Michael. She's turned her house and her land into a fortress, and has become an expert in firearms and self-defence. We learn that she brought her daughter Karen up to learn how to fight and survive, and she was eventually removed by social services at age 12. Karen thinks that her Mum is insane and has, in turn, brought up her daughter Allyson to believe the same. However, Allyson has more compassion for Laurie and tries to connect with her to get her to move past her trauma.

This new take on Laurie reminds me a little of Sarah Conner in Terminator 2 in a way, and like Sarah, Laurie is right (it'd be a shit film if she wasn't), and she's prepared to take down Michael when he inevitably escapes and goes on a killing spree, before reaching his estranged family members for an awesome showdown.

The tone of Halloween 2018 is perfect. There is some humour mixed in with the Horror in just the right amount. There are also plenty of Easter eggs thrown in for the die-hard Halloween fan. Overall, it has the feel of the original, and this is bolstered by the updated version of John Carpenter's unmistakable theme tune that's in the opening credits and at certain points in the movie. There are plenty of jump-scares, creepy moments, and a tension that keeps you glued to the screen.

As with almost any Horror movie, you can pick the plot apart if you have no sense of humour, but for me, Halloween 2018 did what I wanted it to and surpassed my expectations. It's an excellent slasher film that does this legendary franchise justice, and I highly recommend it.


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