Halloween (2018)


REVIEWER RATING: 
7/10


It's amazing that after so many years we finally get a Halloween movie that not only makes a killing at the box office (pun intended), but also receives much warranted praise from fans and critics alike, which is pretty rare for a horror film. What's even more amazing is that it took a couple guys that are mostly known for their comedy (David Gordon Green and Danny McBride) to make it all happen.

Another film in the series had been a long time coming and we've gotta thank Dimension Films for failing to move forward with another, because it seemed like all the reported ideas they were throwing around would have resulted in another mediocre entry. Specifically early on when they were considering doing another sequel to Rob Zombie's version, but luckily that never came to fruition (more Hobo Michael? no thanks).

Once Dimension lost the rights it went back to Miramax and Blumhouse decided to get in on the action and co-produce the project, which is what the property needed since Blumhouse produces films on a smaller budget, which meant more creative freedom. With names like David Gordon Green and Danny McBride attached many were skeptical, but I tried to keep an open mind, especially when they said John Carpenter himself would oversee the movie and even do the score. At that point I was pretty much sold.

Instead of simply remaking the first (again), the filmmakers decided to do a direct sequel to the original that would retcon the other sequels and introduce an alternate timeline where Michael was caught at the end of the first movie, leaving him to grow old in Smith's Grove Sanitarium. It's been forty years since the events of the first installment and Laurie Strode has become a survivalist of sorts, prepping all these years for Michael's inevitable return. Unfortunately this has taken a toll on her family life, leaving her somewhat estranged with her daughter (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). This badass new Laurie is definitely one of the most interesting aspects of the movie, especially as we learn later about the great lengths she's gone through to ensure the safety of herself and her family.

Turns out she was right and Michael naturally escapes during a bus transport; gets a hold of his aged mask; and goes on another killing spree at ol' Haddonfield during Halloween night. Meanwhile, Laurie's heavily armed and now hot on his trail with the hopes of finally stopping him once and for all, but not before he hunts down the rest of Laurie's bloodline. It was revealed early on that in this timeline Michael and Laurie are not related, so Michael's reasoning for going after Laurie in this movie simply relies on the fact that she's the one that got away all those years ago. I dig the new timeline since I never liked the family relation aspect of the series, which got even more heavily convoluted (and incestuous) in part six of the series (*shivers*).

The filmmakers did a good job recapturing that look and feel of not only the Fall season, but of a Halloween movie in general. It also helps that Carpenter's new score is pretty spot on with what takes place on screen. As far as Michael himself, we catch glimpses and side profiles of him without his mask, but luckily we only get enough to see that he's old, gray, and still has that damaged eye from when Laurie poked him with the hanger all those years ago. Leaving a bit of mystery is what always made Michael Myers so iconic and scary, in my opinion. They did the character well here, making him a force to be reckoned with once again and killing almost randomly (and at times brutally) with no real discrimination between victims.

All that aside, the movie didn't exactly offer anything seasoned horror fans haven't already seen either from the franchise or just the genre in general, and that's probably my biggest complaint about the film. While I liked the movie, this new timeline, and where it can potentially lead the series from this point on, it's still nothing really new. Of course you can only do so much with certain themes before they become tedious, and I kinda feel like I'm at that point, so maybe it's just me? Either way, I still liked the movie, just not as much as I hoped I would.

OVERALL: 
While I don't feel like fans should completely forget about some of the earlier sequels (I still dig 2 and 4), this new movie is definitely a solid entry in the long-running series and a worthy followup to the original. Though it doesn't introduce anything new as far as slashers go, storywise it does take things in a different and more interesting direction and some of the gory kills prove that Michael is still as brutal as ever, even as an old man.