David Gordon Green’s Halloween is good. Disappointing, yes, but good. As a massive, massive fan of the Halloween franchise I was able to find tons of vindication and contentment from the rounded experience. That being said, for a sequel that came after the time-span spectrum of sixteen years from its previous entry, I did expect a tad bit more than what we’ve received.
I’m about to say something that’s going to sound wickedly negative, but I sincerely don’t mean for it to sound as pessimistic as it’s probably going to turn out to sound like. Halloween 2018 is roughly the Batman V Superman of the Halloween franchise. Now, hold up, before you kill me, let me explain myself. Both of these movies have so much eye-catching greatness in them, yet, so many glaring issues as well. They both, also, had the potential to be considerably better than what they actually turned out to inhabit. (FYI I’m not saying Halloween 2018 is as bad as BVS—because it certainly isn’t—I’m just scattering major similarities between the two.) Another good comparison would be Jigsaw, which essentially is just the bigger-budgeted version of Saw, just not—well-nigh—as impressive as Saw. (Once again, Halloween 2018 is not as bad as Jigsaw, I’m just comparing the two) Conclusively, there is an apparent dynamism and unmitigated vitality hidden in this film’s underlying shell of ideas. They just were, unfortunately, not activated or utilized to their fullest capacity.
Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode. And she’s damn right, hands down, the best part of the movie. This is the f’ed up, traumatized interpretation of Laurie that us Halloween fans have been dying to see for a long, long time. They attempted to create this sort of interpretation of Laurie in Halloween H20 but, for us distorted and demonically brain damaged horror-junkie fans, that ounce of trauma was not enough gratification for our sick, twisted minds. Not only is Curtis’s performance plausible as hell, it’s also fairly moving. Having this ability to finally receive something so compelling in a freakin’ slasher movie, moderately resinates as a thoughtful gift towards us horror fanatics. It makes us feel a little bit less guilty about what one of our preferred genres (horror) can and has the scope to offer.
Now, let’s talk about The Shape. Man oh man. My flippin’ goodness. This movie has consummated the ultimate mission in crafting Michael Myers’s character into the most suitable fit more than ever before—minus the original. When this movie comes out on demand, can someone pretty please with a cherry on top and all that jazz, make an “Only Michael Myers” cut of this movie and post it on YouTube. This, of course, is for the sole purpose of allowing me to watch these kills on repeat so that I can get my maxi Michael Myers fandom geek-out on. If that sounded like TMI to you’ll I apologize, and I shall transition and continue my review onward into something significantly more professional.
So…anyways, James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle, I—with the standing ovation and everything—applaud you. The gestures and suddlity of what made the character so impeccable in the original was all there. I am currently, getting on my knees bowing down before all of you who participated in making Myers’s so damn foolproof in this movie. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Sidenote: Best Michael Myers’s kill? (We’ll talk about best Myers’s moment another time) There’s a particular murderer that takes place in a house, near a window—I’ll stop there—and it was uprightly one of the most brutally expeditiously vicious kills I’ve ever witnessed in a horror movie. It just seemed so rough, and ferocious. Animal-like would be a proper way of citing it. I could continue to gush and praise about the scene but I’m just going to stop right now in order to save you folks from recoiling from my dorkiness. That devises up another aspect of the movie that I found rather fond. The wholesomely truthful part of a substantial majority of slash sequences is that they don’t even contain a ton of gore in them. Yes, there’s obviously some gore, people aren’t bloodless, but it isn’t overdone to the point where the movie is strictly only relying on blood and guts to forge the scare. The movie isn’t reliant on gore-porn, which is a definite plus.
I relish how the film kept at a steady pace, akin to Carpenter’s original. The movie isn’t soliciting by catering to modern-aged movie consumerists by keeping the film at a brisk and quick-cut pace. The sequence of events authentically seem timely and realistic.
Obviously, Carpenter’s new score rocks my world. What did you expect otherwise?
There’s an apparent lack of environmental ambience in Green’s Halloween. The Carpenter-y directing is a check, but despite the film’s inclusion of this, you never feel like the setting is as claustrophobic or as mesmerizing as the original had you sensing. This is especially noticeable whenever the Halloween theme plays. The score sometimes doesn’t even seem to fit the scene. It just seems like a background drop, that is often inserted at the wrong time and the wrong place. A lot of “why” this might be the case, has to do with the editing, which I’ll tackle on later. Green may have some of the special maneuvers down, but he’s still missing that Carpenter-y atmosphere that’s admittedly and assumably, quite difficult to replicate. I feel like, maybe, I might need a repeat viewing to kind of sympathize with Gordon’s attempt at aura. I’ll have to see with my own eyes and ears if this effect he was trying to generate works better on a secondary viewing but for now, it feels, to me, sometimes visibly shallow.
I also, held-heartedly, thought Green was trying to adapt to way too many directing styles. Don’t get me wrong, I admired the way he directed and had the camera focus and motion on certain key elements in a good chunk of the shots. It was pretty phenomenal. I just think he went a little too far-fetched than what his ability could actually withhold. It’s peculiar, cause in some kills he’ll direct it like a modern-horror movie would do and then in some other kills he’ll direct it similair to how Carpenter and Rosenthal (when he did Halloween II) directed their Halloween films. There was even a fuse of some James Wan-ish/Conjuring-ish directing towards the final act. I wish he had either stuck with one of these aesthetics or discovered a tactic to invent a lukewarm combination of all these modes, because it came off a bit clumsy and openly conspicuous. I get this vibe that the filmmakers had a desire to tribute more than one manner (mainly to appeal to Carpenter fans and modern-aged horror fans all in unison) which generally wasn’t necessarily something I could consider agile to do in a film like this. Sometimes, doing the bare minimum is the finest way to go about.
The editing for the most part is sufficient. However, there are some seriously odd and out of place usages of cuts that frankly, I could not comprehend. There are some creative choices in the editing that felt super extraneous to me. It’s a cumbersome risk the editors I guess, decided to take. Hopefully it pays off for others, but often it didn’t for me.
The writing was a bit on/off but for the most part, just like the editing, it was sufficient enough to not completely harm my enjoyment. I know, my boy Danny McBride wrote some of the script, so hats off to you dude, but—I hate saying it—it’s not so perfect. Sometimes the story and dialogue was very informal and worthwhile (especially when the film dealt with messages about PTSD, and how ignorant the world seems to be of the critically insane) That being said, there’s still a solid amount of dialogue that was painfully awkward, under unintentional circumstances I assume.
I also, don’t understand why the film absolutely, had to utilize comedy. Why does every, single anticipated movie—no matter what genre it’s in—have to evoke some giggles/laughs out of the audience in order to be labeled as marketable to this generation? You’re just losing the dismay and trepidation in doing so, and let me tell you, it’s not worth it!
Luckily, the third act—as the kids say on the internet these days—f***s. Well, minus a specific decision made by a specific character that I may discuss in a possible spoiler review—hint, hint 😉— that had me appalled in utter shock and not in the good horrorshow way. Besides that kooky, futile, flaw, the third act is essentially what I wanted the whole movie to be. Slow, tension building, authoritative, suspense. This film, graciously, at least, ended with a hell of a bang…I WANT TO TALK SPOILERS SO DESPERATELY RIGHT NOW! 🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐
One of the obvious points one can make is that at this moment there’s not much else you can do with the Michael Myers’s story. Green’s Halloween pays homage to the original, yes, yet, it lacks successfully fulfilling enough brand new story elements, to make it a remarkably original addition to the saga. Everything has been done way too many times, so to speak.
People need to stop being dumb in horror movies too. Period.
There’s so much in Halloween 2018 to cherish, yet, so much to lament about. I honestly can picture a perfect Halloween sequel hidden deep behind this movie but for now—which is fine—I’ll just have to accept this reasonable sequel. Then again, I remember, the first time I viewed the OG Halloween I actually wasn’t a huge fan of it. I found it to be predictable, corny, and somewhat shabby. Fast-forward two years later, I rewatched it, and now, it’s one of my all-time favorite horror films to date. So, who knows, maybe a rewatch this year and another for the years to come could make me open up to Green’s interpretation of the Myers’s fable. At the moment though, I feel safe bestowing Halloween 2018 with a profoundly strong: (Verdict: C+)
The original Halloween II is miles better than this new Halloween sequel. Prove me wrong. (You may have to sacrifice the better Laurie characterization but that’s okay. It’ll be worth it cause Halloween II has more horrific and enticing atmosphere)
Will say though, the opening sequence in Green’s Halloween is by a long shot, the best Halloween opening since the original Halloween II—maybe even since the original. It gets you beyond anxious. 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻
I did not care for any of the teenage drama in this film, at all. More time with Laurie please, less time with cliché teenagers trying to get laid…🤗🤗🤗
This Movie is a Part of My List: Ranking The Halloween Films From Best To Worst