HALLOWEEN (2018) MOVIE REVIEW.

HALLOWEEN 2018 MOVIE POSTER

Introduction.

Halloween is a 2018 American slasher horror movie written and directed by David Gordon Green. This is the 11th installment to the Halloween film series and a direct sequel to the 1978 original film bearing the same name. The plot pivots on the troubles of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her family as they deal with the return of Michael Myers; the psychopathic killing machine of Haddonfield.

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Acting and Character performances.

From what I could pick out from the promotional material for this film more so the trailers, this older version of Laurie Strode seemed like she’d be the bane of the movie’s existence. Why you ask? Well, I thought that her over-obsessive desire to kill Myers as well as her inflated paranoia would take the sting out of the super-intense plot that I was expecting. Having seen the film in its entirety, I can indeed admit that my initial assessment of the character was unfounded because I was eventually able to put myself in her shoes and understand how impactful that fateful night all those 40 years ago was to her life. Long story short, I felt both empathetic and sympathetic towards Laurie which is a good thing; you ideally want to be invested in the main character of a movie and this film had me on that all the way.

Of course it would be more seemly of Jamie Lee Curtis to reprise her role on here as opposed to another actress coming on to do it. Given that this was her breakout role, Curtis would be the best suited performer to convincingly channel all the emotions and appropriate mannerisms of Laurie that fans of the Halloween franchise would be compelled by.

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Without spoiling anything, I’d say 40 years is a long time for Laurie to consistently be on the look-out for Myers’ reappearance and this, as you would expect, would go a long way in affecting not only her life but also the lives of those closest to her. Laurie sees herself as the crusader that her family and friends need and not necessarily the crusader that they want and as a viewer, I got that; I got why she’d want to train herself in combat and why she’d want her loved ones to never let their guards down because Michael Myers is a dangerous individual and her could come back at any time, period.

Speaking of the devil, he is pretty much the life-blood of this franchise and for sequels on end, has been fascinating fans alike with the his unforgiving killing spree and his outstanding immortal abilities. Whether it’s being stabbed in the neck, falling of a building or being shot, Michael Myers has been through it all and Nick Castle is here to wow us yet again with an exceptional performance as this famous antagonist. You know, I have always wanted to see Myers’ face and this 2018 film came close to making my dreams come true but didn’t and frankly I don’t understand why his true identity is still undisclosed 40 years on.

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Yes, we saw him in the opening scene of the original when he was unmasked after killing his elder sister nonetheless, I would have wanted to see his adult face in this. Given that the events in this film link directly to the original, I’d say Myer’s killings are still as effortless despite the passage of time. Perhaps the main difference between his past and future self is the fact that he doesn’t creep at people and do the ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ thing as much as he did before. Nonetheless, as I have already stated, his evil ways know no boundaries and as a viewer that’s what I wanted to see and I am glad that’s exactly what I got.

Judy Greer known for films such as ‘Jawbreaker’ and also in the Ant-man movies is on here and I found her performance as Karen, Laurie Strode’s daughter quite convincing, captivating and riveting. In the 1st Act, I couldn’t help but find how she treated her own mother rather distasteful but as the film went along, you get an insight at how abnormal her early life was given that she was brought up by a woman who is the very embodiment of paranoia. A woman who, 40 years on, has never gotten over the traumatic event of going head to head with Myers who had just brutally killed his friends. Basically, Karen is a character who I felt sorry for and related with throughout the movie’s runtime and Judy Greer did well as her.

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The Plot, Merits and Demerits.

Being one of the most revered horror movie franchises of all time alongside ‘Nightmare at Elm’s Street’ and ‘Scream’, I think this film more than any other apart from the original had the most captivating and moving narrative that went beyond the horror elements. The movie brilliantly interweaves the dreadful main plot of Myers’ return to Haddonfield with a superbly written and well portrayed subplot involving Laurie Strode and her lineage and thus I give director David Gordon Green a thumbs up on going for the latter the way he did.

That said, though Green’s direction is good, it has one outstanding problem. I think any fan of this franchise can watch this movie and think it’s trying too much to pay homage to the original and at times it forgets to be its own movie. Based on my personal experience watching it, I could evidently tell that Green wasn’t completely intent on bringing in new elements that would make this movie distinct from the rest particularly the original and I think that was mainly attributed to the involvement of either John Carpenter or the one too many production companies that are linked to this film.

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The copy-cat elements are apparent. Just like the original, the pacing is relatively slow for a big chunk of the runtime. Just like the original, we have an officer from the Haddonfield town Sherriff’s department and a psychiatrist teaming up to take down Myers. Just like the original, we have a teenage nanny who calls his boyfriend over and they make out before they are brutally murdered. Just like the original, a character falls of the second floor of a building but manages to survive. This film clearly wanted to outdo the incredible success of the 1978 one and even though it works, I think more originality would have been better from the director’s part. Additionally, as far as the flaws are concerned, *I disliked the journalists that featured in the 1st Act; they were excessively weak characters and were just a plot device to set up the return of Myers narratively.

Moving on to the stuff I liked about this movie, I’d say *the suspense and tension was quite commendable especially in the 3rd Act; we come into such movies expecting such elements to be executed right and for the most part, the flick excels at them. *The editing was great; unlike many films of the horror genre these days, the scare sequences aren’t fast paced and hence it allows the viewer to take in more of the dread. *I loved the character versus character conflict between Laurie Strode and her family; as I mentioned earlier, it played out in an engaging manner and I was satisfied by how that conflict is eventually resolved. And of course, i can’t forget about the iconic John Carpenter scores; this wouldn’t be a Halloween movie without it.

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Decree.

I sincerely apologize on the delay for my review of Halloween nevertheless, better late than never, right?  This motion-picture is already breaking records in the Box office with a current worldwide gross of $ 172 million and thus if you haven’t watched it by now, please do unless of course you are not seriously not a fan of the genre. And by seriously, I mean it in every sense of the word.

GRADE; B+

 

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