Halloween (2018) picks up forty years after young Laurie Strode faced off against the homicidal Michael Myers. And, after years of incarceration, the masked man is on the loose and ready to settle the score. With four decades of preparation under her belt, Laurie is ready for Michael and looks forward to the chance to put an end to his reign of terror.
As the above description suggests, David Gordon Green’s sequel retcons everything to come after the first film. In this timeline, Michael Myers was captured following the end of the 1978 original and has been safely locked away in a sanitarium ever since. For the most part, that decision works well. I do wish that the established idea of Laurie and Michael being kin had been preserved, as it lends credibility to Michael’s fixation with Laurie. But, to the credit of screenwriters Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Green, the familial link is addressed and subsequently dismissed and Michael and Laurie’s longstanding preoccupation with one another is also discussed at some length.
One of the areas where the film (mostly) shines is in its obvious adoration and respect for the original. There are countless nods to the 1978 classic. Even the outfit and hairstyle Jamie Lee Curtis is sporting when she is first introduced are reminiscent of that which she donned in the original. This also helps to cement the fact that she has, to some extent, been frozen in time. She has never gotten past the events of that fateful Halloween night and her inability to move forward has cost her a great deal. The references to the original can get a little tedious at times but between that and an utter disregard for Carpenter’s 1978 film, I will take over saturation.
Expounding upon that, I must also commend the film’s screenwriters for providing viewers with an accurate idea of what the survivor of a slasher film might actually look like after a substantial amount of time had passed. H20 made some attempt to comment on the lingering fear and trauma that Laurie would likely have felt after experiencing such a harrowing ordeal but Halloween (2018) really nailed it.
Naturally, Jamie Lee Curtis turns in a brilliant performance but the other two Strode women were equally impressive. It’s always nice to see Judy Greer (Ant-Man) in a serious role. She is a gifted comedic actress but is also more than capable of tackling more serious fare and doesn’t disappoint as Laurie’s estranged daughter, Karen. Relative newcomer Andi Matichak also delivers an arresting performance as Laurie’s granddaughter, Allyson. It’s really neat to see three generations of Strode women coming together for a common goal and kicking some serious a**. Halloween (2018) carries on the legacy of the original in that it’s not all stupid decisions and poor judgment. It features three strong, capable female leads and they are more than worthy adversaries for Michael Myers.
In addition to featuring a trio of empowered women at the center of the action, David Gordon Green also deserves props for offering up some legitimately emotional and heartfelt moments between Laurie and Karen. The touching sequences are not particularly wordy but they are, nonetheless, effective and convey a great deal with very little said.
One major departure from the 1978 original is that the violence is a lot more graphic. It’s not excessive. But, there is certainly a great deal more bloodshed. The body count is impressive. Michael begins taking victims early on and the death toll continues to rise, right up until the film’s impressive finale.
I’m pleased to say that underneath the buckets of stage blood, there are also ample scares. Halloween (2018) boasts a number of well-timed and expertly crafted scares that really sneak up on the audience and defy expectations. The final thirty minutes were incredibly suspenseful and truly had me unhinged.
If you haven’t seen Halloween (2018), you should make haste to do so. The film is currently available on DVD, Blu-Ray, 4K Ultra, and DigitalHD. The home video release includes an impressive slate of featurettes and a long list of deleted and extended scenes!
WICKED RATING: 8/10
Director(s): David Gordon Green
Writer(s): Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Green
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, and Andi Matichak
Release: January 15, 2018 (DVD and Blu)
Studio/ Production Co: Blumhouse, Mirimax, Universal Pictures
Budget: $10 Million (estimated)