Tale as old as time…Song as old as rhyme….Beauty and the…Wait, sorry. Wrong movie but strangely this Disney tagline works for the newest installment of ‘Halloween.’ As a die hard fan of this franchise, I was a bit skeptical going into viewing this film directed by David Gordon Green and written by Green and Danny McBride (that’s right ya’ll….Danny. McBride.). Again, insert my skepticism that this was going to be nothing more than a cheap ploy to get fans to revisit yet another reimagined (and let’s face it, most of the time laughably horrible reboots).
I am here to report that I was VERY pleasantly surprised after my viewing. Overall, I think this was a great addition to John Carpenter’s original ‘Halloween’ franchise and just downright fun to be a part of. I’m not going to sit here and ruin the film for viewers with spoilers but would like to touch on what I considered a tricks vs treats so here we go!
Treat – Who runs the world? GIRLS! This film survives (pun intended) on the badassdom that the female characters embody. Laurie Strode, reprised by the AMAZING Jamie Lee Curtis (all I gotta say is homegirl aged very well), her daughter, Karen (played by Judy Greer – (I love her but you kind of want to punch her in the face during the first half of the movie) and Allison (And introducing, Andi Matichak) whom make for a pretty awesome team. When it comes to taking down the infamous Michael Myers (played by original ‘Halloween’, The Shape), these are the ladies you want in your corner. Long story short, we pick up 40 years after the 1976 murders, causing Strode to basically become a paranoid shut-in that would put any survivalist to shame. Her skills finally pay off when Myers escapes (I mean, duh, there wouldn’t be a movie if he didn’t so I don’t feel bad spoiling that here). Greer essentially wants nothing to do with JLC and thus keeps her daughter away from her batsh*t crazy grandmother until now. Throughout the course of the film, however, each leading lady portrays some very impressive characteristics that are, in my opinion, the backbone of the film.
Obviously, they weren’t flawless in their executions when trying to take Myers down, but no horror film is complete without a few ‘Seriously!? What are you doing?!” moments and ‘Halloween’ is no exception. That being said, 9 out of 10 I was very happy with the way things were done by these three. Stay strong, ladies.
Trick – Body Count – Don’t get me wrong here, I love a good death scene but some of them were just downright unnecessary for the plot. I know, I know…Most horror films go down the gratuitous path of mindless deaths for shock factor but the beauty of the original ‘Halloween’ was simplicity. There were only five human deaths in the original and most were pretty tame. There are some excellent makeup effects in this version and I will always appreciate the creativity and would like to give a shout out specifically to a curb stomp/teeth/slit jaw death, you’ll know it when you see it.
Treat – Dark and Twisty – There is a pretty surprising twist in terms of how Michael actually gets to be out and stalking about from the psychiatric hospital. The thought of ‘What pleasure does Michael get out of killing’ is a big lead up for this and the payoff is pretty great. What has made Michael such a compelling serial killer in the past is that viewers (and even the characters) literally do not know what his true motivation is. This installment touches on getting to the root of it all. This theme also poked at the fascination we as a society can’t help but be compelled by these kinds of evil doings. Some feel that evil must be destroyed and some feel evil must be studied (stupid doctors).
Treat – Everybody Needs a Good Laugh: HUGE shout out to the hilarious kid, Julian (played by Jibrail Nantambu) for some much needed comedic breaks in the intense horror action. The relationship he has with his not-too-observant babysitter, Vicky (played by Virginia Gardner) was a blast to be a part of and for that, I thank you.
Trick and Treat – Fortress Strode: There are a lot of fun surprises in the final scenes that go down at Casa de Strode and again, I’m not giving spoilers here because when watching I had many ‘Ok THAT was awesome’ moments but equally as many ‘Ok WTF / This Does Not Work’ moments. It’s a double edge sword because of course even if you prepare for 40 years to kill your escaped supervillain when you are actually face to face with the shape again, you end up going medieval on his ass anyway.
Overall – Very happy. Going in my bar was low but while watching all the feels were felt. Original nods to the film, including music by John Carpenter was excellent, as well as some additional easter eggs true fans will be able to fawn over throughout. The original will always be near and dear to my heart, but this film is a great addition to the franchise. Don’t forget to stay for the end credits…
Director: David Gordon Green
With: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner.
Release Date: Oct 19, 2018
Rated R 1 hour 49 minutes
Official Site: https://www.halloweenmovie.com/
Rating: 4 out of 5 Boogeymans