by Groovinator, The Cynical Cyborg
Halloween (2018) Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, and Judy Greer is written by David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and Jeff Fradley, and directed by David Gordon Green. We need to call it Halloween (2018) now, because naming things is now dumb, and we don’t want to confuse it with John Carpenter’s Halloween, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, and this Halloween. I feel like James Rolfe of Cinemassacre covered that little detail better than anyone, so you can check that out at your leisure.
Unlike some people, I went into this movie with tapered expectations. I recently watched all 10 movies of the Halloween franchise, and there were several ups and downs, mostly downs, but many attempts at rebooting the franchise. Only a few of them follow a sequence of events, with thunderous plot holes along the way, and logic does not always bode well with this series of movies. This one however, completely dismisses all 9 sequels, and is meant to take place 40 years after the events in the original film. Now before I get into this review, I want to preface that I understand the logic of the filmmakers to completely abandon all of the previous material, but as an avid Star Wars fan, I know what it is like to have your universe torn to shreds by upcoming film makers and writers that think they can tell you what you should like, and attract new audiences as well. It is a tough act to juggle, but this is what happens when producers keep rebooting things, and adding sequels. We live in a serialized world, where movies are preplanned as franchises; TV shows have multiple arcs and spin-offs that tie into one cohesive timeline, where canon and continuity is paramount. It would be easy for younger people to become frustrated with things taking place within the same series no longer make sense. I am saying that I get the frustration of both parties involved, neither one is completely right or wrong. Jaws for example are a masterpiece, but there is no scientific reason at all why Chief Brody should have to deal with another big ass shark. The sequel should have been Brody packing his family up and moving off the island either back to New York, or up to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, as far away from an ocean as possible. This is the downside to making endless sequels and constantly rebooting things to make more money…you simply cannot make everyone happy at once. That being said, depending on how you feel about this concept, your mileage may very.
The problem with THIS particular franchise is that no long term plan has ever been in place. John Carpenter made a scary movie about this escaped lunatic who murders baby sitters on the most prank heavy day of the entire year. Nobody believes anyone, and that is what makes it scary. This movie was made with a budget less than a million and made a fortune. During the late 70s, and early 80s, sequels only occurred when something broke records at the box office. When these sequels occurred, writers had to find new and inventive ways to bring back the killer so that we could have another movie. Without too many spoilers, this franchise has introduced everything from the supernatural, to witchcraft, evil electronic masks, Stonehenge, psychic powers, fucking druids, L.L. Cool J, Busta Rhymes, trailer trash, unicorns….what the actual fuck? So I have to wonder sometimes why this franchise is held so sacred, what in the Holy Hell is worth hanging onto? I am not saying that it was bad, I saw most of these movies in theaters, and I enjoyed some of them, but that was also a very long time ago. Continuity is not one of this franchise’s strong points. It is not based on novels or comic books, it is all based on one screenplay that came out 40 years ago, and everyone has a different approach now. However, now that you have ret conned all of these movies, I am happy to say that all you need to know is the most basic points of the first movie in order to enjoy this. So after sitting through 10 films that ended on Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2, I had extremely low expectations going into this one.
40 years after the first film, Michael Myers is still in Smith’s Grove Illinois mental institution. What a splendid idea, because that worked so well the first time. As you may have guessed, he will escape again on his favorite holiday because…movie. Laurie Strode once again portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis, and actress I have come to admire long after any of the Halloween sequels, she’s wonderful in everything, and I don’t understand why we don’t have more Jamie Lee Curtis in movies. I think she deserves better roles than peddling Activia, or showing up in Blumhouse horror movies. In this movie she plays a strong female lead, flawed, but earns all of her strengths. She’s a survivalist now, living as a recluse in a house rigged with multiple surveillance cameras, flood lights, trap doors, and rather large cache of firearms. Because of her many years of paranoia following the incidents of the first film she is estranged from her daughter and granddaughter. As you may have guessed, Myers does escape, and the rest of the film is a series of things that just kind of happen until we get to the final showdown.
The movie is competently shot, meant to evoke some of Carpenter’s earlier films, and of course Carpenter himself has provided a slightly updated yet recognizable score. The plot unfortunately dances around a bit before arriving at obvious conclusions, and some of our characters are placed together in situations that would mirror lightning striking multiple times in the same place. Humor is well written, but often used at times, where we just want to get back to the story at hand. There are also some characters in this movie that simply do not need to be there, other than to fill time in between the big payoff. And there are some characters that were interesting, whose times are cut way to short, and there is one character, Sartain, who is Myer’s new doctor, who is just flat out badly written. I cannot reveal the exact moment without massive spoilers, but let’s just say his motivation for certain behaviors is just dumb writing period. A couple other things that took me out of the movie, was this idiotic school dance, which should have been cut from the film, and also his mask. According to the movie, an investigative journalist borrowed the original mask from the “State’s Department” to get provoke and emotional response, but it has wrinkles and liver spots like an old man would. Last time I checked, latex doesn’t do that because FUCKING SCIENCE!!! Latex degrades over time; it doesn’t age like a person! However, I chose not to let that one detail prevent me from enjoying the rest of the ride.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed most of this movie. It does have some pacing problems, and the script is a bit weak, but compared to something as wretched as Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies, I found it a breath of fresh air. I don’t know if that makes it a good movie, but I would definitely watch this again, and I will buy this on blu-ray when it comes out. If you are a fan of the series like I am, or the original, I think you will have a good time. I say fan of the “MOVIE” that is Halloween. If you are going to see a slasher film full of new and original kills, you may be disappointed. While he does kill many people, motivations once again do not make much sense, and a lot of the gore that is depicted on film is post mortem, so you don’t see the act of these mutilations as they occur. If that is what you are looking for, you are better pressed to stick with the Friday The 13th series instead. I cannot really say for sure if this is a soft reboot or not, but I can say that if this one makes a ton of money, and they keep going in this direction I will stay along for the journey. I am giving this movie 3 out of 5 cheese curds. I think it’s worth a look, and if you are looking for a good time on Halloween, you will enjoy this film. Cyborg signing out, have yourselves a Groovy day!