"Halloween" (2018) Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
In 1978, Laurie Strode was terrorized by the evil masked man known as Michael Myers, who went around the town of Haddonfield and murdered babysitters on Halloween night. Since then, there have been numerous sequels that were nowhere near the quality or as successful as the original, and like the babysitters in the first film, the movie franchise just died out after a while. However, in 2018, forty years after the release of the first film, David Gordon Green takes a chance at rebooting the franchise, bringing back the original scream queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis, to reprise her iconic role. It's no surprise that this new movie does not top the original, but Green presents a pretty good slasher film full of gnarly kills and a compelling story.
The movie opens in 2018 and decides to forget about all of the sequels and serves as a direct sequel to the first film, with Michael (James Jude Courtney) in a mental asylum due to the acts he committed forty years prior. Due to the infamous crimes he committed, podcast hosts and true crime aficionados (Rhian Rees, Jefferson Hall) want to make a documentary about him, leading them to the only survivor of his attacks, Laurie Strode.
Laurie has become a recluse since that Halloween night, and has trained and gotten everything prepared for the chance of if Michael ever comes back. However, her worst nightmare comes true when Michael is being transported to a different facility when the bus crashes, and he is now on the loose. Now on the hunt, he returns to his old hometown of Haddonfield, ready to incite terror on the citizens like he did four decades ago. However, Laurie is ready for him, and is ready to end the reign of terror Michael holds over the town once and for all.
This is perhaps one of the best "Halloween" sequels that has ever been released. The other sequels years prior leaned more into the cheesy and parody genre, as well as ruining the lore of Michael and involving witch-y powers, rather than the actual evil that is inside Michael. This film really goes back to the basics of the first one, focusing on the killer and his victims, while also incorporating Laurie and her family into the mix. She has been waiting years to finally kill this monster, and we finally watch as her wish becomes a reality throughout the movie.
Green was really able to bring the viewers back into Haddonfield and immerse them in this terrifying world. The viewers were terrified watching the murders and events unfold in 1978, and that's how the filmmakers want you to feel in this movie. There is a whole sequence where Michael goes around and kill a slew of people in the town on Halloween night, and all the viewer can do is sit back and watch the horror unfold. At the same time, I think that whole sequence is perhaps one of the best sequences in the franchise, as well as the modern slasher genre.
On the topic of brutal killings and murders, this film has some of the gnarliest and most graphic kills in the entire franchise. From slitting people's necks completely open to stomping someone's brains in, Michael is unrelenting and doesn't hold back when it comes to the murders in this movie. It is honestly the best graphics and slayings in the franchise, and the filmmakers really don't hold back on the gore and grittiness factor.
Courtney had massive shoes to fill, taking over the role of the Boogeyman from Nick Castle. I really think he does a very good job playing the Shape, and he is so menacing and terrifying the entire movie. He really embodies the character, and it doesn't seem like there are two different actors playing him from 1978 to 2018. At the same time, Curtis comes back and gives a fantastic performance as her career-starting role, showing how Laurie has been changed and broken since the events of the first movie. She is struggling with addiction and anxiety, which distances herself from her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer) and her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak). All three actresses do a very good job throughout this movie, and show how badass women can be in horror movies like this. The original trope was that the female characters always died and were easy victims, and this movie gives us three awesome examples of how strong women can be.
Overall, I think Green presented a very good reboot of the franchise that shows where the characters from John Carpenter's original slasher are now. They leave the movie with a cliffhanger, that would eventually become "Halloween Kills", a definite upset compared to this movie. But, as a standalone movie that is supposed to bring back these characters and events, the filmmakers and actors all did an excellent job bringing modern audiences back into Haddonfield.