Film Review: Halloween (2018) – 8/10

‘An evil like his never stops, it just grows older. Darker…’

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Halloween is a franchise that has struggled in terms of sequels because really what is left to say about Michael Myers after John Carpenter’s legendary original. He is pure evil. He feels nothing. He can’t be stopped. To stretch this out over ten films seems a little daft.

With this in mind, the only way to reinvent this franchise is to ignore all other sequels and reboots and just start again with a direct sequel to Halloween. That is exactly what director David Gordon Green has done with his take on Michael Myers, also entitled Halloween, and it mostly works brilliantly.

Let’s start with the positives. The return of Myers himself is handled perfectly. Nick Castle returns to reprise the role from the original film, albeit sharing Shape duty with James Jude Courtney. Gordon Green has perfectly captured the essence of Michael Myers. Powerful, malevolent, meticulous. Resourceful even. Myers has gained a reputation as a lumbering zombie in various sequels but if you cast your mind back to the original, there are several scenes in which Michael sets up grotesque tableau’s of murder for future victims to stumble across.

The look, feel and sound of Halloween also perfectly recaptures the dark menace and rising tension of the source material. John Carpenter’s unforgettable score returns and is utilised perfectly, the modern day setting is seamless and the young cast do a good job, particularly as they are playing second fiddle to the two main players in this story…

Which brings us to Jamie Lee Curtis. As Laurie Strode, Lee Curtis defined the idea of The Final Girl and, in doing so, became a horror icon for the ages. While she returns here as a powerful and tortured presence, her obsession with survival aligns her more with Ellen Ripley then with her character in the original. My other main gripe is with Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer), a Dr. Loomis stand in who ends up being  a bad cover version of Donald Pleasence’s unforgettable turn as Loomis.

I’m nitpicking here though, Halloween is mostly a triumph. By reuniting Michael Myers and Laurie Strode and allowing Michael more screen time then he has perhaps ever enjoyed in a Halloween movie, David Gordon Green and co-writer Danny McBride have given the fans what they want.

The dark and unpleasant truth is that we don’t really go to horror films for the Laurie Strode’s of this world… we go for Michael Myers. What does that say about us?…

For a list of the top 7 horror movie survivors (including Laurie Strode), click here.
For a list of the top 10 horror movie directors, click here.
Finally, for a review of the 1978 version of Halloween, click here.

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