“Halloween” was directed by David Gordon Green and stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak and Judy Greer. The film is a sequel to 1978’s “Halloween” and is about Michael Myers escaping his mental institution in search of killing Laurie Strode, who has been preparing for Michael’s escape for 40 years.
I can’t say I have seen any of the “Halloween” films aside from the very first, so the nostalgia of this franchise is not something I care about much. Still, I thought the trailer for the movie looked pretty great, and without any other real horror movie coming out before Oct. 31, I was hopeful that this could live up to the original.
The “Halloween” franchise is a slasher franchise, so it’s a good thing that this movie works damn well as when it is a slasher film. The sequences of horror work brilliantly through Green’s ability to make tense scenes without relying on a ton of cheap jumps and unnecessary gore. The movie is scary through long takes and a sense of dread, and I was really impressed by the way the movie makes an old formula work.
Curtis gives a terrific performance as Laurie Strode, and does so in a very impressive way. Being the main protagonist in a role like this can be difficult, and Curtis nails it, making Strode someone that can be hard to root for, but also absolutely badass when it comes down to it. Curtis lands both aspects very well, and makes an excellent counterpart to the masked killer.
Speaking of Michael Myers, his dynamic with Strode is one of the better parts of the film. Strode’s preparation and years of patience waiting for Myers makes for one heck of a showdown between the two, and one that works for some phenomenal moments in the final act.
There is one scene towards the middle of the movie involving Michael’s run through a few houses in a neighborhood. It is a tracking shot that left me in total awe from how brilliantly it is shot, and for how terrific the use of what the audience can and cannot see truly is.
Of course, I’d be foolish to not mention the phenomenal job done on the score by John Carpenter, which is the perfect mix of nostalgia combined with some new flair to make it stand out from the original.
Once the movie gets going, it is pretty terrific. But until then, there are some iffy moments in the first act that could have been improved on. I found some of the bits from the two interviewers to be alright, but they didn’t add enough to feel important in the context of the movie. I felt the same way about the Strode family dynamic, which was simply another piece that got in the way of the best part: Myers versus Laurie Strode.
Of all the side plots, the one with the least amount of relevancy goes to Allyson’s relationship drama. Matichak’s performance is perfectly fine, but the amount that her issues with boys and school matter are slim to none, and I wish that Green either dropped them entirely, or made them matter in the overall story.
As always, Myers is a relentless man who can take bullets and hits like no one else. I expected it, and it is what this franchise has done since the beginning, but that doesn’t mean it can take away from the amount of suspense that can be built from any scene he is in.
“Halloween” is a very strong film, and one that will surely please fans of the franchise. It takes a bit to get there, but once it hits its stride, the movie is intense, well crafted and, above all, thoroughly entertaining. It may not be the best horror film to be released in 2018, but it is certainly a solid one, and one worth checking out this time of the year.
What did you think of “Halloween”? Comment below with your thoughts.