“Halloween” Movie Review

Does it live up to the masterpiece original or fall short of its glory?

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Adam Walters, Contributor

Does it live up to the masterpiece original or fall short of its glory?
By: Adam Walters

Horror fans are likely to know about the genre’s tendency to produce poor sequels. Especially when it comes to slasher flicks. Thankfully, the new “Halloween” does not fall victim. “Halloween” is directed by David Gordon Green and stars Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode and James Jude Courtney as “The Shape” Michael Myers.

Fans of the Halloween franchise haven’t been treated to a good film since 1998 when “Halloween: H20” was released. Now, twenty years later, fans get a movie that, in my opinion, should be considered one of the best in the series.

This movie is a psychoanalysis of the effects of trauma on Laurie Strode, who narrowly eluded Michael’s slashing spree four decades before. Laurie is now a grandmother who has been through two failed marriages because of her inability to move on from the horror she had to endure, even though Michael has been locked up in Smith’s Grove Sanitarium. Additionally, even though Michael would technically be 61 years old at this point, he still possesses the evil urge to kill.

“Halloween” disregards all seven of the sequels in the franchise, along with the two most recent films written and directed by Rob Zombie, and serves as a direct sequel to the original masterpiece of the same name released in 1978. This was an excellent decision as the storylines and character of Michael Myers got very convoluted.

This film takes Michael back to his roots and makes him legitimately scary again. The scenes where Michael is on screen are some of the most suspenseful scenes I’ve ever experienced in a movie. The way he moves, the inability to see his eyes, the breathing, the brutality, among many other things all add up to make the best portrayal of The Shape since Nick Castle’s portrayal in the original film (who does make a cameo appearance as The Shape in the movie).

The atmosphere and mood of the film were perfect. It felt like Halloween night with all the trick or treaters and the fall leaves on the ground. The amazing cinematography in the film along with the score, created by John Carpenter, add to the atmosphere and help make it an even scarier experience.

The score felt very similar to the original score, also created by John Carpenter, but still managed to feel modern and get my heart pumping like it did in the original.

Some of my favorite parts in the film were all of the allusions to the previous films in the franchise. In the two times I have watched it in theatres I was able to find a reference to every film in the franchise, which made it very obvious that David Gordon Green and Danny McBride are actual fans of the series and weren’t just making the movie for the paycheck. There are times where the film starts to drag on, mostly in the second act, but the crazy first and third act made me forget about those moments completely.

Most of the character in the film were really fun to watch. Laurie Strode and her granddaughter Allyson are both dynamic characters that were the glue that held the film together while Michael was not on screen.

Unfortunately, there were some characters that weren’t nearly as captivating. Laurie’s daughter Karen was one of those characters. Karen was a very annoying and aggravating character as the writing for the character along with the acting performance from Judy Greer was not done very well. She did have a very redeeming moment in the third act but it wasn’t enough to make me forget about all the downfalls of one of the top billed characters in the film.

Another poor character in “Halloween” was Karen’s husband Ray, played by Toby Huss, who could have been cut out of the film entirely.

Dr. Sartain is arguably the most controversial character in the entire franchise. It’s obvious that they were going for a character who was very similar to the iconic Dr. Loomis from the original franchise, but he falls short. I do enjoy the character and his motives, but he was made to be too similar to Dr. Loomis for me to be able to separate the two.

Critics of this movie point to the use of comedy as one of the reasons it was a downgrade from the original. Many believe that a “Halloween” movie should be kept serious, but I really enjoyed the humor. It was well written, didn’t overstay its welcome and it allowed me to take a break from the suspense and terror.

I absolutely loved this movie. It didn’t quite top the original “Halloween” or the original sequel “Halloween ll” but it is definitely in my top three in the franchise as well as one of my favorite horror films released in 2018. This film is an absolute must watch for anyone who is a fan of the franchise, or even for anyone who is just looking for a scary new movie to watch during the Halloween season. Even with my high expectations, “Halloween” still managed to surpass them.