Halloween Returns to Theaters… Again.
November 5, 2018
John Carpenter’s 1978 classic, Halloween, was a massive hit in the United States, and in many ways signaled the start of the slasher flick craze.
In fact, few horror movie elements are more iconic than the mask of Michael Myers, and the chilling music of the Halloween theme.
And now, with the film’s popularity spawning eight other sequels that could care less about consistency or any semblance of a timeline, 2018’s Halloween has arrived in theaters.
Like its predecessors, the plot is simple. Michael Myers’ rampage back in 1987 left the crazed killer locked up in a mental institution. Now, 40 years later, the first movie’s lone survivor, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has been preparing for the day that Michael escapes again. Now a grandmother, her family, including her daughter, Karen Strode (Judy Greer), and son-in-law, Ray (Toby Huss) have pushed Laurie out of their lives because of her crazed obsession with a mentally-insane serial killer. One exception is her granddaughter Allyson Strode (Andi Matichak), who still cares for her grandmother and wishes to spend time with her. Allyson joining her school’s honors society, an event that brings Laurie out with her family, just so happens to coincide with the movement of inmates at the mental hospital, which once again results in knives, death, and mayhem.
Now with that out of the way, let’s talk about the movie itself.
Although Halloween is a horror movie and franchise, this particular go around, as it is with many slasher films, is closer to an action film than a true horror movie. Of course you’ve got your cheap jumpscares which, by the way, are surprisingly good in some scenes, your spooky man in a mask, and a whole lot of gore. So, there’s quite a bit to look for on the horror end, but the movie does flow more similarly to an action movie. Fights are long, and lose their fear factor after the first scare.
Ultimately, I think that’s my biggest issue with this movie. Michael Myers’ character didn’t scare me after the second half of the movie. He’s just some guy who somehow happens to be able to be very resistant to most things and a cold blooded murderer, but he’s actually really goofy. There are some scenes that really shouldn’t have had me laughing as much as I did, or at all, but there I was sitting in a theater of terrified people, laughing because of how silly some of the things he did were. The way Michael reacted during the movie reminded me more of Ghostface from the Scream franchise, in his inability to seem really menacing.
The acting is surprisingly good for a genre that usually relies more on scares than skills. Jamie Lee Curtis is still really great, and absolutely carried this movie. A character that I surprisingly enjoyed a lot was Judy Greer’s Karen. Her mother’s efforts to raise her to be prepared for situations like the one she is put through have resulted in some surprising deaths under her seemingly soft persona. And, of course, the comedic relief, a child being babysat by one of the expendable teens, Julian (Jibrail Nantambu) was hilarious for a child actor. Got me pretty good with a couple silly jokes, so I was pretty happy about that.
And, on the other side of the spectrum, I wasn’t too much of a fan of the “teenagers” in the movie. First of all, a couple of them looked old enough to be thinking about a mortgage, and their acting was fairly poor. Allyson, for example, was extremely monotone, and was really held down as a character by her romantic subplot. But, perhaps they served the purpose o most teens in horror movies: to make stupid decisions and be expendable.
Halloween does a good job at what it wants to do: scare audiences and keep them on the edge of their seats. Now, it does take away a little in other departments like overall acting and importance of characters to the plot to accomplish this goal, but it still came out as a solid scary movie. And, on top of that, had a couple surprises about the real motives of characters along the way, which I wasn’t expecting from a slasher movie at all.
I give Halloween a 7/10 moldy pumpkins that will definitely have to be thrown away the next day, for its solid plot, musical score, and a nice way to spend $12.