Halloween (2018) is a disappointing follow up to the original

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Halloween (2018) is a direct follow up to John Carpenter’s original film of the same name, ignoring every Halloween sequel before it. This film takes place 40 years after the events of the first film, and centers around Laurie Strode’s life after the traumatic events she went through. Things take a turn when Michael Myers escapes, once again, from a psychiatric hospital on Halloween night. David Gordon Green directs this film and stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, and Frank Castle.

     60 year-old Curtis carries this film with her striking and powerful performance. She effectively portrayed her character’s trauma over the 40 years, which is highlighted in an extraordinary scene in the first act of a panic attack she has when she first sees Michael again. The scenes in which she featured were some of the best in the film.

     Another great aspect of the film was it’s handling of the kills. This film is much more brutal and gory than the original, featuring gruesome kills that will have you gasping and make your mouth hang open.

     The film’s middle section is easily the best of the film, it was filled with a lot of energy and features a lot of suspenseful scenes. One of my favorite scenes in the film was when Myers is hiding inside a house where a babysitter is alone with her boyfriend. It felt a lot like the original, and it was tension filled.

     There is an excellent one-take sequence that follows Michael as he goes door-to-door killing random people, all in one take. It was an incredible display of filmmaking and one of the more impressive scenes of the year.

     While the film has a great middle portion and some entertaining kills, the film falls flat on everything else it tries to do. The main issue I have with the film is that it tries to be more than it needs to be. For some reason, David Gordon Green and the writers think they need to add extra elements to scare the audience, when it’s the complete opposite. One thing that made the original such a great film was it’s simplicity. Carpenter was able to create effective scares using only a man in a mask, and it worked. That’s why I roll my eyes when this film uses mannequins, flashlights, and other added elements to scare us, because it feels unnecessary.

     There is also a lot of wasted time with characters that do nothing for the plot. We spend a lot of time with Laurie’s granddaughter who did absolutely nothing for the plot. There’s at least 15 minutes spent exploring her romantic relationship with her boyfriend and her other friends, which is all there just so Michael can kill some people. The film builds up this character making us think she will be used for something important, only for it to be a huge waste of time.

     We also get introduced to two reporter characters in the opening of the film, and they go nowhere as well. We spend most of the first act with these characters while they write their story about the events in 1979, but it’s never used for anything. The only reason these characters exist is so Michael can get his mask back, but we spend so much time with them when we could be exploring more of Laurie’s story.

     The film asks a very interesting question about midway through the film: “Why does Michael want to kill? What satisfaction does evil get by killing?” This could have been a great way for the filmmakers to dig deeper into this character and give us more insight into why he does what he does, but there’s not even an attempt at an answer. The question is asked, and within two minutes the film just forgets it. It was frustrating to see a plot point introduced and then dismissed so quickly without even an attempt at an answer.

      The film had a very weak climax as well. The whole film builds up the confrontation between Michael and Laurie, and it ends up being the most tame moment of the film. The scene was tensionless, it was just Laurie creeping through a dark house with a flashlight like we’ve seen countless times before in horror films. We also never get that moment between Myers and Strode, we don’t ever get to feel like Laurie really gets to look him in the eyes and get her revenge. It was disappointing to say the least.

     Overall, Halloween was enjoyable at times, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I do think it is worth seeing, but it really let me down. The film just couldn’t focus itself and had a lot of frustrating elements that may not bother everyone, but it bothered me.

     Rating: 5/10

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Halloween (2018) is a disappointing follow up to the original