Halloween (I) (2018)
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Yes, I was expecting this to have numerous moments of cheese... How wrong I was.
As an avid fan of horror movies, I am totally aware of the shambolic efforts that have graced our screens in years past. I was expecting the worst. But...
I highly recommend watching this, tipsy, in the darkness and alone.... a that's how I did it. If you watch it with someone, make sure they shut the hell up!
How could anyone enjoy a film properly with someone waffling in the background?
I saw this at H40 last weekend. When I left the screening I couldn't help but feel as if there's been a lot of marketing and misdirection thrown out there about this film, because watching the trailers and then the film itself it becomes obvious that Halloween (2018) was heavily reworked and edited.
Aside from that, the script is laughably bad (wait until you meet one of the new doctors from Smith's Grove and Allyson's horribly written father, Toby), the character of The Shape has been reduced to a really dumb, careless random murderer behind a mask (goodbye stalking scenes), the pacing of the film feels entirely like an action movie and lacks the "slow burn" of the original, and some characters just disappear from the story and you never hear from them again. It is NOT at all the dark, brooding film suggested in trailer #2.
Only positives, for me: Andi Matichak is fantastic, as are many of the teen actors. The first 1/3 is actually very good. When Michael arrives in Haddonfield, however, the subpar writing and direction really begins to reveal itself.
Overall, it's so disappointingly bad. The positive reviews seem somewhat disingenuous, probably because of the #metoo subplot (which is nice, but doesn't in and of itself make a film "good") and less of a reflection of the actual quality of the movie overall. All of the TIFF viewers that raved about this should be ashamed, they clearly got caught up in being at the premiere and having the actors in their presence, so they overhyped the movie to the rest of us.
So, so disappointed. The original "Halloween II," somehow, is the far superior film.
Genre: Horror/Slasher My Score: 8.2
Cast=7 Acting=6 Plot=9 Ending=9 Story=7 Scare=7 Jump=8 F/X=10 Kills=10 Blood=9
Laurie Strode confronts her long-time foe Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.
"He was not her brother, that's something that people made up." I think my favorite part is that it brought back some of the feel of the original films. The story pulls a days of future past and resets the timeline...turning the franchise into a giant etch-a-sketch. The dynamic of Laurie and Michael's lives was really fascinating and adds depth to the plot. I think this is a solid watch for slasher fans and a must see for fans of the franchise.
....a total and utter surprise, this was a quality film, one that felt as if it had a level of respect for its original, it respected its roots, but forgot all those that came between, perhaps no bad thing.
Michael Myers the man, he transformed years back into some kind of superhero villain, unable to die, able to die and come back life, here he's treated as just a man, very well done.
The writing is fantastic, I loved the story, and how it played out, if only previous films were this standard. The music was absolutely fantastic, I loved it, the best of the original.
Gripping, well acted, exciting, intriguing. Ranks second after the original. 8/10
This film's director, David Gordon Green, has sold himself as a lifelong admirer, lover, and devotee of John Carpenter's original, and while glimmers of that fanboydom shine through periodically, if not continually, they do so in the most ham-handed fashion imaginable (as when Laurie's thrown from a second-story balcony, only to disappear from view immediately thereafter, a la the conclusion of the original). I applaud and was nerdily delighted to see that the opening and closing credits were captured in the same orange font as the original's, but that fact is hardly worth praising when weighed against the sheer stupidity of the bombastic opening sequence (featuring the deplorable British podcasters producers) and the lackluster, anticlimactic conclusion.
A lot's been said and reported, too, of this film's significance in its depiction of a female protagonist dealing with the long-term effects of trauma and striving to reclaim her narrative. Fair enough, but that places upon Jamie Lee Curtis the onus of delivering a pretty bare, fierce, and no-holds-barred Laurie Strode performance. And does she? Well, if you've seen the trailers, you've seen the best of it. But JLC can hardly be blamed for the travesty that is hackneyed writing. Perhaps not every traumatized woman would resort to reclusion in a heavily militarized hermitage and restless rumination over and obsession with an event that occurred 40 years earlier. Laurie's struggles with PTSD are every bit the caricature that the ad campaigns suggest, with her booby-trapped home and arsenal of semi-automatic weapons. In point of fact, she feels more like Ellen Ripley or Sarah Connor than Laurie Strode, and whether or not that's a desirable transfiguration is, I guess, in the eye of the beholder.
But above all, I think this film's major transgressions are (1) that is isn't in ANY remote way scary, and (2) that it totally fails to capture any of the original film's essence of simplistic creepiness (which was, after all, the entire point and vision behind retconning out the sequel mythology that followed). Lest we forget that, in the original, Michael slit a chick's throat after choking her, stabbed a guy (once), and choked another chick with a telephone cord. Here, he brutally massacres victims in a manner that's totally on-brand for all of the stupid sequels that were so painstakingly left behind: he rips out teeth, decapitates, impales, and bludgeons, much like Rob Zombie's incarnation did. There's nothing simple, sophisticated, or high-brow about anything that's being served here. And while it may be a stretch to categorize any horror movie as "classy," Carpenter's original came damn close to that distinction. The "genre-defying" Green is fundamentally a humorist, and I don't think that he and his retinue, despite their admiration of and purported respect for the source material, were up to the task of producing a sequel worthy of the original (and when you forcibly scrap every intervening entry in the franchise, for better or worse, that's an expectation you set).
It's a way which I didn't want to see since it was announced, but man did it beat my expectations!
The new variation of the theme music is awesome, John Carpenter serves as executive producer and Laurie's iconic hair from the original is back (!)
I swear this is one of those movies which words cannot serve justice to how great it is, and this is all coming from someone who's seen every Halloween to date. BUT, if you really want to enjoy it even more, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE watch the original first!!!
Overall an incredible movie.
Halloween returns for it's final chapter, and manages to deliver everything you'd expect from a Halloween sequel, and some things you won't see coming. The film opens with the documentary crew visiting Michael, a scene that's been covered quite extensively in the trailers. You'd expect things to go bad immediately but the film pulls back (not before the intro played, to Carpenter's wonderful score) to introduce its key players and gives them time to breath, setting up the status quo and making them more relatable.
With three generations of Strodes to choose from, there's certainly something for everyone to be able to relate to. Jamie Lee Curtis's Laurie has spent the last few decades getting ready to take Michael out, isolating herself and destroying all her relationships in the process. She has two failed marriages behind her and no relationship with her daughter. Only her granddaughter seems to pay any attention to her, as much as she can anyway, as she enters the movie in the throws of teenage romance, with all the angst and supporting characters such a romance requires. Throw in the Sherrif, Michael's doctor and the documentary crew in the mix, and the movie certainly does a great job of setting up a diverse buffet for Michael to slice and dice his way through. And that, he does. Boasting some truly memorable kills, Halloween does not hold back on the violence and gore, instead using it to build up dread throughout the movie. In fact, the whole film is an exercise in dread, slowly building up tension throughout its runtime and exploding into a glorious, bloody finale.
While the films comes close to going off the rails trying to keep all its moving parts together (there's an odd subplot that pops up halfway through and one that I did not see coming, but never really goes anywhere and is STOMPED out pretty quickly), it manages to hold it all together and deliver a fantastic (hopefully) final entry in franchise, with some fist-pumping moments sure to be memorialized in pop-cult history. Excellent performances by Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer.
Some points to note: -There is a lot of Scream 4 in here. From self-aware teens to a toughened-up, table-turning protagonist. Not necessarily a bad thing. -I thought this was a sequel to H1 and H2, but early on they make a point of saying Michael Meyers has killed 5 people - which could not include H2's body count? -It's a pleasure to see Michael Meyers finally cement his position as the Boogeyman of Haddonfield, part of it done during a wonderful long-take.
Jamie Lee back in action, Carpenter on board as a producer and scorer--what could go wrong?
Unfortunately, a few things.
One, this new "Halloween" seems to be having an identity crisis. It's a somber psychoanalysis on the effects of severe trauma. It's a teenage relationship film. It's a babysitter-in-peril slasher film. It's an action-packed revenge movie. It's too many things, none of them consistent. One moment we're watching hand-held, soft-focus camerawork focusing on a crying Jamie Lee as she copes with her past trauma--a beautiful, poignant shot with diffused lighting that's very "indie." The next, we're transported back into a 1980s slasher film before taking a veer into an episode of "Dawson's Creek" with two teenagers at the school dance. Scenes and tones transition without much coherency, almost as if the director was trying to force several film genres into one movie to cover all possible audience bases. You want a thumping action flick with shootouts and fights? We gotcha covered. A classic slasher film complete with 80s synth score? We got ya there, too. For the kids, you want something to relate to, some high school problems? Come on in. Had the film chosen to stick to one or even two of these genres, I feel the tone would have benefitted from it massively.
Yes, Michael is back and deadly, the kills being more akin to Rob Zombie's entries in terms of explicit violence. When Michael is on-screen, the film works wonderfully. Unfortunately, this being a "Halloween" film and a slasher, he's in it far too seldom for my taste. In the original "Halloween", Michael is a presence in the film from the opening right towards the very end, barely going 5 minutes without an appearance of some sort--lurking around bushes, watching from street curbs, etc. In this "Halloween", there's an entire 20-minute segment with no Michael at all. What's more, entire narrative segments have either been left unscripted or edited out for running time, leaving some jarring transitions where some offscreen action is explained via dialogue. One of these is the critical bus crash that allows Michael to escape--the scene is never witnessed in the film, only the aftermath. The same can be said for the fate of one character, whose death we only see in hindsight.
There are also two completely out-of-left-field subplots that spring up and go absolutely nowhere. How they weren't written out is beyond me, as they promise much exposition in the coming scenes only to completely be abandoned or forgotten about in the next. One has to wonder if such "twists" were really necessary to get said character from point A to point B--certainly there are less outlandish ways, no?
But all's not lost. The film does provide several hair-raising moments of suspense, and, when it plays to its slasher root strengths, works. One can't help but lament how much better it would have been had these elements been the sole priorities throughout.
Jamie Lee is fantastic again as Laurie Strode, and the new cast members all hold their own. The cinematography, albeit ranging from tonally inconsistent indie shots to glossy big-production horror film, is all very good, as is the music.
There's fun to be had here, no doubt, but the overall product is a strange mishmash of ideas and genres, like putting multiple kids' breakfast cereals into one bowl.
The original "Halloween" sequel still reigns supreme.
We kick off at Smith's Grove, where Michael has been kept since that fateful night he went on a rampage. A couple has come to try to interview him. They are Dana Haines (Rhian Rees) and Aaron Korey (Jefferson Hall). They are trying to do a podcast on what happened and they don't want him taken to a cell where nothing can be learned from him. The doctor who has taken over for Dr. Loomis is Sartain (Haluk Bilginer). He doesn't want that either. Aaron tries to evoke a response by holding out the mask to him, but he doesn't get anything more than a sideways glance.
The two then go try to meet with Laurie. She only lets them in since they are going to pay her $3000. They don't buy that Michael is pure evil and they say some things that cut pretty deep with Laurie. Since that night, Laurie has not been able to let go. It has ruined two marriages and had her daughter taken away from her. We also learn that it has caused her daughter to keep her grandchild at a distance. Laurie makes for a great mirror of Michael in that she also has dedicated her whole life to him getting out and her being the one that kills him. I really dug that duality.
We then get to meet her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer). She has a daughter of her own, Allyson (Andi Matichak). Ray (Toby Huss) is the husband and father. He is somewhat funny in a fatherly way and more laid back. I like this because both Karen and him are the opposite of Laurie as well.
Allyson is seeing a boy who is a little rough around the edges, Cameron (Dylan Arnold). We get this through conversation with her parents as Ray used to do drugs with Cameron's father. Allyson sees in the good in him though. The film does well at filling in the back-story that this is a direct sequel to the original by debunking the myth of Michael and Laurie being siblings.
The night they are trying to transport Michael to a new facility, the bus crashes and he gets free. He runs into the couple that came to interview him. They fall victim as he gets his mask back and heads for Haddonfield. Laurie learns about it on the news and goes about her preparations she's been waiting 40 years for, the showdown with Michael. The police are also involved with Hawkins (Will Patton) among them.
Now as someone who is not a fanboy of the original or really the series, I really liked this film. Does it feel like the original? No, because that original was more about the stalking where this one is what a sequel should do, it ramps up the body count. This one is gorier than the original as well.
I had heard someone say that there's a lot going on in this film, which I do agree with. I do think though that with the times that we are living in, it is hard for a slasher to not have a little something behind it as we've moved past its glory days.
The pacing for this film I thought was good. It has a running time around 1 hour and 45 minutes, but it didn't feel like it. We get introduced to the characters and it doesn't waste time getting into it. I never really experienced a lull and tension builds as characters we like start to get killed off. You can feel it culminating into the final showdown, which I thought was good as well. The ending does close everything up, but there is something after the credits leaving the door open to a possible sequel. With how the film did at the box office, I wouldn't be surprised.
I thought the acting was really good as well. Curtis really does embody the role of Laurie. I like that she is broken by what happened to her and she has let it define her life. I do think there was an outburst in the film that I wasn't a fan of, but I could see someone who has dealt with what she has turning to drugs and alcohol to cope. Greer is interesting as she had a rough childhood. She has decided as an adult that she is going to live her life the way she wants and it is opposite of her upbringing. Matichak I thought was also fine. She is coming into her own. Her mother is somewhat estranged from her grandmother, but she is looking for that connection. Courtney and Castle are great bringing Michael to life. I did have an issue with Bilginer's character though. There is a twist in the film involving him that I just thought was out of place. I like that he is obsessed like Dr. Loomis, but some of the things he does didn't sit well. It does moves the story along, but I didn't care for it. Patton is always solid and this film is no different. Rhees and Hall aren't really much to the story aside. The rest of the cast though was good and round out the film for what was needed.
Effects for this film were solid as well. They were done practically for the most part. There is one that I could clearly see it was CGI, mostly because it looked like it would have been nearly impossible to do practically. The blood in the film looks good and the practical effects were as well. I also wanted to say that the framing of some of the shots were absolutely amazing. There was a couple that I just was in awe and really liked them.They really used the depth of the shot.
I couldn't get through this without talking about the score of the film. I was stoked when I heard that John Carpenter was coming back to do the music. That is what really helps make the original film and I think he did an amazing job here. His son also helped him with doing it and I think they did enough of taking the original and updating it. It helps to build tension and fits the scenes perfectly.
Now with that said, I really enjoyed this film. I don't think it is the best film I've seen from that year or the best in the series, but it is still one of the better ones from it. The story is interesting enough and helps to clear up issues that were created by all of the sequels. I still like them, don't get me wrong. I thought the acting was really good, aside from a couple of hiccups. There were some issues with some of the dialogue, but it doesn't ruin the film for me. The effects are the same way. The score of the film was amazing. This one isn't like the original in that it's not stalking the people, but it is more for the body count, which a sequel normally does. I would recommend giving this film a viewing as I thought it was good.
People are very, very dumb in this. Like, "there is a bus crashed off on the side of the road and mental patients wondering the street!". "Let me leave my child in the car while I investigate". Or "I know we are hiding underneath a kitchen counter/trap door in the kitchen and Michael won't likely find us but let me make as much noise as possible with my crying to help him find us". Or "I am a lady in the ladies room using the bathroom but why is this strange man in a jump suit and steel boots in here"? "And why is he opening every stall door?" "When he gets to mine I'll just tell him it's occupied" "Wait he won't leave...now he's just standing here, OH MY GOD TEETH!" And the list goes on.
I had high expectations (I don't know why). Jamie Lee Curtis did a good job I thought. As for Michael, this is a nitpick but he's unmasked a little too much for my liking. They never fully show his face but you see him from behind and from the side and he's an old, balding, white male with white hair. I kept expecting him to turn around and it actually be Richard Dreyfuss. The movements weren't Michael like, he moved almost like a robot or like someone was controlling him with a PS4 controller or something.
I just wish the movie would have been a little better. Especially when Michael finally returns to Haddonfield. It should have really picked up there but unfortunately the movie went down with lame kills, unwanted comedy, and the movie actually being edited badly. There is a scene where Michael is struck with a cop car and it is shot so badly. I hate to nitpick on something like that but it was so bad and obvious. The ending was flat and it was clear that the directors didn't want to kill Michael off because they want to make another one. If this guy traumatized you that bad, why wouldn't you make sure he was dead for sure. Why catch him on fire (they never show Michael actually being on fire) instead of shooting him in the head? He was standing right there?
I like the Halloween movies and hoped this would set them on a new better path but it might be time to FINALLY just let these movies and the Michael character be because this wasn't it.
It is a phenomenal movie, I only wish more horror sequels were like it.
Side note: ignore the haters. I read most of the bad reviews here and it's evident they never saw the movie but are just ripping into it for their own malicious reasons. Ignore especially those who claim to be fans of the original. An example would be kylejs-71926, who definitely has never been a fan of horror or Stephen King. Why watch this if you hate horror movies? Losers.