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Halloween

Halloween

2018 | David Gordon Green

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.

Average rating   6 out of 10

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(1.77) From Dusk Till Dawn | (1.77) The Collector | (1.7) Knives Out | (1.54) Batman | (1.54) Sicario: Day of the Soldado






Mark Bladt     2020-11-24 6 out of 10

Before I start this review, allow me to explain a bit.

The original Halloween is from 1978 and was directed by John Carpenter and produced by Debra Hill. As so many other horror movies at the time, it was produced on rather small budget. Horror movies in those days weren’t considered “real entertainment” and in the USA the only directors crazy and naïve enough to give the horror movie genre a change and try their hand at it where young men like John Carpenter, Sean S. Cunningham, Wes Craven, Dennis Donnelly, Tope Hooper and Theodore Gershuny. Halloween had a budget of about $325.000 but made an impressive $47.000.000 at the box office. So, it’s safe to say that Halloween was an enormous success, and after the initial movie the unavoidable happened. Sequel after sequel was produced. Halloween from 2018 is movie number 11 in the Halloween franchise and sets itself up as a direct sequel to the original movie. It should however be noted that several Halloween movies have claimed to be number 2 in the series, and here we have yet another direct sequel to the 1978 classic.

The Halloween series is by fans considered to be a series of movies of very varying quality and there are movies in the series that groups of fans consider as being wrong, not a “real” Halloween movie or even decide to completely disregard.  When keeping that in mind you could claim that the Halloween franchise is very comparable to the Star Wars franchise.

 
And now on to the review of Halloween 2018

This Halloween was directed by David Gordon Green, and Green might be the most respected director to helm a Halloween movie, since John Carpenter directed the original movie 40 years earlier. Green Is mostly known for stoner comedies like “Pineapple Express” from 2008 but also for series and dramas like the price winning Nicolas Cage movie “Joe” from 2013. Personally, I am a big fan of the movie. “Joe”.

There is not a lot to say about the plot other than this. After 40 years a madman escapes from custody and eludes the authorities while wearing an iconic mask and slaughtering a lot of people in a small midwestern town until the movie ends with a final showdown in a creepy old house.

Because of that I will focus on the mood and the instruments Green uses to create his movie in this review and not on the plot.

In the original movie Michael Myers was referred to as “The Shape” or ”The Boogie man”, and in this movie they have gone back that. In the original movie he also wasn’t immortal, something he became by Halloween 4 after which he would survive multiple gunshots, explosions, being run over by a car, being stabbed etc. but would always come back for more and ready for the next round.

All of this they have departed from in this movie. Michael Myers is now a man in his 60’s who still bears the scars inflicted on him by Laurie Strode, Doctor Loomis and the Haddonfield Police Department in 1978. Blind on one eye and half deaf Michael nevertheless escapes and more or less randomly murders his way through his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois.

There are plenty of small nods to the original movie without it ending in moments of “Look! Do you recognize this from the original movie?” Every nod is kept at a level where those that have seen the original Halloween will recognize characters, locations and even items without new viewers getting the feeling that here is something they have to have seen before in order to enjoy the movie. This is in my opinion the only correct way of paying homage to a movie.

It seems to me that the director David Gordon Green and the co-scriptwriters Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride are fans of the original movie, and that with this movie they have attempted to create a good Halloween movie that respects the original work of John Carpenter and Debra Hill.

As a big fan of the original movie, this movie ranks high on my list of favourite Halloween movies. But the 2018 movie has one very weak twist. This is a twist that only serves two purposes. The first is to start act 3 of the movie. The second one is to get a character from point A to point B. All in all it is a very solid movie except for a period of about 10 minutes a little over 1 hour into the movie, where I feel that the director looses his grip of an otherwise solid movie.  

Halloween 2018 also tries to touch on the subject of PTSD and actually attempts to ask the question “How would it affect a person’s life to survive a slasher movie?” but it of course never really gets deep wince this is a horror movie and not a psychological study or drama. But what they do manage by making the movie the way they have is to make a Halloween movie that is as much about Laurie Strode as it is about Michael Myers.  

 

 




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