Director David Gordon Green gives his best to reinvigorate the Halloween franchise, but his attempt falls short, because of the simplest thing. Halloween (2018) is just not scary.
I believe that most of the viewers walked into Halloween (2018) wanting to feel the magic of the original Halloween (1978) again in some form. The latest part of the franchise is old-school for sure. It has nice visuals with interesting frames, faded colour grading and a certain charm about its images. It certainly has a 70s vibe to it.
The perfect example of what the new movie is trying to convey is when one of the main characters and her boyfriend dress up as Bonnie and Clyde for the Halloween party. But there is a twist: genders swap. So the boy turns into Bonnie, and the girl acts like Clyde. Evoking a previous time with a modern take on it is a great idea, but the new Halloween chapter doesn’t deliver the necessary twist, so it remains only reminiscent of another era.
This movie pretends that all of the sequels never happened. Halloween (2018) picks up 40 years after the original events occurred in Halloween (1978). Four decades after the 1978 murders in Haddonfield, Illinois, two crime podcasters travel to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium to interview Michael Myers, who was captured and has been kept in prison ever since. Myers has been completely silent during that period, never saying a word, not responding to any kind of therapy. The podcasters fail to get The Shape (as he is referred to at the end credits of the original movie) to speak, even after bringing out the mask that he wore in 1978.
On the other hand, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the lone survivor of the 1978 Halloween night killing spree, has also lived as a kind of prisoner since then. She has been training and turned her home into a heavily armed bunker waiting for four decades to face and kill Michael Myers. Laurie has been suffering from severe PTSD. She has since had two failed marriages. Laurie also obsessively trained her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) for Michael Myers’s return. She even lost custody of her, when Karen was just 12-years old. Now they hardly ever see each other. However, Karen’s daughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak) tries to reconnect her mother and grandmother again. Laurie has limited her life to a single mission that consumed all her familial relationships. As she explains it to her granddaughter:
“If the way I raised your mother means that she hates me but she’s prepared for the horrors of this world, I can live with that.”
During his transfer to a super security prison, Michael Myers breaks free and returns to Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night. He gets his old mask back and replicates his 1978 murders killing babysitting teenagers, housewives and suburban citizens on spooky Halloween. Laurie gets the news and faces his demon for a final showdown.
Michael Myers really is only The Shape. He acts as quasi-supernatural “pure evil.” He doesn’t speak; we can just hear him breathing heavily. Myers doesn’t show his face, all we see is the mask. He never displays emotions; his only quest is killing. The character in Halloween (1978) was a new kind of evil, and the original movie paved the way for blockbuster slasher horrors. But today Myers’ character feels outdated, repetitive and way too predictable. That’s why the scares don’t work, and Halloween (2018) doesn’t deliver on the central aspect of the horror genre.
Halloween (1978) was mainly about a masked killer in suburbia murdering babysitting teenagers engaging in promiscuous activities (like having sex or drinking) instead of tending to children. Then came Laurie Strode, the innocent virgin, the “final girl” who puts up a fight, ultimately defeats the monster and survives the horrific events. In Halloween (2018) the promiscuous suburban babysitters are still in place having sex and smoking weed, waiting to be slaughtered by Michael Myers. But the “final girl” is different this time. Laurie Strode is back, but she is a traumatised grandmother now accompanied by her estranged daughter and teenage granddaughter who were all affected by the horrors of Myers. It is a great concept that the “final girl” character is split between three women of different generations. They all fight against Myers individually. But will they come together and succeed in their quest?
That’s it for my Halloween film review. Check out my previous movie reviews here. Have you seen Halloween (2018) yet? What do you think? I love reading your thoughts and opinions, so please leave me lots of lovely comments below.
Source of Featured Image: Halloween (2018)