Film review: Halloween

Synopsis:

Set 40 years after the original Halloween, the film follows Laurie Strode living in the aftermath of Michael Myers’ crimes. She is thrust into a final confrontation with ‘the shape’ after he escapes and reignites his killing spree.

Our Review:

I’ll start this review off by saying that I went in with the highest of expectations. Being a devout fan of the horror genre, I have seen everything from the original Halloween and its many sequels, all the way through to the criminally underrated Rob Zombie reimagining and now this, the franchise’s latest offering.

Did it live up to my expectations? Well, partly. In terms of a sequel – it is the best one – though the competition there might not be as high as you think with several of the sequels being mere cash grabs and some not even featuring the killing force himself, Michael Myers.

Luckily for fans who may not have kept up to date with the franchise’s many offerings, Halloween (2018) ignores everything after the original and is a straight sequel to the 1978 masterpiece.

The film picks up 40 years after those events and follows Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), now living with a serious case of PTSD. She has stockpiled more guns than the NRA and fortified her home, creating a fortress in the event of another Michael Myers’ breakout.

The only thing more damaged than Laurie’s psyche is her relationship with her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer) and her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), who have had it with the matriarch’s obsessive ways.

In true, slasher movie fashion, Myers breaks out and all hell breaks loose with the killing spree back on, which should appeal to fans of the genre.

Where Halloween (2018) excels is in its portrayal of female empowerment, with Jamie Lee Curtis flipping the script on her trauma a number of times, thus leaving the audience wondering who really is the hunter and the hunted.

Curtis has more than fulfilled her role as the original scream queen and is still kicking ass and taking names all these years later. Her daughter and granddaughter also get a few good shots in on Myers, showing the scream queen genes run strongly throughout the Strode bloodline.

Laurie, Karen and Allyson all steal the show from the men in the movie who all prove no match to the destructive force that is Michael Myers. I do wish, however, that we got to see more from Officer Hawkins (played by Will Patton) who stole most scenes he was in.

Where Halloween fell short for me was the scare factor. Not a good thing for a horror film. This may be a case of being desensitised to horror films, but in the audience I was in, I heard no screams or gasps. There were a few cheers when certain characters bit the dust, so make sure you see the film with friends or a crowd, as it creates a better experience.

Say what you will about the original film being somewhat dated now, but one thing no one will ever argue is that it didn’t leave you terrified.

I can still remember watching the original Halloween through the slits in my mothers’ fingers as she tried to shield me from the scary bits, only to jump herself and leave me watching every gory detail.

Those are the kind of ingrained memories and deep love I have for this franchise, so this sequel was always going to be a hard sell. But it did an excellent job and is the best addition to the franchise in some time.

I only wish it was a bit scarier, but they’ll have me on board for what I hope is a long line of new sequels.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Director:

David Gordon Green

Cast:

Includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichaka and Will Patton.

Film rating:

MA15+

If you liked the movie, try:

 Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream.

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