40 years after Michael Meyers (Nick Castle) went on a killing spree in Haddonfield, the lone survivor to his act, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is dealing with a strong PTSD which has not only affected her life but her relationship with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) as well. On the other hand, Michael escapes from the mental hospital he was treated in and starts off to finish what he had started four decades ago.
How will Laurie react to this news? What will happen when she and Michael come face to face? Will he be able to successful butcher her, unlike the previous time?
Positive Points: –
- Halloween is not a simple slasher-horror film in contrast to the other instalments of the franchise and is a terrific lucubration of different characters under different situations and how they react when their lives cross.
- Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer’s performances.
- Direction, cinematography and score.
Negative Points: –
- Despite having commendable character developments and being an excellent follow up of the original movie, Halloween’s screenplay doesn’t offer you any remarkably different narrative with respect to the other slasher-horror flicks including the instalments of its own franchise.
- The film promises but fails to develop Michael Meyers to the fullest as we never get to see the human inside him.
The General Aspects: –
With all due honesty, I admit that I was never a fan of John Carpenter’s Halloween and had mediocre expectations from this sequel. The only thing that I liked about the former was its background score which the makers have thankfully, retained in this flick. In the present age of cinema, filmmaking techniques have improved drastically and have mitigated the overdramatic nature-of-making of slasher-horror films. David Gordon Green’s Halloween finds its largest appeal in its cinematic execution which is largely superlative of its prequels. Green’s direction and Michael Simmond’s cinematography consummate immaculately with the score to provide the requisite chills and thrills, but what makes this instalment stand out of the rest is its focus on character development and in-depth character study. Although the story focused largely upon Laurie and Michael and their mutual grudge, it also explores the way people around them are affected by it. As a result, the viewers not only connect with the people in the frame but also with the emotions that follow-up in a series of unnerving events. The film tightens up its narrative with the passage of time as it attempts to culminate different plot points into a tensed yet thrilling finale. However, the movie misses a golden opportunity to explore the human in Michael, the entity which would somehow describe the monster that we see above and the reasons that led to its making.
Notwithstanding my appreciation for its character study, I can’t help but lament how the movie unabashedly narrows itself into using the archetypal slasher-horror kind of gimmicks which it posed to challenge at one point in time. As it crafts two stronger women in Laurie and Karen, it weakens the latter’s daughter Allyson by reducing her to the same vexatious screaming girl which her grandmother (Laurie) was in the original movie. On top of this are the idiotic trips and traps that are quintessential to character deaths in horror films. Lastly, I still don’t understand as to how Michael Myers is unaffected by bullets or road accidents. What makes him so special? Is he some super-human kind of being? Why hasn’t anything been shown in relation to this? No matter what, I find it extremely nonsensical to make him invulnerable to all these things. It’s important to treat such characters as humans, no matter how powerful they may be instead of creating a cloud of surrealist enigma around them that appeals to no sensible brain.
Jamie Lee Curtis pioneers the film in almost every aspect. She depicts the emotional turmoil and overall complexity of Laurie effortlessly, leaving behind the screaming girl in the original film with greater strength and dignity. Judy Greer is a good actress, no doubt, but we hardly see filmmakers using her talent effectively. Halloween doesn’t do anything much different either, to be honest, but there are moments when she gets an open wide area to let the world know about her acting chops and she never disappoints (Moreover, let’s take a moment to appreciate the “Gotchya!” moment which I consider to be one of the best movie scenes of 2018). Andi Matichak was already cast amongst two experienced actors which made it only possible for her to be overshadowed. Sadly, her poor character sketch only ensured this and she ends up being an extremely weak and irritating character struggling to make a mark amongst many stronger and layered personalities. Haluk Bilginer makes the best out of his small yet significant role and adds a lot of value to the movie’s theme and strength as Michael’s doctor.
Final Verdict: –
By retconning all the subsequent Halloween entries after the original and creating a completely different movie with a dedicated focus on characters instead of cheap slasher-horror theatrics, David Gordon Green’s Halloween is one of the most pleasant surprises of the year which won’t fade away sooner. It’s safe to state that it’s the best entry to the franchise and will set up a higher bar for not just its sequels but many slasher films in the coming future.