David Gordon Green’s Halloween may not be a flawless experience, but the idea of a direct sequel to the original forty years later definitely built a gigantic amount of hype. The end result, while not phenomenal, is a well deserved welcome back to Michael Myers!
From stoner comedies (Pineapple Express) to heart wrenching biopics (Stronger), David Gordon Green has a wide variety of genres on his resume. However, Halloween is his first attempt at horror and he knocks it out of the park, giving the most justice to the Halloween series since John Carpenter himself held the reigns during the original Halloween. Taking elements from his dramas and blending them with his known comedic chops, in a way he has created an uneven script, yet somehow still showcased wonderfully executed direction. From a glorious atmosphere built around Haddonfield to the impromptu style of a Michael Myers one shot double kill, every element of the film feels like it was thought out by true fans of the franchise that want to see justice done to the character. While the execution of the murders is particularly well done, especially the aftermath shot of one inside a car, there are certainly a few elements of Michael Myers’ massacre that leave more to be desired, especially when encountering the horror of it all first hand. At times, Halloween feels like what it really is: a fan film. This is because McBride and Green are just that, which in turn makes the fan fiction they envisioned not always being the best thing to be represented on screen in the final product, as it occasionally ruins a consistent flow of masterful horror filmmaking for humor that a fan of the film may mutter at while watching Michael’s victims flail.
Taking place forty years after the original, Michael has been incarcerated for all of this time, living in silence. On the day before Halloween, Michael is transported to a new facility to live the rest of his days, yet predictably the bus in which Michael is riding in ‘breaks’ down and he is set loose. Now after praying for his freedom, Laurie Strode must lure Michael in and defeat him once & for all before too much carnage is unleashed upon Haddonfield. The story, while simple, is a daring attempt to recapture the original’s horror of a killer wandering around town, stalking his prey. There are murders within the film that don’t connect to the Strodes, and instead are just needless killings in Michael’s new massacre. However, for a majority of his killings they are connected to one of the family members of the Strodes in some way. Whether it be to serve and protect or just to survive, they are all in danger while they reside in Haddonfield. It has a couple of cleverly written scenes, but for the most part until the film’s finale, Michael seems to be just going through the motions, and while that should bring a great amount of terror to the viewer, it’s actually more fascinating to watch because of the style in which the murders were expertly directed and not the sheer terror.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
The troubles of the film don’t lie within the mystery of the character of Michael Myers or his unfaltering need to kill Laurie Strode, but instead from the confusingly comical child characters. From the initial hallway scene introducing us to all the teenagers Michael may or may not be hunting this Halloween, it’s obvious that something just wasn’t quite right with their dialogue. It didn’t feel natural, but instead felt odd and ingenious, like an old man writing what a fifteen year old should be saying. But even the teenagers’ poor dialogue doesn’t make up for the comedy that takes place during a crucial horror moment of the film, featuring a small child making stereotypical audience like jokes toward the ominous being. Luckily for the viewer these jokes are funny, but in turn ruin the horror of that particular scene, making you wonder just how scary it could have been without the humor involved. Another small issue is that after a MAJOR character death takes place, almost none of the characters react properly to the murder that has taken place in front of them. It introduces possibilities as to why their attention might be elsewhere but it is a clear issue nonetheless. However, the thing you most likely came to see is beautifully executed and horrifying in its own right, that of which being the final match up between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. Without giving anything away, no matter what your feelings of the movie around these two’s story arcs are, this finale will bring a majority of the film together in such a significantly satisfying way that all those issues just won’t matter.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
John Carpenter’s revitalized score from the 1978 classic is electric. Carpenter and son have brought an excellent score back to the mainstream while adding just enough flair to make it unique. The sound effects have a genuinely classic quality to them. From the knife swings to the punctures, they all have that classic horror movie feeling to them. Everything in the sound department is incredibly admirable and something that more horror movies should look into resembling.
From recreating the original Haddonfield and many memorable moments from the first film (and even some of the others), the film manages to capture everything a true fan of Halloween would want to see within. It’s the right amount of fanfare without going overboard and it creates enough of its own memories to not simply rely on the recalling of the past to make the experience memorable. The practical and digital effects were all magnificently done, creating a world of realism amongst where this serial killer walks. Laurie’s extravagant set of traps throughout her home makes you understand even deeper how much the night of ‘78 stuck with her, for better or for worse. An element of the film that I would feel heartbrokenly remiss not to mention is the beautifully horrifying recreation of the classic Michael Myers mask, faded and aged throughout the years just like the man behind it. Makeup Designer Chris Nelson has created possibly the most shockingly triumphant attribute of the feature and that attribute is the terrifying transformation of Myer’s iconic mask.
2018’s Halloween marks the tenth entry in the Halloween franchise, and although it is not the best in the series, it is certainly the best Halloween since the original classic. With a few tweaks, this film could have been a great horror film but because of the few little misfires, the film is instead a really good horror film that is a satisfying enough conclusion to the franchise if this is where they choose to let it lie. Either way…Welcome back to Michael Myers!