author: ethan butterfield | a&c editor
So spoopy / Publicdomainpics
No, not that Mike Myers.
Ahhh, October. The month of mischief and proud owner of the horrifying holiday that is Halloween. I have to say, Halloween is one of my favourite days of the year. Not because of the treats or the tricks mind you, but more so because it’s the perfect day to sit down and just marathon a bunch of horror movie classics (and some not so classic.) That being said, though, while it may not have been on Halloween itself, I was very fortunate to sit down and see the recent release of Halloween (2018), and let me just say (coming from a fan of the franchise) it certainly did deliver.
Now, for those who aren’t familiar with the franchise, Halloween has been around for over 40 years, with the original film releasing in 1978. The series itself was created by the legendary John Carpenter and was co-written by the wonderfully talented Debra Hill. After their influence from the first three films, Halloween (as it stands today) is a franchise that currently has eleven installments which are anywhere on the spectrum of great to terrible. With that in mind, where does this newest entry into the series rank on the spectrum? Well, let’s take a look.
The first thing that viewers should know before they go into the newest Halloween is where it falls in the timeline. I understand that it’s a bit confusing to imagine Halloween having more than one timeline, but it’s true. In fact, there’s actually five different timelines altogether. There’s the ‘Curse of the Thorn’ timeline, which follows the first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth movies. The ‘Laurie versus Michael’ timeline, which follows the 1st and 2nd films, as well as Halloween: H20 and Halloween: Resurrection (but I don’t really count that one). Then there’s the ‘Solo’ timeline, which just follows Halloween III: Season of the Witch (again, I don’t count that one). After which we arrive at the ‘Rob Zombie’ timeline, which follows his remakes of the 1st and 2nd films. Then, finally, we arrive at the ‘Revised’ timeline, which follows the original Halloween and the 2018 Halloween. For those who lost track (and I don’t blame you, ‘cause I did too), the timeline we’re going to be looking at is the ‘Revised’ timeline, as it contacts the new film.
So, considering that the newest movie follows the original, how does the new one do? Well, in terms of the story, Halloween 2018 does a wonderful job of setting up its cast of characters, as well as making Michael Myers look like a real threat in a current day scenario. Jamie Lee Curtis, once again playing Laurie Strode, is amazing as the title character. You really get a sense of what has happened to her 40 years after the initial attacks from the first film. She has a strong, assertive personality throughout, but she’s also vulnerable because of her experiences in the original film, so there’s always this lingering thought of “Oh, is Michael going to get her? Is she going to escape?!” It really makes for some tense situations that you simply can’t look away from.
Keeping on story but switching up the characters, Michael Myers gets back to form in this film. Not a bad ‘recycling the same material as the original’ form mind you, but more so the ‘he looks badder than ever’ type of form. This is definitely true in the body-count department, as Michael does not shy away from the killing. Actually (in the event of sounding weird), there’s this really great tracking-shot where Michael goes on a killing spree throughout the town and it’s done in such a way to show the viewer that Michael hasn’t lost his step when it comes to taking out his victims.
There was also some great supporting cast members in the film, a personal favourite of mine being Will Patton (Armageddon, Remember the Titans), but the main focus of the film is geared toward both Laurie and Michael, which, after 40 years, it bloody well should be. However, there is a nice family dynamic between Laurie and her daughter, which I thought deserved more time to develop, but what we got was pretty nice. Also, in regard to focusing on Michael, there’s a really interesting subplot where several characters bring up the fact he hasn’t spoken in 40 years which… well I won’t spoil anything, but keep an ear out.
The last thing I want to bring up, which I really appreciated about Halloween 2018, is the music that was done by John Carpenter. The iconic theme that made its introduction in the original film makes one hell of an entrance in the newest one. Being the first thing you hear in the movie, it sparked my feeling of nostalgia for what was about to occur. It was some solid shit, you guys.
So, with all of that taken into account, is Halloween 2018 worth checking out? I would say, absolutely, yes! This is a film that has a lot of passion and love put into it. Made by clear fans of the original movie, the pacing, the gore, the storytelling, it’s all done with care by people who grew up watching the original 1978 Halloween. David Gordon Green, I don’t know if you’re reading this, but if you are, you’re the man!