Halloween Review: Horror Franchise Returns with a Tense Sequel
Updated: Sep 25
Over the years there have been many movie to define the horror genre, but none may be more prevalent than the likes of Halloween. One of the pioneers of the slasher sub genre Halloween took the world by storm when it debuted in 1978. Since then the gruesome tales of Michael Myers has been told time and again whether it was the killer’s return in Halloween: H20 or a complete retelling in Rob Zombie’s Halloween. The latest entry is indeed the latter as creeping its way to theaters is none other than Halloween. Directed by by David Gordon Green Halloween disregards the franchise’s tenure and creates a new story that continues the events of the 1978 film. While it was strange to see the filmmakers go in this direction the prospect of this entry was interesting as it could bring a refreshing take to series; not to mention recapture the essence of the original film. The end result was a sequel that was, to some extent, worthy to the name Halloween.
Halloween continues the story of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) who for 40 years has been been haunted by the fateful night where Michael Myers (Nick Castle/James Jude Courtney) tried to kill her. As the silent killer is transported to a new facility Michael manages to escape and makes his way back to Haddonfield for a final confrontation with Laurie. In many ways to the plot of Halloween was a solid continuation from the 1978 film. The story’s narrative was effective to say the least as it setup was worthy of its predecessor. A strong element for the plot was the character driven aspect seen in Laurie’s story. While its structure was formidable some of its plot points could get lost in the shuffle, and when the story came to ahead the conclusion(although thrilling) was a bit underwhelming. Still even with these issues the story had plenty going for it as its concept and execution certainly lived up to its predecessor.
Halloween pioneered a lot of things and among them were character types in the likes of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. Laurie’s character was interesting to the least as her mentality brought an engaging element to the heroine and excelling on traits seen in other characters. Jamie Lee Curtis was in rare form in this installment as showing off the broken side of Laurie gave the actress one of her best performances to date. The rest of the cast was bit hit and miss. The young Allyson Strode (Andi Matichak) lived up to the character traits formerly tied to her grandmother while Laurie’s daughter Karen (Judy Greer) had more to her than I would have imagined. However the movie also featured characters who just went nowhere whether it was Aaron Korey (Jefferson Hall), Cameron Elam (Dylan Arnold) and Frank Hawkins (Will Patton)-which took me by surprise as the movie seemed to be building up Hawkins’ character. As for Michael Myers the killer was still his threatening self. The mystery behind the killer was more grounded in this one but this in no way took away from the iconic villain’s demeanour. When it came down to it the cast relied on the strengths that made 1978’s ensemble effective, and this direction only benefited the new movie-well for the most part anyways.
Halloween is one of the most iconic horror films of all time, and one factor that worked its favor was none other than the tense atmosphere. It seems that the 2018 film followed suit in this area as the movie’s horror derived on having a strong atmosphere. While the movie had its share of jump scares, which actually worked, the movie relied on its dark tone which created a setting that was creepy and thrilling. Yet out of all the horrific elements what surprised me the most was the gore and how subtle it was. The movie had its brutal moments but the gore was rather tame especially by slasher film standards, but in this case less may have in fact been more. To no shock a stand out element for the movie was the music by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies. The music brought an innovative score to the movie while living up to the iconic soundtrack of the 1978 movie.
In the end Halloween was a noteworthy sequel. While some aspects could have been stronger the movie made up for it with its strong story structure, compelling performances and tense atmosphere. Halloween was just as much as homage to the franchise as it was a solid horror film; and though it may not have been groundbreaking Halloween was still a refreshing take on the seasoned franchise.