Film Review: Halloween (2018)

Forty years after the original movie, Halloween (2018) is a fitting follow up to the slasher classic. 

Forty years after Michael Myers’ murder spree, Laurie Strode lives in a state of constant vigilance. Meanwhile, two journalist wish to interview Myers before he is transferred to a different institution…

There have been many sequels (not forgetting the reboot) to horror classic Halloween (1978). Now, forty years later, director and co-writer David Gordon Green asks viewers to cast all those aside, and view this latest picture as a direct follow up to John Carpenter’s original. The offer is tempting – the film offers the talents of writers Green, Danny McBride, and Jeff Fradley, and the return of Jamie Lee Curtis (although Curtis did return for 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later among sequels). Whilst those familiar with the entire franchise may wonder whether another film is necessary, the filmmakers quickly allay these fears. 

Halloween (2018) is a competent and enjoyable horror movie. Green’s film begins well, and establishes characters and their relationships succinctly. The real action begins when Michael is on the loose once more. The bodies quickly pile up, with even named characters dispatched without ceremony. It certainly gives the feeling that none of the characters are safe. 

Some of the usual jump scares are present, unsurprisingly. There are some great sequences; the foreshadowing makes the inevitable more of a thrill to watch. Halloween is largely credited with cementing slasher movie tropes (although 1974’s Black Christmas should share this accolade), and these are writ large in Green’s film. There are several callbacks to the original, yet the film does not try to ape its predecessor. It provides an electrifying ending, turning the tables of the original, whilst giving viewers something fresh. 

Laurie’s understandable paranoia is a recurring theme, and in the end spells out who will survive. Forty years on, the prey is now the hunter. Halloween turns the final girl into a fearless protector. Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role with aplomb. Judy Greer is also a welcome presence.

Halloween is a respectful follow up to the original film. It feels like a suitable conclusion to the franchise, and hopefully closes the door to anymore offshoots.

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