D.C.'s Take

D.C.’s Take: Halloween (2018)

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Probably the best advice given is to never be out and about on Halloween night in Haddonfield, IL. because it’s the one day of the year where you know who comes to kill. Luckily, it’s all fiction to what fans of this franchise come to now. Can 2018’s Halloween be a return to form to the series? Can this also bring redemption to Ben Tramer? 

After Michael Myers, the Shape (Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney), escaped from an institution while being transported to another medical facility, the crazed killer returns to Haddonfield on Halloween night. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has prepared for the day Myers would return. She was traumatized 40 years ago, but this time might be the time to kill him once and for all. 

John Carpenter’s “Halloween”, released in 1978, was the beginning of the slasher genre, and it’s been deemed as one of the best horror movies of all-time with its tension, creep factor and how surprisingly well-made it turned out to be. It’s been a yearly viewing during the holiday. However, it was followed by seven sequels that never reached the potential the original had.   And don’t get me started on Rob Zombie’s two movies that focus more on excessive gore and very bad writing.  Though when the news broke of this new Halloween basically re-continuing all the movies after the first (and making this a direct sequel with Curtis returning), who wouldn’t be excited?  The idea could work and makes everything from Halloween II to Resurrection totally irrelevant now. There has to be one thing to make this movie good: Michael Myers has to be scary and it must be a true sequel. Does it accomplish this? Indeed it does since I had a fun time with Halloween.  Director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Vice Principals) was able to give fans a good sense of fear and an appropriate amount of atmosphere in this new installment. He co-wrote the script with Danny McBride (yes, the actor) and Jeff Fradley. I was curious to see how they were going to treat this franchise in a new light.  We see how that night 40 years ago has affected Laurie when she was just a babysitter. She had the worst night of her life when her friends were killed by this psychopath. Because of this traumatizing experience, she had a difficult relationship with her daughter, Karen (an excellent Judy Greer), and Laurie’s granddaughter, Allison (a memorable breakthrough Andi Matichak). Laurie needs to kill the psychopath, so she can finally be free from all this fear brought upon her.  Michael himself is still terrifying in every aspect. He walks slowly and doesn’t say a single word while wearing his signature William Shatner mask. He knows how to kill and be menacing about it.   Do we get some good kills from him? That’s why I paid to see this. There are some cool moments to these scary sequences that were well-shot. Two scenes stood out in which there’s a tracking shot of Michael going from house-to-house and a scene involving motion sensor lights that actually had me shield my eyes.   If you want to see a strong female character, look no further than Curtis’ return as Laurie. She really changed after that night. She’s been practicing shooting and securing her remote home. Paranoia is her main motivator, because at any moment, Michael could escape. I just love seeing her back in the role that made her a star and the original “scream queen.”  Some might be thrown off with the homages to the first film, but they really didn’t bother me.  The humor that was provided in here didn’t taint the entire movie. Since McBride was one of the writers, there must be some good jokes. Most of the jokes land, while others don’t. One kid who was being babysat had me laughing. This doesn’t at any point become a full-out comedy like The Predator where every character makes a joke. Instead, it's used to balance out the tension.  We also needed that iconic Carpenter (who also was involved as a producer) score and the new score provided by him, his son Cody and Daniel Davies. It gives me chills every time it plays, especially during the opening credits.  There were some problems that I took that some may or may not agree with. This is one of those movies where some characters make dumb decisions, which is always a pet peeve in horror movies. As much as I liked Allison, the stuff that’s going on with her boyfriend wasn’t all that important. Also, a stupid jump scare got me, and I hate myself for that.  If you’re a fan of the “Halloween” franchise, chances are you’re only going to think it’s okay. Not everyone is going to be impressed. Predictable? Of course. Although it didn’t make the movie the least bit unwatchable.   “Halloween” is worth checking out and is the best Halloween sequel we’ll get. As I left the theater, I thought to myself “I could go for another one”. Applauds for Blumhouse for bringing back a horror icon right.  “Halloween” offers the perfect amount of scares and fright that the other sequels (and remakes) failed to accomplish in what appears to be a surprisingly captivating horror flick that fans will hopefully enjoy. Grade:
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