There are only two Halloween films in the franchise that I love. The original and of course, Season of the Witch, a film I reviewed for horror month a few years back.
But now I’d like to add the new 2018 Halloween film to the list as it is hands down the best sequel in the franchise. That even includes the original Halloween 2 made in 1981. A film I do enjoy, as it embraces being a slasher film a lot more than the original did. It was also the film that introduced Laurie Strode and Michael Myers as brother and sister, which is why it was most likely retconned from the 2018 version.
If you catch me on a good day, I might even add Rob Zombie’s remake to the list as worth it. It’s a film that has its haters but I like that for the first half at least it did its own thing and really was a reimagining. Then it basically became a shot by shot remake of the original, which we already saw in part 4.
Rob Zombie’s sequel to his remake however I can’t even pretend to defend as I hate that one the most in the whole franchise. Even the shitty Paul Rudd one, The Curse of Michael Myers. Really
2018 Halloween is a remake of H20, but done right. H2O if you didn’t know was another film in the franchise that basically retcons everything but the 1978 film and part 2.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually like H20. Hell, at least they had the decency to rename it something other than just Halloween. There’s still a lot of good in H20, but where that film had some shortcomings, the 2018 version I don’t think does. No film in this franchise is perfect, even the first one had the plot hole of if Michael Myers was institutionalized since he was 8, how’d he learn how to drive a car?
So as you might be able to guess, I really enjoyed the 2018 film. I already mentioned how I think it’s the best sequel in the franchise, but I also think it’s the best at recreating the feel of the original as well, giving the film a John Carpenter feel. Though if you’re familiar with David Gordon Green’s work, you can see a lot of his style as well.
Another important thing this film did was make Michael Myers scary again. The film however isn’t without some complaints.
At the beginning, my main concern was you don’t get to see Michael Myers kill anyone, at least not at first. You’d just stumble into the aftermath. It was reminding me of Friday the 13th: The New Blood I think it was, where they had to make a choice, lose all the nudity or the gore and they went with saving the nudity. It felt like scenes were missing for the 2018 Halloween, especially when Michael escapes the bus transport. We just cut to it crashed in a ditch. We never do find out what exactly happened.
This had me a bit worried, like are we ever going to get to see Michael Myers kill anybody?
Michael Myers kills about 15 people in this film but we only see him kill about 4 or 5 of them. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense you didn’t witness every kill. 15 is a large kill count, seeing every one of those might be a bit much to handle. Then youre stuck dealing with one of those slasher films that’s nothing but kill scenes. Leave that for the Violent Shit franchise or Jason Voorhees.
One thing that I always loved and what made Michael stand out was hes just a human. Hes just a dude going on a killing spree. He isn’t some supernatural killer, even though Michael Myers does seem pretty inhuman and unstoppable at times.
The thing about Michael Myers being a thrill killer in this day and age where another school shooting has most likely happened by the time I even post this review, a crazy masked killer is the least scary thing people have to deal with. (hey what do you know, a bunch of bomb scares, at least no school shootings, right?)
They even bring that fact up in the film, another great example of the great writing in this.
With the help of Danny McBride, we also got some great humorous moments. To me, it helped make the characters seem more human and likable, so when Michael Myers does show up, we care if these characters die or not.
The humor wasn’t over the top like Rob Zombie’s remake was, it felt more grounded, natural and realistic. Which I think is also something David Gordon Green, the director, is good at doing. Look no further than his films Undertow and Joe for great examples of that.
David Gordon Green is such a unique and diverse director. He can do serious material like the aforementioned Joe and Undertow, but also likes dabbling in the stoner comedy genre with films like Pineapple Express and Your Highness. Both films featuring Danny McBride, a strange choice to reboot your slasher franchise, right?
I think its one of those instances like Get Out, where a person mostly known for their comedic work, steps into a genre they truly love and schools everyone.
So what is the plot to this 2018 film? And is it a remake or sequel? It isn’t a remake, thank god and is absolutely a direct sequel to the original film and only the original film. The other movies never happened, which also means either did Season of the Witch. Though that film was always on its own separate timeline anyways.
The 2018 Halloween wasn’t without its subtle nod to Season of the Witch, including the three masks we see a group of kids wearing while trick or treating. Diehard fans like myself I’m sure got a kick out of seeing that, and I’m happy it was included.
It has been about 40 years since the events of the first film took place. After Loomis shot Michael Myers off a balcony, he was later arrested and taken back into custody. A few years after that Loomis died of natural causes and a new doctor, Dr. Sartain was sent in to treat Michael at the insane asylum.
So that’s where Michael has been for 40 years, hanging out with a bunch of crazies.
Laurie Strode on the other hand, well she’s been in her own captivity. She’s basically Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. Shes prepared herself for the time Michael inevitably escapes and comes back to finish her off. But here’s the kicker, he doesn’t seek her out to finish her off. He doesn’t really give a fuck about her.
A lot have compared Michael Myers to a shark, just this emotionless killing machine with no rhyme or reason. That might be something audiences don’t get or like about him, which is most likely why they included Laurie as his sister in the later sequels, just to give a reason as to why Michael Myers is doing the things he does.
What I loved about this film however, was the fact there was no reason behind his madness.
Lauries whole adult life though has been for nothing. She’s had two ex-husbands and one estranged daughter, not to mention a heavy drinking problem.
If you remember in H20 Laurie had a son, played by Josh Hartnett. But in this timeline, her daughter is played by Judy Greer, who has a daughter named Allyson, about the same age Laurie was in the first film.
A weird thing I noticed and Hank actually picked up on it too, was Allyson referring to her grandmother just as “grandmother”. It felt weird, I guess, unnatural sounding. Like when you hear characters call out for their brother or sister as brother or sister. Where are you, brother?! Sister, I can’t find you! No one does that, no one would call their grandmother, just grandmother. Brother, sister, grandmother, it’s what they are, but you never call them by that. Unless you’re in a nursery rhyme, what big eyes you have, grandmother!
Since the anniversary of the events that happened 40 years ago is coming around and Michael is about to be transferred to a super max prison, Dr. Sartain, who has been treating Michael, hasn’t gotten a single word out of Michael.
Loomis deemed him to be evil incarnate, but Dr. Sartain still believes there’s some humanity left in him, he just needs to get it out. And to do that, he needs to know why Michael killed his sister. See what I mean about trying to find meaning in the things Michael Myers does? Trying to answer that one question ends up driving this doctor insane.
Since Michael will soon be leaving his care, Dr. Sartain invites two podcasters to try and interview him, showing him his old mask to see if that gets a rise out of him.
Of course it doesn’t. At least not one we can visibly see. I remember a few years back seeing what the original mask from the first Halloween looks like today and It looks less like the Michael Myers mask and more like something Leatherface would wear.
After getting nothing out of Michael, they head over to see Laurie Strode, maybe she’ll be a bit more forthcoming. They find her living alone out in the middle of nowhere behind a large security fence. The only way they get in to see her is by offering her a couple thousand bucks.
They plead with her to face Michael before he is shipped out. She of course refuses and sees the two out, taking their money.
Laurie’s got a bit of a fixation now, this time she’s the one stalking Michael.
Of course Michael does escape, somehow crashing the transport bus. That’s where we do get our first on camera kill, and it’s a little gay kid that just wants to dance.
By happenstance I guess, the two podcasters end up at the same gas station Michael is and are quickly dispatched. They’re there mostly so Michael can reclaim his mask.
On the pursuit of Michael is Officer Hawkins, played by Will Patton. He lived through this before 40 years ago, so he knows how dangerous Michael can be.
Also in pursuit is Laurie, who is manically trying to convince her daughter that Michael is coming after them. Which he isn’t. Its kind of like if Sarah Connor really was just a paranoid schizophrenic. It kind of makes her character seem that more tragic.
This was another nod to the original film, where she has her boyfriend over and start to have some hanky-panky when Michael Myers shows up, killing the boyfriend and hiding under a sheet.
But here it’s reversed, the girl dies first, getting the sheet treatment. We only see the aftermath of both kills, her under the sheet and the stoner boyfriend stuck to the wall by a knife.
Allyson ditches the party once she catches her boyfriend making out in drag with another lady. Tagging along is Foggy, who like an idiot makes a move on her, trying to steal a kiss. Foggys of the world dont steal kisses I’m afraid.
She ditches him and of course Michael shows up to get his stab on.
Eventually Michael is caught by Officer Hawkins, and by caught I mean hit with a truck. Dr. Sartain has other plans, killing Hawkins and putting an unconscious Michael Myers in the backseat with Allyson. He is so determined to understand Michael that he’s willing to kill just hoping he’ll say something, anything.
He plans to force a confrontation with Laurie, which is ironically exactly what Laurie needs. She’s been planning for this moment for 40 years and it wouldn’t have happened if not for the crazy doc.
Things don’t exactly go as planned, as Michael immediately kills Dr. Sartain by curb stomping his head like a pumpkin.
Now that the shark has been redirected Laurie’s way, she can finally get her revenge. She’s made her house into a death trap with metal gates that shut over every doorway. Though that might seem slightly pointless as she did nothing with the windows. Which is exactly how Michael got in. He also took his time to carry in these dummy mannequins Laurie has been using as target practice. How’d he have the time to do all that?
I forgot to mention Laurie has built a panic room under the kitchen floor. You think her plan is to hide under there until it’s safe, but seeing how gung-ho she is at killing Michael, that doesn’t make sense. And it doesn’t make sense because it isn’t a safe room, it’s a cage. A cage she plans to trap Michael in and setting him on fire.
Aside from the doorways being rigged, she also rigged it so every room in the house quickly catches on fire. Again, not sure what good that would do if every window in the house was left unguarded.
Laurie watches as she finally catches Michael, watching him silently burn to death. But we know this won’t be the end, there will of course be another sequel, one that isn’t as good but will make money. Unless it’s like Rob Zombies sequel where it kills the franchise for a few years.
The thing is, studios eventually have to make another one to hold on to the rights. So as much as this seemed pretty final, they are obligated to make another one. And you can only reboot a movie so many times.
I did absolutely love this one however and gladly give this a SEE IT rating.
With that, it looks like horror month is wrapped up. Only 11 months to go until the next one!
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