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Halloween (2018) | Film Review | Spoilers, Recommendations, Discussion and Content

October 25, 2018

 

 

Halloween is a horror film remake that was released on October 19, 2018.  The film is directed by David Gordon Green and stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer and Andi Matichak.  

 

Halloween (2018) follows the events of the first Halloween (1978) movie, forty years later. 

 

*The following review contains minor spoilers.  Recommendations and Film Content follow Film Overview.  Discussion follows Film Content and contains spoilers.

 

Film Overview

 

Laurie Strode:

 

In this film, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) lives on an isolated property and has trained herself in preparation for her inevitable encounter with the mysterious and murderous Michael Myers.  Laurie has learned to shoot many types of guns and has turned her property into a near-fortress, much to the chagrin of her estranged daughter, Karen (Judy Greer).  

 

Karen has convinced herself, her husband, and her daughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), that Laurie simply suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and that Michael Myers is no longer a threat to Laurie.  Karen believes that her mother should seek help instead of continuing to barricade herself from the outside world.  Karen shares with her husband Ray that Laurie had become obsessed with teaching her survival skills when she was a child, which led to her permanent removal from Laurie's home and subsequent estrangement.  Karen fears that Laurie's involvement with her daughter, Allyson, will lead to negative consequences, so Karen strives to keep Laurie and Allyson apart throughout the film.

 

Despite the strained relationship between Laurie and Karen, Laurie still loves Karen and Allyson very much.  Laurie's main goal in the film is to protect her daughter and her daughter's family from Michael Myers.

 

Michael Myers:

 

Michael Myers is again locked up in a mental institution after the events of the first Halloween (1978) film.  Two podcasters decide that they want to try to interview Michael at the institution, even though the doctor treating Michael warns the podcasters that they will likely not receive a response.  The podcasters try to talk to Michael, with no response (well, duh).  Frustrated, one of the podcasters tells Michael he has brought the mask Michael used in the original murders, yet Michael still does not react.  It is at this point that we see Michael's scar tissue on his left eye from when Laurie Strode stabbed him in the eye with the wire hanger in the first Halloween (1978) film.  

 

Later that day, we learn that Michael Myers is to be relocated to a maximum-security facility.  Laurie Strode is understandably terrified that Michael will escape during transit and come after her, and that is exactly what happens.

 

We never see the altercations that take place on the transit bus, but we do see a man driving a truck with his son.  The man, driving down a dark, deserted road, comes across an overturned bus and several mental patients wandering in the road and through the trees on the sides of the road.  

 

We see several people who have been murdered by Michael, which is followed by the murder of the man and his son.  Michael steals the man's truck and drives to a gas station, where we soon see the two podcasters who have Michael's mask.  Michael brutally murders the podcasters and every employee at the gas station, then proceeds on his merry way to Haddonfield, where he will finally meet up with Laurie Strode for their final (maybe, but probably not) confrontation.  

 

If You Love This Movie, You Might Also Love:

 

Halloween (1978)

Friday the 13th (1980)

Scream (1996)

Curse of Chucky (2013)

Candyman (1992)

Wrong Turn (2003)

You're Next (2011)

 

Film Content

 

Any Disturbing Scenes?

 

Yes, there are actually quite a few disturbing scenes.  A man's neck is broken and although the skin is not broken and there is no blood, we see his bones straining against the skin of his throat and neck.  A man is repeatedly slammed against a bathroom wall, his face becoming bloodier and bloodier until we see his face smashed in (there is a close-up of his bloodied face).  A man sprinkles human teeth onto a floor in a bathroom to frighten a woman.  A woman is strangled to death in a bathroom.  Several dead bodies are shown at a gas station.  A teenager is killed at a gate and his bloody face is shown.  A man stomps on another man's head, exploding his head onto the pavement (brains and gore are shown).  A man is strangled in the front yard of a house.  

 

Violence?

 

Yes, there is a lot of violence in this film.  Michael Myers kills all of his victims in very violent ways (see disturbing scenes for details).  There are a lot of murders where a knife is used.  Michael Myers strangles a few of his victims.  Laurie Strode and her daughter Karen use guns at the end of the film.  

 

Drug/Alcohol Use?

 

Yes.  Several teenagers are seen drinking alcohol at a party.  Laurie, Karen, and Karen's husband Ray drink wine at a restaurant.  Laurie drinks alcohol in an effort to relieve her anxiety a few times during the film.  

 

Discussion

 

I was interested in seeing this film because I have seen all of the Halloween films (including the Rob Zombie films).  I like the first two films the most (1978 and 1981), so I was interested to see what the filmmakers would do with this film since it was supposed to follow the events of the first film.  

 

This film was similar to the 1978 film in that they used quite a few scenes that are iconic in the first film.  However, they are used in slightly different ways in order to give it new life.  For example, the scene in the first film where Laurie Strode looks outside of her classroom window and sees Michael Myers is used.  Instead of Laurie sitting in class, it's her granddaughter, Allyson, sitting in class looking out the window.  Instead of Michael Myers staring at her from across the street, it's her grandmother, Laurie Strode.  

 

Another example happens later in the film.  As Laurie Strode confronts Michael Myers in her house, Michael forces Laurie out of an upstairs window and she falls to the ground.  Michael looks at her, then turns away for a moment.  When he looks back, she has disappeared, just like he did in the first film.  There are other moments in the film that appear to be a nod to the first film, so fans of the first film will most likely enjoy those moments.  

 

While there are obvious similarities to the first film, there are some differences as well.  I actually did not like these differences, but other fans might.  The problem I had with the film was that it was so much more violent than the first film.  In the first film, violence was mostly implied and there wasn't really much blood and gore.  I felt that the first movie was very scary without the gore and I understood that Michael Myers was an extremely violent individual without seeing explicit violence and/or gore.  

 

In this film, most of the murders committed by Michael are extremely violent in nature and there are several close-ups of the victims while and directly after they've been murdered.  I'm not sure why there was a change in showing the extreme violence in this film, but it's not really my cup of tea.  I understand including violence in a film for context and if it is important to a scene, but there was so much of it and I really could have done without the close-ups of victims with their faces smashed in or brains all over the road.  

 

I did like that the film included family dynamics.  The film portrayed Laurie Strode as a strong, but also emotionally fragile individual who, even though she does not have the support of her daughter, continues to try to protect Karen and Allyson.  I liked that they showed the long-term effects of her traumatic experience and how it changed her over the years.  In Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), we also see the after effects of her experience with Michael Myers, but Laurie was hiding from Michael Myers in that film and in this film, she is lying in wait for him, ready to confront him.  

 

Since the ending of the film seems to indicate that there will be a sequel (and if this film makes enough money, which it seems like it will), I wonder if the next film will delve into Micheal Myers' motivations for stalking Laurie Strode.  I also wonder how Allyson's story will continue, since she was shown holding onto Michael's knife at the end of the film.  Will she try to go after Michael?  Will she feel the urge to kill people?  At this point, I hope they take the story in a new, fresh direction that is different from the other Halloween films.  

 

Final Thoughts

 

What did you think of this film?  What is your favorite film in the franchise?  Do you think the filmmakers will take the story in a new direction?  Where are you hoping the story goes?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

Thanks,

A

 

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