halloween | remake | david gordon green | danny mcbride | jeff fradley | jamie lee curtis | judy greer | andi matichak | slasher | united states | james jude courtney | nick castle | michael myers | haluk bilginer | will patton | rhian rees | jefferson hall | toby huss
Director: David Gordon Green
Writer: David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer and Andi Matichak
This film is quite interesting to me. I loved the original when my mother showed it to me growing up. The sequels I would also watch every year during October for AMC FearFest and other channels would show it as well. Despite this, it was never my favorite franchise. I did fall into the hype of this one and wanted to see it. To get this going, the official synopsis is Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney & Nick Castle), the mask figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.
We kick off at Smith’s Grove, where Michael has been kept since that fateful night he went on a rampage. A couple has come to try to interview him. They are Dana Haines (Rhian Rees) and Aaron Korey (Jefferson Hall). They are trying to do a podcast on what happened and they don’t want him taken to a cell where nothing can be learned from him. The doctor who has taken over for Dr. Loomis is Sartain (Haluk Bilginer). He doesn’t want that either. Aaron tries to evoke a response by holding out the mask to him, but he doesn’t get anything more than a sideways glance.
The two then go try to meet with Laurie. She only lets them in since they are going to pay her $3000. They don’t buy that Michael is pure evil and they say some things that cut pretty deep with Laurie. Since that night, Laurie has not been able to let go. It has ruined two marriages and her daughter taken away from her. We also learn that it has caused her daughter to keep her grandchild at a distance. Laurie makes for a great mirror of Michael in that she also has dedicated her whole life to him getting out and her being the one that kills him. I dug that duality.
We then get to meet her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer). She has a daughter of her own, Allyson (Andi Matichak). Ray (Toby Huss) is the husband and father. He is somewhat funny in a fatherly, awkward way and more laid back. I like this because both Karen and him are the opposite of Laurie in different ways.
Allyson is seeing a boy who is a little rough around the edges, Cameron (Dylan Arnold). We get this through conversation with her parents as Ray used to do drugs with Cameron’s father. Allyson sees the good in him though. The film does well at filling in the back-story that this is a direct sequel to the original by debunking the myth of Michael and Laurie being siblings.
The night they are trying to transport Michael to a new facility, the bus crashes and he gets free. He runs into the couple that came to interview him. They fall victim as he gets his mask back and heads for Haddonfield. Laurie learns about it on the news and goes about her preparations she’s been waiting 40 years for, the showdown with Michael. The police are also involved with Hawkins (Will Patton) among them.
Now as someone who is not a fanboy of the original or really the series, I liked this film. Does it feel like the original? No, because that original was more about the stalking where this one is what a sequel should do, it ramps up the body count. This one is gorier than the original as well. That’s not to say we aren’t getting mirrors of the first. We have him escaping from his institute, getting his mask and jumpsuit. It is even taking beats from other movies in this series that it is ignoring as well. It took this third viewing to connect those.
The pacing for this film I thought was good for a slasher. It has a running time around 1 hour and 45 minutes, which this last time felt a bit long. We get introduced to the characters and it doesn’t waste time getting into it. I never experienced a lull and tension builds as characters start to get killed off. You can feel it culminating into the final showdown, which I thought was good. If I do have an issue, it is with the Dr. Sartain. There is an aspect with his character that I understand, but it feels like they’re doing an inverse of Loomis.
Getting back to the positive, there is some good. Curtis embodies the role of Laurie. I like that she is broken by what happened to her and she has let it define her life. I do think there was an outburst in the film that I wasn’t a fan of, but I could see someone who has dealt with what she has turning to drugs or alcohol to cope. Greer is interesting as she had a rough childhood. She has decided as an adult that she is going to live her life the way she wants and it is opposite of her upbringing. Matichak was also fine. She is coming into her own. Her mother is somewhat estranged from her grandmother, but she is looking for that connection. Courtney and Castle are great in bringing Michael to life. I did have an issue with Bilginer’s character though. There is a twist in the film involving him that I just thought was out of place. I like that he is obsessed like Dr. Loomis, but some of the things he does didn’t sit well. It moves the story along, but it feels forced. Patton is always solid and this film is no different. Rhees and Hall aren’t really much to the story aside. The rest of the cast though was good and round out the film for what was needed.
Effects for this film were solid as well. They were done practically for the most part. There is one that I could clearly see it was CGI, mostly because it looked like it would have been nearly impossible to do practically. How it is shot helps to hide it. The blood in the film looks good and the practical effects were as well. I also wanted to say that the framing of some of the shots were absolutely amazing. There was a couple that I just was in awe and really liked them. They used the depth of the shot as an advantage.
I couldn’t get through this without talking about the score of the film. I was stoked when I heard that John Carpenter was coming back to do the music. That is what really helps make the original film and I think he did an amazing job here. His son also helped him with doing it and I think they did enough of taking the original and updating it. It helps to build tension and fits the scenes perfectly.
Now with that said, I enjoyed this film. I don’t think it is the best I’ve seen from that year or the best in the series, but it is still one of the better ones from it. The story is interesting enough and helps to clear up issues that were created by all of the sequels. I still like them, don’t get me wrong. I thought the acting was good, aside from a couple of hiccups. There were some issues with some of the dialogue, but it doesn’t ruin the film for me. The effects are the same way. The score of the film was amazing. This one isn’t like the original in that it's not stalking the people, but it is more for the body count, which a sequel normally does. I would recommend giving this film a viewing as I thought it was solid.
My Rating: 7 out of 10