David Gordon Green's Halloween is a vicious slasher film that reinvigorates a franchise that most thought was dead and buried. Jamie Lee Curtis gives a convincing performance, while Nick Castle returns to haunt us all as The Shape. Unfortunately, this return to Haddonfield isn't nearly as memorable as the original film, nor its remake.
David Gordon Green and co-writers Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley have injected new life into the once-iconic slasher series, created by horror maestro John Carpenter and Debra Hill. Halloween is a lean entry in a series full of so-so sequels, but viewers beware — this isn’t a perfect horror film. It’s just a better-than-expected sequel that I personally think struggles topping Rob Zombie‘s under-rated remake.
This version of Halloween picks up directly after the events of the first film, retconning the entire mythos of Halloween, acting as a direct sequel to the original film, ignoring part II and the lesser sequels. This works in the sense that it’s presenting a slightly altered perspective on storylines that otherwise weakened the series, but it also ignores portions of the series that some might hold close.
For starters, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is not Michael Myers’ sister and Dr. Loomis really only had that one frightening encounter with Michael. If you’re okay with looking past that, then you’ll probably have a decent enough time with this iteration of Halloween, because director David Gordon Green brings an unusually restrained vision to the series that sometimes works really well (when building up tension), but also hurts the film (when the killing begins).
I was absolutely ecstatic finding out that I would be able to see yet another Halloween on the big screen. But I was disappointed when I found that that David Gordon Green decided to keep most of the kills off-screen. It doesn’t help the fact that co-writers Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley don’t lend much help when it comes to smoothening out the dialogue or making any of the characters somewhat interesting.
Yes, all of these guys seem like massive fans of the original film and they more than pay their respects to John Carpenter‘s legendary film, but they rarely stray off the path to discover their own flavor.
Most will disagree with me, but I feel that Rob Zombie‘s Halloween is the best Halloween film ever made, outside of the original, but held very close in quality when compared.
Zombie wasn’t afraid to add his own unique stamps. Sometimes, his hillbilly mentalities got the best of him, but most of his film works as a raw and visceral look at pure evil. You can never discredit Zombie’s ability to make his films uniquely and completely his own.
This version of Halloween feels like the rest of them, only with more modern effects and a reversal of roles, when the story calls for some sparks. Jamie Lee Curtis stalks Myers in a couple of scenes that prove to be interesting, but not all that engaging.
Myers still walks around like a Terminator, slaughtering people as he pleases and never really taking any damage. He’s always done that and this is no exception to the myth of The Shape.
Many are claiming Halloween (2018) to be the best entry of the series since the original. I couldn’t disagree more. It’s better than the later entries, but it’s far off from being any better than Zombie’s remake, or the first few sequels. It’s got decent kills (whenever they are actually shown) and the overall direction is serviceable, but most of the film feels like a giant rehash, only this time they are “breaking new grounds” by simply revisiting moments from the sequels, only acting as if they are happening for the first time.
It takes more than a mask and a knife to have me claiming this to be the best slasher in decades. Have our expectations lowered that much over the years, despite getting solid original and adapted horror for year after year?