Halloween 2018 Review: Michael Meyers Is Back For More Blood
It’s hard to believe that the movie H20, the 20th anniversary sequel to the seminal 1978 horror movie Halloween, is 20 years old. I interviewed its stars, Jamie Lee Curtis and Josh Hartnett (who played her son) and thought to myself, why did the studio make this? It was awful. Michelle Williams was also in the film. You never hear her bragging about that role. John Carpenter, the original’s producer and director, had nothing to do with H20.
Flash forward twenty more years, to the original film’s 40th anniversary, and we have Halloween 2018, which is produced by John Carpenter, but not written or directed by him.
Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode. As we know, she was the only babysitter in the town of Haddonfield who escaped a massacre by the insane serial killer in a fright mask, Michael Meyers, that started it all forty years ago.
Four decades have left her almost as demented as her tormenter, and she has spent the years—becoming a crazy town eccentric estranged from her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). Never mind. She’s been out of her mind with terror, permanently unhinged by paranoia and dread while preparing her house for the inevitable return of Michael Myers. A master of self-defense, she has a bomb shelter like hiding place under her kitchen floor and an arsenal of automatic weapons that would make her a poster grandmother for the NRA. Smart granny, because, predictably, Michael Meyers escapes again from a fool-proof insane asylum and heads for Haddonfield to let the killings begin.
This time we have David Gordon Green as writer and director, who made such past horrors as Pineapple Express and Our Brand Is Crisis, as well as last year’s box office bomb, Stronger, starring Jack Gyllenhaal, who is not an imaginative director, so the result is a disappointing collection of the usual familiar clichés, including kids too high or drunk to use common sense when the floor creaks in an empty house, victims who lose their cell phones before danger strikes, and an assortment of dumb cops and naive psychiatrists who say things about the monster like “Remember, he’s the property of the state—he mustn’t be harmed!”
That being said, Halloween 2018 is the best Halloween movie since Halloween 2, which was written by John Carpenter and released in 1981. Halloween 2018 marks the 11th Halloween film based on characters created by John Carpenter. So, ranking third isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Millions of teenagers and young adults who walk into theaters to experience Halloween 2018 have not seen the original Halloween and will be experiencing Michael Meyers for the first time. The frights and scares, the scenes that made you jump out of your seat, are what made the first two Halloween films classics. In this film, Michael no longer creeps around in the bushes waiting to pounce. In what could have been a really scary scene, a babysitter finds Michael in a bedroom closet, but the encounter doesn’t really frighten. The lack of scares in this film are the most troubling aspect of the film.
Halloween 2018 does pay homage to the first two films in the franchise. Haddonfield, the town Michael Meyers is running amok in, looks just as great in this film as it did in the original. And John Carpenter’s iconic theme music is back. The cinematography, while not as spectacular as that of Dean Cundy, who was in charge of the first two films, is satisfactory.
For a film that has high expectations from fans of the original, young and old, Halloween 2018 will most likely not disappoint. But, please, let this be the end. Finally.