“Happy Halloween, Michael…”
Halloween (2018) serves as a direct sequel to the iconic slasher film of 1978. That basically means that everything from the first movie up until this year’s installation pretty much never happened. Yeah, just try to ignore that fact.
Set 40 years after the first film, we find Laurie Strode, the survivor of the original film, now an older, troubled woman. The events of the original Halloween have left her traumatized, jaded and completely revenge-driven. Laurie has spent the last 40 years trying to cope with her troubled past and the fact that Michael Myers (who may or may not be her brother) is still alive and currently residing in a mental institution.
But don’t take her for a damsel in distress. Laurie, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, is the Sarah Connor of her town. She’s tough, smart and locked and loaded. She knows Michael will escape one day and when he does, she’s going after him, not the other way around. Although her past has toughened her up, her paranoid delusions have left her with two divorces and estranged from her daughter and granddaughter.
We are given hints throughout the film that Laurie’s daughter, played by the lovely Judy Greer, is more than just your average mom. She has a rocky history with her mother after she was taken away by child protective services at the age of 12, and resents her for her unorthodox upbringing as a child warrior. Laurie ruthlessly trained her to be prepared just in case she finds herself in a horrific situation similar to what she had been through.
Laurie’s granddaughter, a high school student, feels differently about her grandmother. She wants to have a meaningful relationship with her but is road blocked by Laurie’s chronic paranoia and irrational fear that something awful is going to happen once again.
Meanwhile, Michael Myers is awaiting his transfer to a new mental facility, having not uttered a word in the last 40 years. His doctor warns that Michael will not be as docile outside his current facility, which is equipped to handle him.
As luck would have it, Michael stops the transfer bus in the middle of the night all by himself and breaks out of his chains. After a series of creepy foggy scenes and about five bad decisions in two minutes, Michael hitches a ride back to his hometown, presumably to finish what he started so long ago.
Halloween brings back the retro feel of old slasher films with its suspense, soundtrack and corny horror movie tropes. The movie is really scary, but in the sense that you don’t want to see what Michael is going to do next. In some scenes, you follow him as he slowly makes his way around the trick-or-treating neighborhood and watch him make his decisions on who and how he is going to kill.
Almost no one is spared when they come into contact with Michael as he still has his superhuman-like strength and his fierce will to keep moving despite heavy injuries.
Other scenes feel more familiar as you follow certain characters and come to find out that they are being stalked in the night by Michael in the dark. These are the scenes that will give you the jump scares.
The fight scenes are even gruesome enough to rival the Saw movies and the pacing is great.
Halloween does a superb job at building up the suspense to the inevitable showdown between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. In fact, during the entire movie, I was getting chills at all the close calls that were happening and anticipating their reunion.
The climax of the film is the most goosebumps-inducing sequence as Laurie and Michael play a cat and mouse game inside her booby-trapped compound in the forest. During the entire final act, you’re confident in Laurie’s preparations, but fear for her in her older age facing off against the ruthless serial killer.
Aside from several frustratingly dumb decisions made by the main characters during the ending, it delivers a spectacular showdown that’ll leave you on the edge of your seat.
I really enjoyed watching the new Halloween movie for its nostalgic vibes and iconic characters. There is no over-explanation of anything and the filmmakers trust that you understand the general lore of the story. Psycho serial killer escapes prison and goes after his foe. That’s it — nothing more. There is no twist. Just a solid story with great pacing and a thrilling conclusion.
Halloween (2018) is an instant classic and is best enjoyed in a large theater with others for the best effects. You won’t be disappointed.