This is the third time the Halloween series has been rebooted and the second time with Jaime Lee Curtis coming back to take on the role of Laurie Strode. The first time when Halloween H20, which, honestly, I kind of like better. The ending to that film was ruined by the execrable Halloween: Resurrection but said more or less everything that needed to be said. That's going to be an unpopular opinion on this film, that it's good but not great but I really loved H20. Michael died there so we don't need to write "another" death scene for him. We're also skipping over Rob Zombie's remake of the franchise because he really wanted to understand Michael Myers' psychology and the answer is--you can't.
|Good to see he found another pair of overalls.|
Still, I went to see it in the theaters as soon as I could make time. I wasn't about to miss the return of the slasher movie to cinemas since the genre fell out of favor. While some attempts to return it to the big screen (like Hatchet and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon) have been made--bluntly, the genre never recovered after Scream and the later Cabin in the Woods. I say this as a huge fan of the genre. So, how was it? Pretty good.
Jaime Lee Curtis remains the Queen of Scream Queens, a title she rightfully inherited from her mother the Kingdom of Scareville's founder, Janet Leigh. At age 59, Jaime is still spy enough to be killing slashers in self-defense and does her best to doll down herself as a crazy old lady despite the fact she still looks gorgeous when not playing a crazy survivalist lady in this film. Indeed, as a picture shows later in this article, they really had to work hard on her old lady face makeup.
There was no way I was not going to see this movie, especially since it also starred my favorite Archer and Arrested Development star Judy Greer. Judy has a somewhat thankless role as the daughter of Laurie Strode who has done her best to forget every survivalist lesson her mother taught her. She has to play the "normal" one in the family and only gets to make use of the decade of training her mother gave her in preparation to be a Final Woman at the very end. Which is a shame because I think Judy could have been a great horror icon herself if she'd gone that route instead of romantic comedy best friend.
|Special Effects Failure: Old Lady Makeup only applies to face.|
The premise is Michael Myers was captured by Doctor Loomis and a Deputy moments after the events of Halloween, wiping out all the other sequels from continuity. Apparently, being five times in the back was enough to slow down even the Shape. He's spent the subsequent forty years locked away in a mental institution and it's hard to get over the fact he's supposed to be the most terrifying man in the world when he's sixty-two and "only" has killed five people. It's even commented on in-movie that since the 1970s, spree killers more "successful" than Michael Myers are a common part of life.
|I feel like Judy missed being a Scream Queen herself.|
Unfortunately, the Babysitter Murders have become a topic of podcasters and pop psychology. A pair of would-be journalists have somehow managed to get their hands on Michael's mask and try to get him to respond before he's transferred to a maximum security federal prison. They try to get Laurie's story but only end up offending her. Laurie's granddaughter, Allyson, wants to reconnect her mother, Karen, with her granddaughter but this is thwarted by far too much history that neither daughter or granddaughter understand.
|Allyson is pretty but not terribly interesting.|
Weirdly, the best part of the movie not involving Jaime Lee Curtis is the segment with Virginia Gardner as Vicky, Allyson's best friend and designated Victim 3# or 4#. She's a likable protagonist and ticks many of the boxes which would normally go to the Final Girl. I actually wanted to see her survive as her primary reaction to seeing a child endangered by Michael Myers is to try to get him to safety. It makes her automatically more sympathetic and interesting than Allyson, whose primary concern is her boyfriend and his best friend both want to kiss hot women at inappropriate times. I also saw a certain character's betrayal coming from a mile away despite the attempt to set them up as someone to be trusted.
|"You're not my brother! No Halloween candy for you!"|
In conclusion, Halloween (2018) is a good movie. It's a fun movie and it's a love letter to slasher films, particularly its own franchise. It's not an especially great version of the film, though, which was perhaps impossible since there have been many remakes of the franchise and reboots. They could have gone further with the meta-humor or they could have removed it entirely. Getting rid of the idea Laurie is Michael's sister makes Michael more random in his attacks but then you have to wonder how he ended up in her backyard. Was it just random chance? Very possibly if this movie is to be believed. In the end, the Shape will always be the archetypal psycho-killer and almost (but not quite) indestructible.