The year is 2018 and we have a new Halloween movie. Normally this would be followed by a shudder seeing as how the series that followed the classic original has put out a fair few stinkers.
So, you might be wondering what timeline this new Halloween follows. Oh, you didn’t know? The Halloween series is an absolute mess so let’s break it down. We have the 1978 original Halloween which was followed by a direct sequel, Halloween II in 1981 literally picking up right after the first.
These two films were to end the Michael Myers side of the story with creators John Carpenter and Debra Hill planning different stories for future sequels. We got one in 1982 with Halloween III: Season of the Witch. A decent horror flick that was a bust at the box office resulting in Myers being brought back for Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.
Now, while this film and the following two did use what occurred in the first two as the basis, they go off in such a random direction most see them as them separate. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers in 1988, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers in 1989 and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers in 1995.
Confused yet? Well it’s about to get a whole lot worse. In 1998, 20 years after the release of the original we got Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Here every single film baring the first two was retconned making this a sequel to Halloween and Halloween II.
Audiences exhausted, it finally seemed as though Michael Myers had been put to rest. But evil never dies. Which brings us to this film. Where does Halloween 2018 fit? Well, it is a sequel to the original and the original alone. Not even the second film counts here. After being shot by Dr Loomis and falling off the balcony, Michael was caught and put away for 40 years retconning the original ending.
40 years later…
The Bogeyman is real but he has stayed silent in his prison. His doctor, desperate to understand and make contact with him before he is transferred to a maximum-security prison, allows two true-crime podcasters attempt to interview him. It goes as well as you can expect.
Frustrated, they turn to his opposite, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). She has locked herself away with top of the range security and plenty of weapons to protect herself. On the offer of $3000 she meets the pair. However, when they start to question her about her family, she kicks them out.
Laurie hasn’t been able to let Michael go. She is convinced that it’s only a matter of time until he comes. Her daughter (Judy Greer) sees it differently though and the pair are effectively estranged something that bothers Allyson (Andi Matichak), Laurie’s granddaughter.
She wants to have a relationship with her grandmother but while the spectre of Michael Myers looms large that doesn’t seem possible.
October 31st arrives and unsurprisingly so does Michael having escaped when the bus transporting him crashed. His first port of call are the two true-crime podcasters who have something he wants…his mask.
The moment he puts it back on will send chills down you. Played by original Myers actor, Nick Castle, he just has an aura about him.
Mask on, Michael is ready to do what he does best…kill. Haddonfield is in for another night it will never forget but this time Laurie Strode is ready for him.
Halloween is a love letter to the original, filled with fan-service moments that will have you bouncing up and down in your seat. It’s smart, violent and tense…everything you could ever have wanted from a sequel. Michael Myers hasn’t been scary for nearly 40 years but the shape is back and he has lost none of his blood-lust.
There are no convoluted backstories, Michael has no motives and even the family link is severed.
“No, it was not her brother, that was something people made up”
This is the true face of evil as he wanders from house to house silently stabbing and maiming anyone who should be unlucky to cross his path. Halloween does not scrimp on the gore, this is a movie that wears its adult rating badge proudly.
He doesn’t even try to hide his crimes and it’s not long before everyone, including Laurie is hunting him. She has an opportunity now to end him once and for all.
Jamie Lee Curtis is fantastic here and slips back into the role of Laurie Strode effortlessly. She is a survivor but she is damaged and her pain is etched across her face. You want her to survive, you want her to be able to protect her family and you want her to end Myers. No spoilers but the finale is thrilling and a fitting way to wrap things up.
This film beings Halloween back to its roots and everyone involved can be proud of its effectiveness but it is not without its faults. Don’t expect the slasher genre to be redefined as the original did in 1978. Halloween in 2018 doesn’t have any fresh ideas but that is less its fault and more the fault of the horror genre itself.
There are attempts at comedy and while a few jokes hit, there are also quite a few misses. One character in particular starts to reach annoying levels but thankfully they are ‘offed’ shortly afterwards. It seems as though this humour was added to try and alleviate the tension but it just isn’t needed.
Happily, the overwhelming feeling that comes from viewing this new Halloween is one of satisfaction. Even the music, a mix of the classic tunes and modern, fresher variations will put a silly smile on faces. Horror fans will love it…Halloween fans will love it.
The Bogeyman does exist.
The Final Score - 8/10