Let me just say that this 2018 entry of “Halloween” is definitely trying to capture that old style slasher film, with a few touches of modern sensibilities in terms of social themes. I say that because during the first few acts of the movie, with the time it’s taking setting up the characters and the premise, I was afraid that it wouldn’t grab the attention of today’s movie going audience. That’s due to it being less “in-your-face” or self-aware like some horror films are nowadays. Half way through the movie though, I think it made me completely ignore what I was concerned about.
The simplicity and basic nature of a slasher film is very much present here. It’s nothing fancy. It’s got some jump scare fake outs. It shows Michael Myers creepily stalk his prey. The helplessness of the victims sets the tone. The increasing amount of people who get murdered elevates the tension. The bravery of Laurie Strode gives us the protagonist to root for. The inclusion of Laurie’s family into the story makes it feel more personal. The OHMYGOD did Michael Myers just head-stomped that guy?!!!
I suppose I could argue that the increase in gory violence, and the adversarial nature of Laurie and Michael, does give it more of a modern take after all. They probably could have even called this movie “Laurie Strode vs Michael Myers.” All the new touches are appreciated, and shows some growth with the franchise, without tossing away everything we loved about the 1978 original. I mean it’s still got some stupid coincidences, or plot conveniences, that you’re going to have to suspend your disbelief with. This isn’t some meta deconstruction of a genre. It’s more of an homage. If you’re willing to accept this fact; the good and the bad that comes with this genre, then you should enjoy watching the movie.
While “Halloween” doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel with this 2018 film, it does give it a nice jolt of electricity to bring back some interest to a franchise that people have already written off. With that I thank David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Jeff Fradley, and of course John Carpenter, for reminding us why Michael Myers isn’t somebody you should keep in the past.
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