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Matthew Brady's Movie Reviews (2345)

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Halloween (2018) 
Halloween (2018) - Review
3/4 stars

“Happy Halloween, Michael”.

Forget Jigsaw and Paranormal Activity, because The Shape is back and he’s taking back Halloween.

At first I wasn’t sure what to expect when hearing rumors of a remake or reboot of this worn out franchise, which should’ve stopped in 1978. Heck, even when this was announced, I rolled my eyes. However, my interest peaked when Jamie Lee Curtis would be reprising the role as Laurie Strode and Nick Castle as Michael Myers. The new creators made it clear this is a continuation of the original, not a reboot. Plus John Carpenter returning to composer new music for the film. Everything was set and this quickly became my most anticipated movie of fall. And the results are quite interesting.

Halloween (2018) is a lot of fun and a solid return to form. Not great, just good. There are flaws and some wasted potential, especially having an identity crisis. However, it will satisfy any Halloween fan for how well they respected the source material and the characters - erasing the sequels that came before it. With all the different interpretations over the years following Carpenter vision, yet I can say David Gordon Green followed it up closely.

Jamie Lee Curtis is absolutely fantastic in this movie and probably gives the best performance of her career. Judging from the promotional material, I initially thought it’s going for the trope of strong “hard as nails” female lead without any character. Nothing could be further from the truth. We instead get a powerful look on trauma, especially the dinner table scene. This only transforms her into a strong and bad-ass lead with a fantastic character arc. By the end, she’s not the victim anymore.

Michael is back and brutal than ever. A nasty force of nature and the film works wonderfully whenever his on screen. More in line with Rob Zombie's version in terms of how he kills. Even when you don’t fully see the kill, it’s the sound work and the aftermath that leaves a horrific sight. And you feel bad for some of the victims, as the film at least gives some of them a character before biting the dust. It’s more terrifying with no context for his killings that the sequels, to put it bluntly, “f**ked up”. You really do get the sense that he is, purely and simply, evil.

David Gordon Green, best known for comedies and also dramas like “Joe” and “Stronger”, not forgetting those two. Him and Danny Mcbride, a comedy duo, making a new Halloween movie is something you never thought would happen. I mean, if you ask me seven years ago when “Your Highness” came out, that these guys future project will be the next Halloween - I would stare at you in awe for how crazy you sound - now here we are. What stood out to me is how Gordon Green went old school and made the wise choice of keeping Michael in the shadows. When unmasked, it's hard to make out his face. I also liked the reverse-parallels to the original film. This being his first horror movie, I thought this was a good attempt.

The new score from John Carpenter is the highlight of the film. The mix of retro and modern flawlessly blended. ”Michael Kills Again” and "The Shape Hunts Allyson" are instant classic. I know there's no chance of it winning, but I hope this soundtrack at least gets nominated for best Original Score at the Oscars.

Sadly, this is where my problems come in. The second act is devoted to Laurie's granddaughter and some weak teenager drama that I couldn't care less for. Along with her friends who are just bait for Michael. We’re wasting time watching these characters while the most compelling element of the film is brushed aside.

The comedic aspects didn’t work for me. I didn’t laugh at any of the humor, as it took away the suspense. When you get a scene with two police officers in a car talking about their lunch or get a line like “I got peanut butter on my penis”, it doesn't fit the tone. As I said early, this suffers from an identity crisis.

Also Dr. Sartain (Michael’s doctor) is literally one of the worst characters in the movie. Without spoiling anything, but the shift in character comes out of nowhere and the reasoning behind it is ridiculous. Nothing good came out of it.

I wish the tension and suspense was heightened up during scenes when it was needed. Because Michael seems to appear in places with no build up. No shots of him waiting or stalking, just the striking. The finale felt a bit rushed and anticlimactic, in my opinion.

Overall rating: Despite the flaws, I still think this is a solid movie and worth checking out.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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