Before I start with my glowing review for the new HALLOWEEN, I think I need to acknowledge something with a disclaimer: Yes, I realize that if you look deep down into this movies soul, it is the horror version of The Force Awakens, where it is a soft reboot of the original film, with certain scenes echoing and rhyming with everything that came before, and characters show up that are now older and wiser. But guess what? A. I think this was not only necessary, but can you really see a Michael Myers slasher film go anywhere outside the box, into weird, yet coherent and effective unfamiliar territory? And B. I really don’t care, because I enjoyed the hell out of this film. It was just the dark, gritty, gory, somewhat depressing horror film that I personally needed it to be. It hit all the right beats and notes, and there were times in the film where it was horrifying what I was watching, and I jumped and almost closed my eyes at parts. If my kid grows up and gets into the horror genre, and wants to know which path to take, I’ll tell him to watch the Original, the Original sequel, and H20, and stop there, completely skip the rest. Or watch the original, and now watch this…however, it remains to be seen if I’ll recommend more of this path, we’ll just have to see if there is anymore tricks up Blumhouse’s sleeve.
This movie completely disregards every single sequel to Halloween, yes, even Halloween II. And it thankfully doesn’t even acknowledge Rob Zombie’s horrible efforts to the franchise either. It is resetting the clock if you will, a new canon of events. Trying its best to seem familiar but also bring something grand and shocking to a new generation of movie goers that weren’t even born when the first one came out in theaters (like me). And I love that they did that, because if you even try to explain to anyone the psychic connections that Myers had with his niece or that III isn’t even really a part of the Myers canon…or dare I say it, Halloween Resurrection, it would make their head spin. Instead, we get a new take/performances on Laurie Strode, having had major 40 year PTSD after the first events of the film, having to have a showdown with Myers one final time, while also protecting her estranged family. Estranged because her daughter was taken away from her when she was 12 because she was loopy about serial killer over protection. I’ve read complaints that there is no way anyone would get that loopy about a individual who almost killed you and has been (until this film) locked up in a criminal psychiatric facility. But I know some real people that will have PTSD for the rest of their lives that don’t necessarily involve being killed by a serial killer, so I can completely see why Danny McBride and David Gordon Green wrote Laurie Strode this way. Not only was it logical and believable, but it was also to give Jamie Lee Curtis some new range in her acting career to play with. Something different. A victim, but a survivor, a very strong and vengeful survivor.
And Jamie Lee Curtis knocks it out of the fucking park. I loved her performance in this film which made me love everything overall that much more. The only thing I have to complain about this film is that I was the ending was more definite (like the end of Halloween H20, until Resurrection fucked up everything). There are two ways to take it (don’t worry, I’m not going to ruin anything): one way being if this movie was a flop at the box office and they were finally going to stop making these movies, the other way, it’s a huge hit and because greedy Hollywood producers bc money bc why not. And guess what? I’m writing this review after already knowing that this film was a huge hit this past weekend. So you can now probably take the ending the second way of how it is supposed to be when you eventually view the film if you are interested. And if you are a fan of any of these kinds of horror slashers, or maybe just Michael Myers, I completely recommend this film. Michael kills people pretty God damn brutally, I’d say the most brutal I’ve seen in any of the Halloween films. The film is dark, some bits of humor here and there, but nothing to take you out of the film. It’s gritty, filled with some great character moments (especially from Will Patton, Judy Greer and newcomer Andi Matichak) and even has a twist midway through the film that I did not see coming at all, one that I accepted immediately, and thought it brought some much needed depth to the franchise.
The film expertly makes use of practical effects and dead bodies/people getting killed. I think I maybe saw just one CGI knife blood splatter. In showing some of the aftermath of Michael Myers kills, director David Gordon Green goes for a kind of homage to David Cronenberg body horror. That is to say that there is body place here or there on a dead body that is wickedly out of proportion in an almost cartoon like realistic way to show the brutality of Michael Myers’ killings. It was actually quite genius, the make-up effects here are extremely well done to the fact that most of what you see were probably realistic enough movie dummies, covered up in a way that you are supposed to think it is the real thing on screen. Way too much CGI in horror these days to where when you see Michael Myers slam his foot on a characters face mid way through the film, and you can tell it was a hollow dummy head filled with fake brain guts, fake bits of shattered skull, and real fake movie blood, that you can’t help but thank the makers for putting a big giant smile on your face.
And most importantly, Michael Myers is back. He is dark, brooding, vicious, everything you could’ve ever hoped for in this film. The most deadly silent killer. This was easily the best take on the character since the first. Everything in the film flowed together perfectly and neatly for me. There are going to be some die hard Halloween fans that dislike or absolutely hate this film for what it does. And that is perfectly okay. We all have our tastes, dreams, and desires for what we would like to see in a film like this. Fortunately for me, this film checked all those off multiple times. I thought it was masterful. I know all of you will scoff at that word, but I did think that word when leaving the theater. It was exactly the kind of horror film I needed this Halloween, and one of the best, if not complete best, sequels to any gritty horror film franchise (yes, I know about Evil Dead 2, Aliens, Dawn of the Dead, etc., etc. but I’m talking more gritty, completely dark horror films, not parody horror, comedic horror, or action sci-fi sequels). So I loved this new Halloween. Granted, I really want them to stop right here and leave Michael Myers on a high note, but we all know that is not going to happen. So until we finally get that shitty sequel you know is down the line, let us bask in the glory of what we got this weekend. Happy Halloween everyone!