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Jamie Lee Curtis – Laurie Strode
James Jude Courtney – Michael Myers
Judy Greer – Karen
Will Patton – Frank
Andi Matichak – Allyson
Haluk Bilginer – Dr. Ranbir Sartain
Rhian Rees – Dana Haines
Jefferson Hall – Aaron Korey
Toby Huss – Ray
Now what can I say about this one? How can I put the return of Michael Myers in to words? (I mean other than “forty years later he escapes from an institution and finds Laurie again”)? Although this is the plot of the movie, and as shown in the trailer involves confrontation between all sorts of characters. The best thing about Halloween is four things:
The overall anticipation at the return of both lead characters.
The introduction of new and related characters.
The directing style of David Gordon Green which sees Michael – banged up since the 1970’s – take to the streets of 2018 Haddonfield.
The history and popularity of the story itself.
Halloween returning forty years later wasn’t a bad idea. I’m sure there were groans and a few tuts around the globe when the trailer first hit the internet, but screw it – Myers is one of history’s most famous faces so I am certain thousands of people were eagerly awaiting his return. As was I. Halloween was a huge part of my life from a very young age. I still remember it being screened on TV in the late 80’s / early 90’s; shown at around 11pm on the actual night for years, I remember sneaking out of bed and into the living room to catch a glimpse of the ‘weird man with a white face’. And if my parents wouldn’t allow me to watch it, I would infiltrate my dad’s VHS tape collection at some stage the following year to see what the hype was about (the most terrifying thing though was discovering his porn collection).
School friends loved it, I loved it, even Lee (the odd kid who lived down my street) would lend me the VHS of each instalment to devour because his mum had them all. Halloween is the sort of movie that represents an era for people I think, the same as with a song: when you hear a particular beat it transports you back to 1987, 1993, 2000, etc. And that is what makes the whole franchise special – it’s memorable. It’s stamped its mark on history. And I think this was enough of a reason to pop along to East Didsbury on October 19th 2018 – about 29 years on from first discovering Halloween – to reunite myself with two characters who were also about to reunite…
My first observation of this movie is its direction, how it blends the past with the present. Watching Michael strut down a suburban street in 2018 with lots of young children running around him as they take part in trick or treating was slightly surreal. Especially when a pair of littleun’s accidentally smash into him whilst on their way down the street; Michael holds his arms out to steady them – and the boys naturally make their excuses – before they run along (shown in trailer). And having the famous foe walk freely into the homes of random people he subsequently butchers is strangely gripping; this time around viewers get full on graphic stabbings (the woman at the window is vicious) and hefty body language as Michael gives them his ‘welcome home’ gift. Unlike the 1978 version whereby teenage girls were seen pressed against fogged-up car windows whilst being asphyxiated, this version brings it – 2018 style, and continues the story of Michael and Laurie with a more modern twist.
I have to say it: I was unimpressed with Michael’s mask. For some reason the producers wanted to turn it into leather and sit on it for a few decades before handing it to Courtney to wear. What used to scare the shit out of me in the late 80’s looked worn and creaky. It wasn’t as freaky as the mask we saw back then; an incredibly plain piece of white rubber / plastic which was so simplistic in design it needed nothing else to make it sinister. This time round Michael looked like a creaky old tree stump.
And with a classic face seeming to have fallen off, it soon came down to the actual face off between the pair who started it all..
Expect a dramatic build-up to Michael and Laurie reuniting as Lee Curtis performs her socks off emotionally. The scene where she sits in her car screaming over the release of Michael is sharp, pulls their history together in a split second. And then of course you witness the turbulent relationship between Strode and her daughter Karen, which radiates sadness at the same time as anger between the pair. Greer is a great addition to the cast, especially during the movie’s final moments. The actress comes together with Lee Curtis to deliver – literally – an explosive finale filled with enough tension to keep the viewer on their toes, anticipating the fate of each character. Especially Michael. And it’s slick too, with Laurie at full control of her specially rigged house that she unwittingly lures Michael to. Brace yourself for gunfire, actual fire, booby traps, blades and remote-control furniture which gives way to a secret room..
It’s the confrontation you want to stick around for though. As shown in the trailer Laurie spots Michael through a bedroom window and shoots at him, subsequently shattering the window – and a mirror projecting his image (because a perfect shot directly in someone’s face couldn’t go to plan in a movie like this, could it). This is just a taster though, later on the pair come head to head (oh, the irony) when Michael finally shows up on her doorstep and smashes through the front door.. what he does to Laurie’s skull is bloody nasty (prepare for some vulgar crunching sound effects as she is attacked from the other side of the door). The brutal action mixed with a pounding soundtrack ensures a finale bursting with adrenaline.
But who wins?..
Whilst the final scene involves some high tension, it’s how the movie ends that leaves a lot to be desired. The main downer of this movie is how quickly it wraps itself up and finishes so abruptly. Viewers have had a forty year gap between Carpenter’s original and this sequel, and yet the feature concludes by having Strode lead the story out as swiftly as a person grabbing their bag and heading for the gym (and probably just as mundane). The camera work is also a little shabby in these final few seconds, giving Halloween an amateur feel rather than a BANG! HAVE THAT! kind of closing which would have been better. Myers shows up – Strode defends her family – a booby trap goes off – Strode legs it with her daughter and granddaughter. I personally felt a bit deflated. Tricked into an anticlimax I expected much more from.
Have you seen the original Halloween movie? If yes – watch this. It’s only right the viewer should complete the journey of Laurie Strode from 1978 to 2018. And although this sequel may have its downsides, it is certainly entertaining from beginning to end.
I personally found it a bit strange, having to void the existence of any previous instalment of the franchise and look at the story anew – especially as the lead female character actually died in Halloween Resurrection. But in the end it all comes down to entertainment, Halloween season needs a decent horror flick and who better to grace the screen than this nasty bastard?
I’m afraid if you still remember Laurie dying in ‘Resurrection you’re just going to have to forget about it. Just imagine this 2018 version is set in a parallel world or something.
Sit back, relax, and feast upon the return of Michael Myers: one of the biggest, “you should have listened to me” moments in history.