FILM REVIEW – ‘HALLOWEEN’ (2018)

Currently in theaters is Halloween – the 2018 sequel to the original 1978 horror film that has long-since become legendary. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the early press screening, courtesy of Allied Marketing and Regal Cinemas. Shot in what looks to be an older format, complete with the original fonts and all – undoubtedly for the purposes of giving it a retro feel in line with the original, we’re told this is the conclusion of the original 1978 Halloween slasher flick. Yes, that means they’re tossing out all the other movies between ’78 and now. Why, I have no idea, but there it is.

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If you’ve watched every one of the movies in the Halloween franchise, you might be a little perturbed by this. Personally, I’m a little confused by their decision to throw out cannon in order to kill the franchise, but, hey, I’m sure they’ve good reason. Right?

Now, if you’ve seen the first Halloween movie, you know how it ended. Michael Myers ends up locked silently away in a sanitarium to be studied by Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance). Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) is alive but horribly traumatized by the night’s events.

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This movie drops us forward forty years to the now. Michael is still locked silently away in his sanitarium being studied by Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilgnier), and Laurie Strode is hiding in her house in the woods on the outskirts of town. Obviously, something is about to happen that’s going to release the monster, setting off another killing spree. It wouldn’t be a new slasher flick otherwise. I’m not going to tell you what it is, but I will say it’s a familiar horror trope, so you won’t be surprised by it.

The movie relies heavily on jump scares and gory violence, as it should since it’s a slasher flick and not a psychological thriller, though, there are a few 70’s style psychological effects shots where they pan back and forth between a scary scene and the effect the scene has on a character. These were a little out of place for me, but I’m guessing they were a nod to the original, and I was perfectly okay with it.

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As for the plot, it had more than the previous movies, which is better than the same old mindless killer-kills-people plot. It had substance, if not a whole lot of it. All of the secondary characters were a little anemic, except for Julian (Jibrail Nantambu) who steals the scene in his bit part. I know I’m asking a lot from an under two hours horror movie, but, after 40 years, a little more character development would’ve been nice.

It might not have been the ending we wanted, be, we’re promised that it is the end. I’m not so sure, having seen the “end” so many movies before. We’ll just have to see. It was nice seeing Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role once more.

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The Bottom Line:
Overall, Halloween was a fine 40-years-later slasher sequel that did its job as a big theater horror movie released in October. It has all the gruesome killing, scares, and violence set among a spooky small town backdrop that a slasher needs. Was the movie good? Depends on who you ask. I liked it, but others, not so much. Letting go of canon might be a bit too much to ask of some fans. Was it on-par with the rest of the Halloween movies? Yes, maybe a little too on-par. Ultimately, it did its job, and that’s really a lot more than you can say for most Hollywood horror films these days. Go see it. It’s fun. You won’t be disappointed if you just go into it expecting a fun slasher flick, and not some Earth shattering experience, like apparently a lot of other critics must have. And hey, it’s not Jason X or the Rob Zombie remakes, so that’s a big plus. – 7.5/10.

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-Hannah Collins
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine

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