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Halloween 2018 amazingly underwhelms

Where to begin with Halloween? For the fans keeping track at home, this is the fourth timeline realignment for our Haddonfield heroes. The first came with the idea of starting an anthology series with Part 3. The second came with the later Akkad films rushing to bring back Loomis and Myers. The third came with the H20 push that ignored the second change. Then, came the fourth turn with the Rob Zombie era. Now, we’re handing the franchise over to the creative team behind Eastbound & Down.

David Gordon Green is an immense talent. George Washington, All the Real Girls, Manglehorn and Joe are all incredibly character driven movies. What those films didn’t have to do was balance 40 years of cultural weight into 90 minutes. Danny McBride has been on record discussing the plan to shoot two Halloween movies at the same time. While I get the desire to wait to judge audience response, this film’s finale seems to require that commitment.

The fan push to have John Carpenter involved in the film feels almost meaningless. He works on the soundtrack with his son and gets to take some sweet executive creator money off the top. That’s great, but it doesn’t get a Black Moon Rising Blu-ray in my hands any faster. At this point, I can feel everyone whining that I’m not talking about the film. Well, it’s hard to cover a 90 minute movie that hits the ground running fast.

The nature of the 70s slasher movie and its subsequent successful revivals hinges on its understanding of tempo. Timing is the horror movie’s enemy and Halloween (2018) understands that. Nothing shows off bad design, terrible scripting and plot holes like lingering on a moment. This film was no different, as it went through a heavy edit period after negative test audience reviews to the original ending. While I didn’t like what was in the theatrical cut, I worry about what could have been worse.

What does it mean to have Jamie Lee Curtis return yet again to Laurie Strode? This is her 5th time at bat as Laurie. Honestly, I don’t feel like she has much to say. Maybe it’s because I felt Laurie’s story was done in 1981. Hell, I could stand to see what Tommy Jarvis or Nancy Thompson is doing now before Laurie Strode. Even then, the horror nostalgia trips to the well keep annoying me.

Each generation needs its monsters. The constant push to recycle old hat, while ignoring solid new efforts bugs me on a deep level. Do I love Michael Myers? Sure. Hell, I wore a Rabbit in Red Lounge shirt to the screening. It’s just somewhere between realizing that I was in the same theater where I saw Halloween H20, that I felt something in the back of my brain. Am I going to be here in 20 years watching Elderly Laurie Strode still being chased by Michael Myers? I say all of this and Green/McBride could drop a sequel that blows the back of my head off.

Oh well, such is the nature of the American horror film. We all still rush out to Zombie movies and we’re always going to retread the 1978-1988 all star squadron. However, we only give a Zombie one chance to do his own thing with Michael Myers.


The ultimate takeaway for Halloween 2018 is the same thing that kicked me in the gut on Solo. I like revisiting old favorites, but the effort never seems that necessary. Halloween wasn’t in that bad of a place after Halloween II: Rob Zombie Edition. The effort to revitalize felt more on par with Superman Returns than The Thing (1982). Now, if you want to hear about a horror revamp that threw the damn book out the window…give me a week or two.


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