Halloween Review: Magnificent Marketing, Mediocre Movie

Halloween Review: Magnificent Marketing, Mediocre Movie

October 24, 2018 0 By Jeff Fountain

I can’t lie. I was happy to be revisiting Halloween again, even if I was a bit leery at what to expect. With nostalgia tugging at me from every direction, I watched the latest adaptation of this franchise and came away with the conclusion that for all my love for The Shape, Curtis and company it is really time to let the franchise die. While not horrible, it had some solid scenes and tense moments, there was not enough here in terms of quality and originality, leaving too many scenes predictable and honestly, not very good.

Nostalgia is indeed what drives this movie as let’s face it, almost everyone knows the story. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has almost gone feral, locking and loading in preparation for The Shape’s eventual return. This ‘dedication’, Myers has now been in jail for forty years, has also alienated her from her daughter Karen (Judy Greer). All those years obsessively teaching her daughter to defend herself has done more harm than good. Laurie does have some kind of relationship with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) which completes the trio of main characters that pretty much dominate the movie. After the bus transferring Myers and some other prisoners to a new facility crashes it all hits the fan and let the body count begin.

The opening of the film has some great visual sequences at the institution Myers calls home. A pair of podcasters, intent on finding out more about both Michael and Laurie after all of these years, pay both of them a visit with different results. Initially, I was scratching my head on how and why the one podcaster would want to bring Myers his old mask and try to get a rise out of him. I mean, this sounds both dumb and breaking a ton of hospital rules, especially those surrounding The Shape. However, some of that did explain itself later, too bad it was in the shape of a very poorly written character.

There are some good parts in this film, moments that screamed all the great tropes of horror, like tension, dread, and fear. However, these moments were few and far between, with director David Gordon Green spending most of the movie simply making a modern Halloween. This ended up ringing hollow in the end as there was too much time spent on that love affair with past and not enough time with the task at hand.

Death comes to many in this film but honestly, there is very little gore. The higher than normal body count might sound good but there are just too many characters we don’t care about anyways and I was glad that more than a few of them died. This didn’t stop some truly idiotic decisions by characters to keep popping up, I guess this is the writers dumbing things down for their audience, and some things really make absolutely no sense. What was with the jog through the woods? The artsy shot of the mannequins? Also, a babysitter was watching a child who just…disappears?

Of course, everything is focused on getting Myers to Laurie’s House of 1000 Traps and the big showdown and for a while, it was entertaining, if not predictable. There were good moments, blind corners, great shadows, building some actual tension. But before too long, stupidity took hold, like a dog clamping down on its favorite chew toy, and it just wouldn’t let go. Then there was the ending…I’m not sure what they were thinking here, except a sequel of course, but the final solution to try and stop The Shape was not very creative at all.

The marketing machine behind Halloween was brilliant, building it slowly over a period of time and making sure to pull those nostalgia strings we all have for both this genre and franchise as hard as they damn well could. It brought the audiences to the theater in droves and with horror now riding high these days, they might come back for multiple viewings, who knows? Carpenter is always a hard act to follow and while David Gordon Green and company might have had the best of intentions, the end result was a mediocre installment in a franchise that quite frankly has run out of gas.

Two and a half stars out of five