Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.
ActorsStarring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner, Nick Castle, Miles Robbins, Toby Huss, Jefferson Hall, Haluk Bilginer, Christopher Allen Nelson, Omar J. Dorsey, Dylan Arnold, Rhian Rees, James Jude Courtney, Hannah Russell, Drew Scheid, Charlie Benton, Carmela McNeal, Jared Moser, Marian Green, Diva Tyler, Vince Mattis, Pedro Lopez, Koby Griffin, Chris Holloway, Rob Niter, Omar Azimi, Michael Harrity, Brittani Cox, Edward Stachyra, Michael Smallwood, Jibrail Nantambu, David Lowe, Johnny Price, Brien Gregorie, Ranisha Wood, Matthew Anderson, Angela Anderson, W.F. Bell, Willie Tyrone Ferguson, Aaron Christian Paderewski, Anthony Woodle
The original “Halloween” was released in 1978, and this is the eleventh in the franchise, this film coming out 40 years after the John Carpenter movie. The 1978 version cost around $320,000 to make and yet brought in gross revenues of over $40 million, more than 100 times its budget. This made it one of the most successful independent films ever made, spawning the seemingly endless succession of sequels. The 30-year-old Carpenter, a graduate of the film School of Southern California, not only directed and co-wrote the 1978 film but wrote its haunting soundtrack too, as he did in most of his movies.
This film stars the original actress, Jamie Lee Curtis, in her role of Laurie Strode, whose sister was murdered by the psychopathic Michael Myers on Halloween night. It is also set in Haddonfield, the mythical mid-west town whose comfortable suburbs, detached houses and happy families were exactly what Carpenter wanted as a contrast for the violence that was to unfold. The 2018 version is directed and co-written by Dave Gordon Green, who is known for comedy rather than horror. However, although there are a couple of witty lines of dialogue, this is very much a horror film rather than a horror comedy.
The Halloween 2018 is knowing in that it references the original film in many ways. Some of the famous shots in the original are reprised, but often with a twist. As Laurie’s grand-daughter distractedly looks out of her school window she sees Laurie and not Michael Myers. The famous scene where the young Laurie was trapped in a wardrobe gets not one but two reprises, again with a twist. The music is by John Carpenter once again, who has updated and tweaked his terrific original score. The good thing is that all these references do not feel forced – if you had never seen the original then you would not be missing anything in terms of the flow of the action. The direction itself is good, the movie moving along at a good pace, the shock moments delivering quite well, if not quite with the panache and sheer terror of the original. It is trickier for directors to really frighten audiences these days because films like the 1978 Halloween did such a good job of educating audiences in the language of horror films – everyone these day knows to not go down to that dark cellar on their own and to check that a seemingly dead assailant is really a corpse and not about to recover and stab you in the back. This said, I felt that the 2018 remake did about as good a job as could reasonably be made of a remake. It is respectful to the original, it paid homage to it, but delivers a stand-alone scary film.