Arts & Culture

Review: ‘Halloween’ brings the spooks

Jacob VanHoutan, Staff Writer

“Halloween” is the newest sequel to the groundbreaking slasher series and heralds back to the first in a way that no other film has previously done before. This film is the only sequel to the original and opens 40 years after it was first released. Laurie Strode is spending her every waking moment preparing for Michael’s inevitable return. And when he does come back, the question becomes how many people will get in the way of Michael’s unstoppable killing spree.

David Gordon Green is the director of this film, and he clearly has an affinity for the original film. He and co-writer Danny McBride set out to make it worthy of the name “Halloween” and to prove that it can be done. Michael feels like an unstoppable killing machine again, and nothing and no one will stand in his way. There are so many great homages to the original including some very noticeable visual comparisons. And the opening titles that involve an inflating pumpkin help establish the feeling that it is a “Halloween” film.

The main character, Laurie Strode has spent her entire life training herself. Jamie Lee Curtis is truly great in this role and shows us just how crazy you would be if you spent your whole life living like this. And we see the kind of effect it would have on your children as well through Karen, played by Judy Greer. Greer gives a really good performance and shows similar PTSD to Laurie because of her own messed up childhood. We do get the third generation of strodes with Andi Matichak as Allyson, but I didn’t find her character as interesting. We do spend a good amount of the film with her, but I didn’t find her character as interesting as her mother or grandmother.

The rest of the characters are well crafted, but they are there to give a little bit of depth and then get killed off. It isn’t a bad thing, but it is very expected considering the genre we are working with here. While the other side characters aren’t interesting, when they are killed off, it is very well executed. Each kill is extremely visceral and shows off just how well done everything is in the film. The film also doesn’t glorify every kill either, allowing us as an audience to savor the moments where we do get a lot of blood and guts.

There is just so much care given to each element of the film that makes it stand above the predecessors in every way. The production design is perfect and really feels like they took all the original films sets and just filmed in them. John Carpenter, the director of the original, returns to score this film, and the tweaks he adds to it really show us the evolution of the series and the time we are in. Halloween does have a few contrived moments and elements, but the film’s execution is the best since the original that it makes up for it. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend you go see it as soon as you can.

This article was originally published in the Nov. 2, 2018 issue.