Halloween (2018): A Tragic Misstep in Horror
Forty years ago, John Carpenter delivered upon us a horror masterpiece with the perfect blend of suspense and terror juxtaposed against the creepiest night of the year. The franchise was almost finished after Rob Zombie got ahold of it, but somehow it was able to be resurrected once again…and I am not down.
David Gordon Green’s Halloween is a continuation of the original Carpenter flick and eliminates all other sequels as canon, including Halloween 2. The film picks up with Laurie Strode (reprised by the original Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis) living like a paranoid recluse waiting for the day Michael Myers returns for her head. From the experiences of that terrible Halloween night in 1978, Laurie’s personal life suffers from estranged family relationships and is deemed as nothing but the village crazy lady. Of course, they were wrong.
As you can assume, Michael breaks loose and makes his way for Haddonfield following a bloody body count. This time, Laurie is well prepared for the Bogey Man. When I say well-prepared, I mean, this lady has more trap doors than H.H. Holmes. Yeah, people die, in some pretty awesome ways, specifically one that involves Michaels size 15 boot and a very unfortunate cranium. Along with all the death, an incredible score provided by John Carpenter that really holds this film together. This flick was hyped up for the two years and upon its nationwide release, it will divide the most devoted horror fans, but it seemed like the real motive of the BLumhouse producers was to lure a new generation while cashing in on another billion-dollar franchise. As it is certain to kill the box office, I was only certain of one thing… it wasn’t scary!
The whole flick should have been over in five minutes, especially, since Laurie has been waiting for forty years expecting the embodiment of pure evil to return to her doorstep. Plus, the extensive training using firearms and hand-to-hand combat, she should be looking for for this asshole that’s basically ruined her entire life. As predictable as it was, the real issue was the disregard for logic in the script. The whole time I was laughing at how incredibly ignorant the characters were of the situation at hand. I suppose that was entertaining in itself but forty years and they still look dumb!
I wanted to love this movie. I really did and it wasn’t the worst film I have ever seen. It did have some fun moments. The score was great, the acting was superb, and Michael, as always, was a brutal killing machine, but none of those qualities function without tight direction and a good script. David Gordon Green’s direction ultimately falls short in the aspect of lurking fear. Alfred Hitchcock is quoted in regards to suspense, “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.” Did I suffer? Yes, but from boredom.
Trust me, if anybody understands this is a horror film, I do, and these bad decisions are not supposed to be surprising, but entertaining. Honestly, the best part of the film was the opening credits which showed a reversed time-lapse sequence of a rotting jack o’ lantern joined by that classic Carpenter theme. I know, the critics have been raving about how it takes horror back to a “basic” formula, but “basic” does not mean total lack of originality!(I guess I would be raving about this movie too if I was compensated generously for my generous words). Come on, Hollywood has been given more than enough time to make something comparable to the original, but once again, we are shown that a classic is deemed a classic for a reason. Now, I’m no film scholar, so don’t take my word for it. See for yourself and maybe we can debate the film’s more in-depth qualities. Mark my words, now you’re going to see reboots, remakes, reimaginings of every horror film franchise that used to scare us when were kids. Nothing is sacred.