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Halloween (2018) – Review

Halloween Review 2018

Not since Grumpy Old Men have two pensioners gone at each other in suburbia with such dislike. 40 years on from the 1978 original, Michael Myers returns with nothing to say (not realistic for old person), but is seen removing victims’ teeth out of jealousy.

Welcome back to my Midnight Movie Madness video series. Stick around for some special shortcut reviews: The Nun, The Predator, A Simple Favor, The House With A Clock In Its Walls, Venom, and Bad Times At The El Royale.


Previous Midnight Movie Madness: A Star Is Born


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9 Comments »

  • gd smith said

    I loved this film. I think the doctor character is supposed to be like the scientists who over empathise with and tries to rationalise the monster in 1950s films like The Thing From Another World (a big influence On Carpenter and arguably the original Halloween). Also I think he’s kind of there to hint that Myer’s evil is almost infectious. The music is awesome.

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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    I don’t normally like reviewers burping through film analysis but this changed my mind. Great characterisation, fully committed. Your editing remains one of the most underappreciated things on the internet.

    Finally saw Halloween last night, on bonfire night, go figure. After the hype (including my own) and incredible box office/reviews, I must admit I was slightly underwhelmed. Very much a remake-remix ala JJ Abrams (see Star Trek Into Darkness / Force Awakens). Michael is humanised/aged/has odds stacked against him to the point of not being frightening (at least for me), the kills are inconsistent in Michael-strength, the Myers-proof house is illogically dangerous, and the ending is a coward’s one. Of course lots of great stuff in there, like the unpredictability of the story flow (within a predictable framework), the atmosphere, and I liked the journalists’ role. Standout was the heartbreaking Laurie Strode characterisation in the first half an hour, and the overall nostalgia and care put into staying true to the original.

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    • gd smith said

      I don’t think they did humanise Myers. They stripped back the supernatural element and replaced it with the idea that he’s sort of like a shark or a tiger or a car speeding at you out of nowhere. They might get older or rust but if they want to kill you one on one you don’t really stand a chance at any age. An aging shark still has rows of teeth, a tiger still has it’s claws and an old car can still hit you at over 70mph. The point being that the human characters have tried to understand or anthropomorphise him/it. They have theories and traumas, want or think they can reach him. But there is nothing to understand. He wants you dead because that’s what he is designed to do. He is death or your fate coming for you in the dark.

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      • Sheridan Passell said
        Sheridan Passell

        His age alone (and early looks at much of his face) humanised him for me, it came with a frailty. As you say the film strips back the supernatural winking to a point where he just seemed like an old slow-moving guy who could take a lot of bullets. I enjoyed it all but were you actually scared?

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        • gd smith said

          I’m never scared by horror movies and haven’t been since I was about 8 years old or so. It’s the curse of being a horror fan. I don’t watch horror to be scared. I just like the aesthetics and ideas found in horror films.
          Personally, I thought MM was much slower in Halloween II and IV, where he had shrunk by about a foot and in other a raging tubby . In this film he kills the armed guards on a prison bus, a much younger video blogger who has a metal pipe, two teenage boys, two young women, a hunter, a kid with a gun, crushes a man’s skull with his boot and slaughters two armed police officers, one of whom he turns into a Jack-o’-lantern. All with ease. Now, you might perceive him as a frail old man, but he plainly isn’t one according to the rules of the film.

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          • Sheridan Passell said
            Sheridan Passell

            He was a podcaster, they’re generally weaker than video bloggers.

            I haven’t seen Halloween IV-VI, except clips of Paul Rudd on YouTube. I still get the chills sometimes from horror, like the slow-motion scream in It Follows, Ringu, or The Grudge remake in the cinema. Clearly it was the best Halloween since the first by a country mile. I just wanted to feel a bit more frightened by the sight of him.

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          • gd smith said

            Fair point about the podcaster! I also get the point about the chill factor. But I suspect it’s near impossible to get that effect from a long running series with a very established iconic monsters. The Alien films have the same sort of basic problem. when the films alter the premise too much or mess with the iconography the fan base can feel cheated. What I really liked was that it dispensed with the rules of slasher films stuff without it being a sort of meta joke.
            It Follows is good because it is centred on kids who are not archetypes like most film kids. There is no mean girl, no joker/wit, no genius, no hero and even the boyfriend’s actions are the result of desperate fear rather than malice. There’s also an intriguing mythology and it has bags of style. There have been a lot of very good horror films over the last few years doing interesting things in a fresh way.

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          • Sheridan Passell said
            Sheridan Passell

            Very true on the non-archetypes. I’m building up to a ‘top 20 chillers from the last 5 years’ and It Follows is the one to beat. What do you reckon rivals it? There’s The Witch, The Babadook, etc.

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  • gd smith said

    I really like The Blackcoat’s Daughter, The Monster and Green Room. They all seem to have an unusually serious core. I’m also fond of Hell House LLC, IMO the best found footage film in years. They all have a growing cult audience.
    In the more widely reviewed vein, Better Watch Out is delightfully mean spirited. The Final Girls might be the most oddly charming and strangely moving meta slasher ever made. I liked Happy Death Day a lot.
    It’s very hard to keep abreast of any genre because so many films are released.In truth it’s never been easier to make a decent quality movie on a low budget and as result we’re living through an extraordinary burst of creativity. But a lot of films get lost because they fall under the banner of content and thus never develop a lasting audience.

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