HALLOWEEN (2018) Reviews of the “reimagining”

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‘Face your fate’
Halloween is a 2018 American slasher horror feature film directed by David Gordon Green from a screenplay co-written with actor Danny McBride (Alien: Covenant). Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode, Judy Greer plays Karen Strode and Andi Matichak plays her daughter, Allyson.

“The plotting doesn’t quite stick the landing, especially the one development that is so flat-out bad I docked an extra half point off, but the core cast is good to great, as is the violence and the gore. Everything really clicks at the finale, which makes sense considering the film exists to pit Laurie against Michael. And in this capacity, Halloween doesn’t disappoint.” Bloody Disgusting

“The ultimate showdown between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode is a satisfying one, perhaps even more so than their now-retconned face-off in Halloween H20, as Laurie’s dire emotional state heighten the stakes. Most importantly, David Gordon Green’s Halloween makes Michael Myers scary again.” Broke Horror Fan

” …doesn’t look to reinvent any wheel, but instead to just do what it’s supposed to do very well. Jamie Lee Curtis transforms Laurie into a credible badass, honed by her PTSD into a vigilante on a mission. Judy Greer gets a scene-stealing moment. And Green slips in some outstanding nods and visual cues to the original that had our Midnight audience howling with glee.” CinemaBlend

“David Gordon Green’s Halloween may not be perfect, but it’s exactly the rough-and-tumble twenty-first century sequel that Carpenter’s film deserves […] Somehow, the improbable combination of Green and McBride with an impassioned-as-ever Jamie Lee Curtis in tow has finally broken the series’ long tradition of disappointment. It turns out that if you’re Michael Myers, you can go home again.” Cinemixtape

“Granted, amid the recent wave of reboots it was naïve to hope this revival would do much more than the minimum, once the name and casting had done the heavy lifting in luring people to the theater. While drawing a straight line back to John Carpenter’s original might be a neat trick, except perhaps for those who are a lot more invested in the franchise than this critic admittedly is, it’s not much of a treat.” CNN

Halloween is a shining example of what any other budding slasher reboot or sequel should strive to be, a film that doesn’t just lean on what made the character popular to begin with or explain that character away with backstory to the point that you obliterate the scare factor entirely. This Halloween movie is a near perfect blend of craft, character growth and nostalgia.” Collider

“Forgiving its flaws, a big body count featuring several familiar and fresh kills, a solid cast of notable names, and a no muss, no fuss approach to slasher storytelling make Halloween probably the second best film in the saga.” Culture Crypt

” …Halloween (2018) somehow gave me everything I had been hoping for as a fan (who is probably just a little too invested in this series), and nothing I could have ever expected, either. It’s easily the most satisfying time I’ve had with a franchise film in some time, and I think David Gordon Green and everyone involved have created a modern masterpiece that’s just as great as Carpenter’s original.” Daily Dead

“Bodycount is vastly increased. Gore levels and imaginative kills are amped up to modern day horror norms. And gender and sexual politics have progressed too; young women don’t get offed for banging their boyfriends but one neat scene suggests even Myers hasn’t let the #MeToo movement pass him by either.” Den of Geek!

“It’s only really let down by one signposted and needless twist that, thankfully, doesn’t linger too long and can be forgiven in the context of everything that’s right about Halloween […] Green and his co-writers have come up with a terrific slasher that could have just as much impact on a new generation as the original did back in 1978. It’s that good.” Digital Spy

“Paced very similarly to the original, there are peaks and valleys that allow the shock of deaths to linger before we move on to the next helpless victim. It’s also a chance for the story and characters to develop, which it does quite smoothly. Questions that might arise almost all have good answers, so plot holes are kept to a minimum. And for as intense as it is, Halloween is surprisingly emotional and touching at moments while fiercely hilarious at others.” Dread Central

“Serving as a love letter to the classic Carpenter film, it makes moves towards being about something greater. Sure, it occasionally meanders into some boring territory and starts off with a subplot that doesn’t seem necessary in any way, but the way it captures the essence of the original and marries it to new themes of trauma, family, and learning to let go, is a great way to continue the series.” Goomba Stomp

“There are some effectively nasty kills (this is no PG-13 reboot) and Green’s visual eye often results in some impressive imagery but both the look of the film and the script feel confused. Green can’t seem to decide whether he wants it to be gritty and lo-fi or slick and cinematic and so ends up awkwardly between the two, anything resembling an atmosphere sorely missing.” The Guardian

“David Gordon Green gets to live a fanboy’s dream with Halloween, clearing the franchise of decades of crud and starting over with a sequel that pretends no movies ever happened after John Carpenter’s geek-beloved, genre-launching original […] delivering both fan service and honest-to-god moviemaking of the sort rarely seen in horror spinoffs.” The Hollywood Reporter

“There was an opportunity for greatness here, a movie that focused on Laurie, her daughter and granddaughter and the complicated and painful relationship. And maybe a passing nod to Laurie’s now-adult son. Instead we get a suspenseful glimpse into crazy prepper who has her worst-case scenario come true. Good… but not as good as it could have been.” Horrorfreak News

“Green strikes the perfect balance between knowing, tongue-in-cheek nostalgia and untrammelled horror. The film has some very nasty moments indeed. Green takes a sadistic pleasure in showing Myers dragging his victims by their feet or impaling them as if they are trophy kills from some hunting expedition.” Independent

“There’s no getting around some of the messy staging and clunky dialogue that keeps Halloween from reaching greater heights for the bulk of its running time. But Carpenter’s own Halloween was itself a bumpy ride, made on the cheap, but carried along by the director’s firm grasp on his potent themes. The new one works overtime to keep them intact, while communing with the first installment in every possible way.” IndieWire

While gory, Green’s film is more like Carpenter’s original than the slasher clones that followed it, opting for a classier approach. There’s no shortage of violence, but it’s not gratuitous. Still, it gets very dark indeed, with seemingly no one on the safe list when Myers starts doing his thing […] this is a lean, mean, old-school slasher…” Joblo.com

“Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her iconic role as the original Final Girl, Laurie Strode, now an older woman still dealing with the trauma of Michael Meyers’ attack some 40 years on. Basically, the film turns her into Sarah Connor, and she and Michael have a “final” showdown. It’s funny and gory and full of jokes and jump scares.It’s an all-around good time.” Lewton Bus

“Director Green and co-writers Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley give Michael Myers his due… but they also know Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode is much more worthy of our attention. It takes a little too long to get going, but the only thing that really matters is whether this new Halloween can deliver a satisfying climax, and it absolutely does.” Now Toronto

” …there’s a difference between referencing something and actually incorporating it into a new vision. The former is just an echo, and that’s often what I felt watching Halloween—the echo of the original is loud, but that’s ultimately hollow compared to sequels that truly build on what came before instead of just expressing how much they love it.” RogerEbert.com

“David Gordon Green has reframed the Halloween series in a new and interesting way that is sure to sate the bloodlust of the hardcore fans who may still be recovering from the disappointment of installments past. It’s a nasty film that doesn’t shy away from giving the audience what it wants to see, I just wish that it was more interested in surprising than appeasement.” Screen Anarchy

“Fans will not be disappointed. Green has created a film that is alarmingly brutal – a relentless spook show where the boogeyman runs rampant, obliterating everyone and everything in his path. Here is where Halloween is most successful: it makes Michael Myers scary again. The masked killer is utterly inhumane here…” Slash Film

” …Green has pulled off what he set out to do, tying up the mythology that Carpenter and company established, while delivering plenty of fresh suspense — and grisly-creative kills […] and it does so with style, borrowing several of Carpenter’s classic devices…” Variety

Home viewing:
The 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital release of the movie was released on January 15, 2019:

According to writer Danny McBride, the new Halloween is a “reimagining” rather than reboot of the slasher horror film series that began in 1978 and which has generated a total of nearly $400 million in worldwide box office. Jason Blum is producing with John Carpenter as an executive producer and scoring the movie too.

Blum has stated that:
“The way to get people interested is to not reboot. The term makes my hair stand up on the back of my neck. What we’re doing with Halloween is, I guess I’ll use the term ‘reinvention.’ Reboot just sounds so corporate. The way we attacked Halloween was to go after what we’ve done with a lot of other movies. David Gordon Green and Danny McBride are not known for horror, Jordan Peele was not known for horror before Get Out, so I think we’ve had a lot of success mixing genres of people – not the movie – the movie’s a straight, scary movie.”

On June 6, 2018, EW posted an interview with David Gordon Green and Danny McBride in which they revealed that they initially planned to shoot two movies back-to-back:

“We were going to shoot two of them back-to-back. Then we were like, Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This could come out, and everyone could hate us, and we’d never work again. So, let’s not have to sit around for a year while we wait for another movie to come out that we know people aren’t going to like. So, we were like, Let’s learn from this, and see what works, and what doesn’t. But we definitely have an idea of where we would go [with] this branch of the story and hopefully we get a chance to do it.”

On June 6, 2018, USA Today revealed the first official images from the latest Halloween, plus more plot details.

A British documentary crew travels to the States to visit Michael in prison for a retrospective of the maniac’s night of terror – “Someone has to bring a modern audience into a forty-year old movie,” Jamie Lee Curtis says – but their project becomes way more interesting when Myers escapes custody, retrieves his signature mask and seeks revenge on Laurie, with others naturally being part of his impressive career body count along the way.

In the decades following the fateful Halloween night that forever altered the former babysitter’s life, Laurie has armed and prepped herself for Michael’s inevitable return — to the detriment of her family, including daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).

“We’re being very honest and truthful about that, how it would affect the upbringing of her daughter, who has a lot of conflicts because of her mother’s obsession with this incident, and her granddaughter, who’s trying to connect” with Laurie, David Gordon Green says.

FX were handled by Christopher Nelson (Suicide Squad, Deadpool, Sin City, Kill Bill Vols. 1 and 2).

On 15 September 2017, John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis announced on social media that the latter is returning to fictional Haddonfield to appear in the 2018 reboot.

On 9th February 2017, it was announced that the film – which had been expected this year – is now scheduled for release on October 19, 2018. David Gordon Green is directed from a screenplay he is co-writing with actor Danny McBride (Alien: Covenant) who is best known for comedy roles.

In an interview in CinemaBlend, McBride reassured horror fans that he and Green aren’t planning a comedy version of Halloween, saying:

“Green and I are definitely going to [do] a straight-up horror. Halloween has always been one of my favorite movies of all time. There’s a simplicity and an efficiency to that first one that I think allows the movies just to be scary as hell. And so Green and I, our approach is to get back to that.”

McBride also suggested that the film would be a continuation of the events of Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981):

“You know, it’s not a remake. It’s actually, it’s gonna continue the story of Michael Myers in a really grounded way. And for our mythology, we’re focusing mainly in the first two movies and what that sets up and then where the story can go from there.”

Commenting on his Facebook page, John Carpenter said:

“David Gordon Green and Danny McBride are joining the project to complete the creative team. David and Danny will write the script together and David will direct. I will continue in my executive producer role to consult and offer my advice and feedback as needed.

David and Danny both came to my office recently with Jason Blum and shared their vision for the new movie and…WOW. They get it. I think you’re gonna dig it. They blew me away.”

On 25th May 2016, Bloody Disgusting posted the news that two genre-friendly directors – Mike Flanagan (Absentia; Hush; Oculus; Ouija 2) and Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die; You’re Next; The Guest; The Woods) – were apparently in the offing for the taking on the directorial chores.

This new project replaced Halloween Returns, which had been announced for 2016 by Dimension Films and was due to be directed by Marcus Dunstan (Feast and sequels; The Collector; The Collection).

When originally announcing the reboot to the press, executive producer John Carpenter said: “Thirty-eight years after the original Halloween I’m going to help to try to make the tenth sequel the scariest of them all.”

Jason Blum added: “Halloween is one of those milestone films that inspired everyone at our company to get into the world of scary movies. The great Malek Akkad and John Carpenter have a special place in the hearts of all genre fans and we are so excited that Miramax brought us together. We cannot wait to find and collaborate with the right filmmaker to give Halloween fans the movie they deserve.”

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