Review: Halloween 2018
It’s been 40 years since John Carpenter introduced the world to evil incarnate, Michael Myers. Since then we have been bombarded with eight lackluster sequels and two unwatchable remakes. That all changes with 2018’s Halloween.
Screenwriters Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green right all the wrongs put forth by II, III (not really a sequel), IV, V, VI, H2O and Resurrection and Jamie Lee Curtis returns to the role that made her famous. This is actually Curtis’s fifth outing as Laurie Strode but you can forget all about her past appearances as this new Halloween is a direct sequel to the 1978 version.
Jamie Lee Curtis is back in Halloween
This time out Strode is no damsel in distress. Instead, she has trained herself for 40 years to face Michael Myers if and when he returns. Once the movie starts it doesn’t take long for Myers to start his new reign of terror. His first round of kills racks up a higher body count in one scene than he did in the entire original film. The film does a perfect job of capturing the look and feel of the original and although the number of victims is high the incidents are not gratuitous or over the top. Myers is simply a killing machine moving through the town and mowing down anyone in his way, on his mission to find Strode.
Curtis is unhinged perfection as a grandmother trapped by the memory of the worst night of her life. She needs to purge herself from the horror that is Michael Myers and the film pays off on every level. Fradley, McBride and Green give the audience exactly what we’ve wanted all these years with subtle homages to the original and other sequels that will have you giddy at one moment and jumping out of your seat the next.
The master himself is also back; John Carpenter serves as Executive Producer and also scored the film with the help of son Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies (son of Dave Davies of The Kinks). It is a thrill to once again hear Carpenter’s atmospheric and iconic score as it ranks right up there with the music of Jaws and Psycho.
The other alumni returning to the fold is Nick Castle as “The Shape.” In this film Castle plays Myers whenever he is wearing the mask, while Tony Moran portrays Michael in scenes where he is not masked. Original cast member PJ Soles can be heard but not seen as a high school teacher. Other standout performances go to Judy Greer as Strode’s long suffering daughter and newcomer Andi Matichak as Strode’s granddaughter. For me, the breakout performance is actually comedic and comes from Jibrail Nantambu who plays a young boy in scenes with his babysitter. This kid has got the “it” factor.
Halloween 2018 delivers
Without giving up any spoilers I can tell you that if you were a huge fan of the original then Halloween 2018 will not disappoint. My only hope is that the filmmakers and Blumhouse Productions let the Michael Myers character go after this film. There’s just no need to continue as this is a perfect sequel and anything beyond this will just head down the path of subpar Halloween films of the past. Why keep going when you’ve ended at the top of your horror game?
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Pat Francis currently hosts the popular comedy/music podcast “Rock Solid,” called 1 of the 8 great music podcasts to put in your ears by USA Today and featuring artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar and Susanna Hoffs. His frequent appearances on Jimmy Pardo’s top rated podcast “Never Not Funny” are fan favorites. Pat began his entertainment career as a stand-up comic in Chicago, IL. After touring the country and performing in 42 states at comedy clubs and colleges, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. There he appeared as a comedian on Comedy Central, AMC, the UCB and is a yearly regular at the San Francisco Sketchfest. For the past 5 years he has also served as Co-Host of the yearly event Pardcast-A-Thon which to date has raised over 700,000 for Smile Train. When not entertaining people in person he also makes his living as a Story Producer for reality television programs. It is also important to know that Pat is a monkey in a human mask.