Halloween (2018) Review

“… exists as easily one of the worst sequels to the franchise.”

I was very excited for Halloween as soon as I saw the trailer. The marketing for this movie landed me hook, line, and sinker becasue it not only made me excited for this new installment in the Halloween franchise, but it also made me willfully forget the terrible sequels that were released after the first film. Well you know what they say: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me ten times — why am I still getting fooled?

Halloween takes place forty years after the first film, which incidentally is the only film in the series it considers cannon, and follows senior citizen Michael Myers as he attempts to reconnect with important figures from his past.

I’ve just got to say it: this movie made me sad. I don’t know why I let myself get so excited for it, but I also don’t blame my excitement completely for the film’s failure in my eyes. Halloween was a mess of a movie. The first thirty minutes are essentially a wash by any standards. Even if you disregard the blatant fan service that plagues the writing in a desperate attempt to appease those who love the original series, the writing is filled to the brim with overt exposition that treats the audience as though we are five. ‘Show, don’t tell’ is not a phrase that was uttered once in the writer’s room apparently. And this isn’t even beginning to discuss the issues with the story at the end of the film. It was painfully apparent that little to no care went into the writing process of Halloween.

Things start to kick-off when Michael Myers legitimately murders a child. No cuts, no bullshit, just straight-up kid murder. This sets the tone for the rest of the Michael Myers’ encounters; or at least I thought it would. Halloween really leans on gruesome reveals as opposed to gruesome deaths. These are great in my opinion for two reasons. First, they allow the filmmakers to get a lot more gross than the studio would have probably allowed. These grotesque props that resemble mangled corpses beautifully display the power and danger of Michael Myers without having to worry about exactly how they ended up this way. These reveals are also great in my my opinion becasue the effects when you do see Michael Myers kill anyone are terrible. I’m really happy that the Halloween franchise got another moment in the sun, but couldn’t you afford someone other than a high school student with a MacBook to do the effects?

The biggest issue I have with Halloween is the inconsistent tone that follows the movie around like an abandoned puppy. The absolute last thing you should be doing during a Halloween movie is laughing. I’m not talking about leaving out a funny line of dialogue here or there, I’m talking about how the character of Michael Myers is represented. He’s supposed to be imposing, terrifying, not a punchline. These laughs come from both intentional and unintentional sources, with the terrible dialogue sometimes being a joke in itself. What the writers didn’t understand is that once you swing the movie so far in the direction of ‘comedy’, the moments that you intend to be intense lose that impact. There is absolutely a balance to be struck in terms of horror/comedy, and Halloween completely misses the mark.

Overall Halloween is almost insulting. I’m no purist but Halloween exists as easily one of the worst sequels to the franchise. It felt like my spirit was being stabbed in the stomach and lifted up by the wound.

I give Halloween a D

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