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"Halloween" (2018) Movie Review

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.


Quite possibly the best sequel of the long-running slasher series, 2018's Halloween has a ton of call-backs to the original, a few predictable moments, a few shocks, and one really weird twist.

The film is a direct sequel to the 1978 original film and follows a now 60-year-old Laurie Strode. In the last 40 years, Laurie has had two failed marriages but did manage to have a daughter. Laurie's daughter Karen was taken from her when she was 12 because of Laurie's unwavering paranoia. Karen grew up and had a daughter of her own, Allison. Allison actually cares for her grandma Laurie and wants to be close even if Karen holds contempt in her heart. As Laurie predicted, Michael Myers has broken out of the psych hospital he had been imprisoned in and has returned to Haddonfield, Illinois to finish what he started. Karen must now put her trust in her estranged mother in order to survive Halloween.

As a fan of the Halloween series, I was both excited and nervous when Danny McBride announced he'd be co-writing this film. Knowing his particular brand of comedy, I expected the film to be littered with sex and drug jokes. While there may have been one or two jokes, the film largely focused on family more than anything. I know, right? I was surprised too. Danny and his assistants gave us some intelligent storytelling as far as the Strode family tension was concerned.

So, what about Michael? Well, he's still the nonverbal psycho we all know and love...or, love to hate? However you want to look at it, Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney share the role, both performing well as Michael. His brute strength apparently hasn't dwindled over the last 40 years and he's gotten a bit more creative too.

One thing I appreciated was how loyal the writers were to the original. From the opening font, to the ending, there were a ton of similarities and tributes throughout. Sometimes, it almost felt like they were trying to recapture the original's spookiness and unnerving moments. Most of the time, they were able to pull that off. Other times, some moments felt like a shot-for-shot remake. Thankfully, there weren't many of those.

If 2018's Halloween proves anything, it's that predictability isn't always a bad thing. Like, we know who Michael Myers is and we know the story behind him being so obsessed with Laurie. So we could pretty much guess most of the movie and we'd be right on target. But, this was the exception to the rule. For once, predictability worked in the film's favor. We know what would happen and what Michael would do so we were able to actually focus on Laurie and these new characters and get a sense of who they were as people.

If I had to nitpick about anything, it's the unnecessary plot twist about three-fourths of the way through the film which involved Michael's new psych doctor. I won't spoil anything here, but trust me, it's super weird and does nothing for the character or the movie aside from prove that deranged people can be "respectable citizens" too.

In conclusion, I'd say this is easily the best sequel and ranks third in the entire series. Everyone's going to have their opinion and no one's going to think the same way but that's my input and I'm sticking to it. I give the film a 3.5 out of 4.

© 2018 Nathan Jasper