Halloween Movie Review (2018)
This movie was definitely fun to watch. I heard one reviewer critique the movie for not being scary, but for me, Halloween and other slasher films don't need to be scary. Their appeal is in seeing the journey of the protagonist to survive the killer and then seeing if the killer is taken down in the end. It's not about making you afraid to go to sleep at night. That's more the appeal of The Conjuring and films of its like.
Something that stood out to me about this movie was the directing and cinematography choices. There are some really good looking shots in the film and cool moments that give the movie some suspense. Standouts are the scene in which the character of Oscar is killed and they use the motion-sensor security lights to build the suspense of Michael stalking him. There is also the final shot of Michael trapped in the burning basement, looking up at Laurie with a look on his face that says, "Well played." Yes, he's wearing a mask, but trust me, it makes sense when you see the shot. Speaking of the mask, I have to point out the scene when Allyson is in the back seat with an unconscious, unmasked Michael and she's speaking to the doctor before realizing that Michael is awake and has put the mask back on, and then realizes she's screwed. That was a priceless moment!
This may be something small, but it felt unique to see how open the film was about Michael without his mask. They never show his full face without blurring it out at least somewhat, but it still felt like it was displaying an almost-human side to the killer, possibly without even meaning to. Maybe I'm getting that vibe because he's noticeably old, and it's odd to associate what Michael is with someone between 60-70 years old and grey-haired.
The best moment of the film for me came towards the end when I had a lightbulb moment and realized something. Michael and Laurie had switched roles. A lot of the times in the Halloween series, we've seen Michael hunting his victims, and them hiding/running away. Well, in the scene in Laurie's house, Michael is the one being hunted by Laurie while he hides. The only difference is that Michael is never made to seem afraid of Laurie. One of my favorite scenes in the whole movie is at the end when Michael throws Laurie over a balcony, and, after a momentary distraction, turns around to see that she has disappeared, the exact same way he does in the original movie. That was cinematic gold right there!
I don't have any major gripes with the film, but I do have a few thoughts that popped into my mind after watching the final scene.
Is it a positive or negative that Michael and Laurie's sibling relationship, which The Curse of Michael Myers established as his full motive for his killings, has been retconned? Does Michael need a motive? My head tells me probably not, while my heart tells me the sibling thing worked so well. I'm not sure. It's probably because I'm used to the idea of Michael having a motive, but it did feel weird that he's just doing all these killings, the ones from the 1978 film and this one, for absolutely no reason. The logical side of me desires an explanation for why he is the way he is. Why is he killing random people that have nothing to do with anything? Why is he after Laurie? Actually, in this movie, I never got the impression that he cared about going after Laurie until his doctor dropped him off at her doorstep. Also, why the hell does he have super-strength and can withstand gun shots, stabbings, long falls, being hit by a car, and possibly being trapped in a burning house (if there is another sequel)?
There is one question that sums up both points. What is Michael Myers? He's supposed to be this devil, this inhumane serial killer with super powers. Yet, he is shown at times to be calculating and even have a moral code (not killing babies and little children). I think if you are going to add layers to the character, then you should explain those layers.
This sequel raises a lot of questions that I would like to see explored in another addition to the series, but it is a great movie for the season and I definitely recommend it for fans of the series and the genre. Michael Myers remains the greatest horror movie serial killer of all time in this new film.