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Movie Review: “Halloween”

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Halloween

Theatrical Release: 10/19/2018

Theatrical Release: 10/19/2018

Synopsis

Decades after Laurie’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) original encounter with Michael Myers, the tragic night is still affecting her life, and she has prepared herself for the killer's inevitable return. Her house is a fortress filled with traps, an armory, and even a panic room. She even raised her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) to know how to defend herself and handle a gun. This ultimately led to child protective services to taking Karen away, and it led to Karen resenting her mother.

Karen now has a daughter of her own, Allyson (Andi Matichak), which means that Laurie has a granddaughter, one that Laurie knows has not been trained to defend herself. On the anniversary of the infamous Michael Myers attacks, Michael Myers has escaped federal custody. He is on a mission this Halloween, and while Laurie is prepared, Allyson is out with her friends and Karen does not trust her mother. Her loved ones are in danger, so Laurie must find Michael Myers and put an end to him before anyone she cares about gets hurt.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.

The ProsThe Cons

Laurie (+8pts)

Karen (-3pts)

Michael Myers (+8pts)

The Doctor (-4pts)

Allyson (+4pts)

The End (-3pts)

movie-review-halloween

Pro: Laurie (+8pts)

It is rare for a horror movie, especially a slasher film, to have such an interesting main character. Laurie has been preparing for this day her whole life and it has cost her her relationship with both her daughter and her granddaughter. However, in her eyes, she would not have changed anything because she has prepared her daughter for the return of Michael Myers. I also found it interesting that after all this time, Laurie still thought the monster's return was inevitable, and that she could not rest until her or Michael Myers were dead.

What interested me so much about this character was, while she had the appearance of being prepared, Michael Myers was still very much dominating her life, even after all these years. In her eyes, she was prepared, but to everyone else, she was a crazy, paranoid old lady who had been consumed by the tragedy from her past. She had been training all her life, and after all of the setup, it was then so gratifying to see her using all of her training. Laurie was fighting to protect her daughter and fighting to protect her granddaughter, but she was ultimately fighting to put down the monster that had haunted her for her entire adult life. This made a character that was really easy to get invested in, and who was really satisfying to see proven right. Jamie Lee Curtis’ compelling performance certainly did not hurt.

movie-review-halloween

Con: Karen (-3pts)

I got the impression that the filmmakers really did not know what to do with this character. They clearly wanted to setup Allyson as a high school aged character for potential future movies, but they also wanted to connect that character with Laurie who would be far too old to be Allyson’s mother at this point. The result was Karen. Karen was the daughter of the main protagonist, Laurie, and was the mother of the other main character who the filmmakers were clearly trying to establish for future movies. Karen was just kind of around for the rest of the movie. She did not really do anything until the end of the movie, and the character ended up feeling like a waste of screen time. Maybe she will get more development in future movies, and I will change my mind on the character, but you will have to see if she survives this one first.

movie-review-halloween

Pro: Michael Myers (+8pts)

Michael Myers is back! There have been many Halloween movies before, but this movie ignored all but the original. In this movie all you need to know is that Michael Myers went on a killing spree a few decades earlier, Laurie was the only survivor, and Michael Myers has been in captivity for a long time. Adding to the mystery of Michael Myers a bit more, he has not spoken a word during his entire time in prison.

We saw Michael Myers break out, and we saw him acquiring his suit and mask in the most brutal way possible. Throughout this movie, audiences will be on the edge of their seats whenever Michael Myers is stalking a potential victim because of how brutal he was with everyone he came across. He did not speak, his intentions were never explained, and that was what made him so entertaining for a horror movie such as this one. This character felt so dangerous because we did not know what he was thinking. The filmmakers knew that, and they stayed away from the all too common mistake of explaining their villain. The result was an intimidating slasher movie monster, whose actions and lack of dialogue contributed greatly into the mystery and intensity of the character, making him a captivating and entertaining antagonist for this movie.

movie-review-halloween

Con: The Doctor (-4pts)

I honestly do not know what the filmmakers were thinking with this character. This character was the doctor that was studying Michael Myers during his time in prison. I do not want to say anything that happened with this character to avoid spoilers, but everything about this character seemed unnecessary. The character should have only been in the beginning of the movie, during the scenes in which other characters went to visit Michael Myers.

He should not have been forced into the rest of the story because he felt very out of place in it. The decisions the filmmakers made with this character seemed dumb and unjustified, which will make audiences annoyed by his very presence. The only reason the character was present after the beginning of the movie was so that the filmmakers could use him as a plot device to keep the story moving. They probably thought this character would be interesting and would surprise audiences, instead he will leave audiences disappointed in the direction of the story.

movie-review-halloween

Pro: Allyson (+4pts)

I liked this character for about the first half of the movie. After that, it seemed like the filmmakers did not know what to do with her, which was a shame. Audiences who have seen the original Halloween movie will relate with Laurie, but audiences that have not seen—or do not remember—the original will relate with Allyson. Allyson has been told the stories of what happened to Laurie decades earlier, but she did not experience it herself. She also did not have the intense upbringing that Karen did. For all intents and purposes, Allyson was an ordinary young woman who sympathized with her grandmother, but understandably could not comprehend the extent of what she went through.

For the first half of the movie, Allyson tried to be what would repair the relationship between her mother and her grandmother. I was moderately interested by this character, and I liked that she provided audiences unfamiliar with the older movies with a character to relate to. I thought Andi Matichak could do a decent job of carrying this franchise further—if she survived this movie, of course—but I unfortunately thought the filmmakers dropped the ball with this character in the second half of the movie. She ended up bumbling around in the woods, while running away from something that was not even following her. There was more, but I do not want to give anything away. It just felt like the filmmakers did a great job setting up and establishing this character, but then they did not know how to incorporate her in the climax, so they just wrote that she ran around the woods aimlessly. I liked the character, but I did not like how the filmmakers followed through with her story.

movie-review-halloween

Con: The End (-3pts)

I will keep this very brief, as I do not want to spoil the ending, but it was pretty disappointing. The ending took place in Laurie’s house and we got to see just how well prepared she was for this day, but the whole thing was pretty boring. She clearly setup her house for this very night, but she did not seem to be using all of her tools effectively, the tools she setup herself. The filmmakers also did the cliché thing of ending the movie in a way that left it open for sequels. Rather than deliver the best ending they could for this movie, the filmmakers were too concerned with setting up future ones, and I thought it got in the way of a satisfying conclusion to this story.

Grading Scale

GradeCategoryPoints

A+

Amazing

95-100

A-

Great

90-94

B+

Good

85-89

B-

Decent

80-84

C+

Average

75-79

C-

Watchable

70-74

D+

Bad

65-69

D-

Terrible

60-64

F

Garbage

45-59

movie-review-halloween

Grade: B+ (85pts)

Halloween was actually a good horror movie. I say that because I honestly was not expecting much from it. I expected a typical slasher movie with a monster that has been used many times before. Where this movie took it a step further was with the characters of Laurie, Michael Myers, and Allyson. With Allyson, we did not get anything incredibly special, but we got some decent development for a new character—although I thought the filmmakers dropped the ball with her in the second half. Laurie was a character that had been haunted by her encounter with Michael Myers for four decades and we got to see what that would do to a person.

Michael Myers himself got an interesting setup as well. He had been locked up for a long time. When he finally got out, he went on a brutal conquest that was really entertaining to watch. One problem was the doctor, who was a completely unnecessary character, so much so that everything he did seemed unjustified and completely out of left field. Karen was another unnecessary character as she ended up being an extra character in almost every scene she was in, and never really added anything interesting to the story. The movie was not perfect, but the action was brutal and the main characters were interesting. It was a combination that I enjoyed, and I thought it revitalized my interest in this franchise.

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