Wednesday, October 24, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 24 - Movie 2

I actually saw Halloween (2018) on Sunday, but didn't want to interrupt the Phantasm posts in order to post my response to it. So now that the Phantasm series has been completed here we go.

Ignoring all of the sequels and serving as a sequel only to the original film, Halloween is set 40 years later. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) lives in a remote fortress where she has spent her entire life since her first encounter with Michael Myers (Nick Castle returning to the role, and James Jude Courtney providing the unmasked Michael's role) preparing for his eventual return. This has led to a sad and complicated life for her. She's twice divorced and mostly estranged from her daughter, but has a more positive relationship with her granddaughter. People think she's a bit of a nut, but when Michael escapes custody during a transfer to another hospital, she turns out to be the only person prepared to deal with him.

As I've stated previously here I'm not a huge fan of the original film. To me it's like a tv movie, and the "force of nature" that Carpenter claims he envisioned Michael Myers (or "The Shape" as he was being called back then) as "a force of nature," it's hard to take that seriously when the character is actually pretty inept, and about equal in fighting ability to Laurie Strode. The new film was enjoyable. There were nice homages to the original (and even Halloween III: Season of the Witch). It had some story issues, including one questionable plot point from the original film, which is Michael's ability to drive a car considering he's been institutionalized since he was a small boy. In this film, the scene's even more puzzling since he couldn't possibly have been sitting in the driver's seat either.

The filmmakers seem to have been a bit influenced by the Rob Zombie remake as well as the original movie. Carpenter's 1978 version was pretty bloodless. Zombie's was a bloodbath. This new film is pretty brutal, too. Myers also seems to be more in line with Zombie's hulking powerhouse more than Carpenter's Myers who struggled to get out of a closet. The characters seemed kind of sketched out versus being fully fleshed out, and unnecessary weight was put on characters who really didn't matter to the story as a whole, while more important characters didn't have much to do and vanished from the screen for long periods of time. Also, one character's motivation and actions almost derailed the movie for me being a bit hokey and far fetched for the non-campy nature of the rest of the film. Of course, also the way the movie ends was inevitable, but doesn't really take away from the experience. I don't regret seeing it, though I'm not really the audience this movie is catering too. In the end though, while there was plenty of blood, I would have liked a bit more meat.

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