Many horror fans have been waiting for this remake: David Gordon Green lets in HALLOWEEN the iconic killer Michael Myers is resurrected and does a lot more right than the makers of the countless sequels before. We reveal why in our review.
The Plot Summary
Since he terrorized the small American town of Haddonfield with a brutal series of murders forty years ago, Michael Myers (Nick Castle) has been imprisoned in a psychiatric institution, isolated from the outside world. When he was about to be transferred along with other highly dangerous inmates, a catastrophe happened: the prisoner transport had an accident on the street at night and he was able to escape. Driven by his bestial urge to murder, Myers sets off for Haddonfield and the horrific nightmare begins anew for the residents. Only Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis), who narrowly escaped the masked killer, is prepared to face evil personified…
Movie explanation of the ending
“Halloween – The Night of Horror” is one of the pioneers of what shaped horror cinema in the late 1970s and early 1980s under the term “slasher”. Although the origins of the subgenre of morbid film, which is sometimes told from the subjective point of view of an armed killer, date back to the 1930s (“Thirteen Women”) and later reached a wide audience for the first time with “Peeping Tom” and “Psycho”, John Carpenter’s milestone is still seen as something like the birth of modern slasher cinema. The building blocks: an (iconic) killer, a stabbing weapon and a bunch of teenage victims, whose composition of different types of characters became more and more similar over time. Some of the resulting franchises such as “Nightmare On Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th” achieved considerable proportions, and villains like Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees achieved cult status. “Halloween” didn’t remain a standalone film for long, but spawned seven sequels, a reboot and a sequel to that same reboot. Today, in 2018, another film is being added, which sees itself narratively as a continuation of the events from the first part and leaves everything from “Halloween II – The Horror Returns” to “Halloween H2O” to “Resurrection” not taken into account sometimes even dismisses statements made as “legends”. So the Michael Myers of 2018 is the Michael Myers of 1978, except that since then he has spent 40 years in a psychiatric hospital instead of continuing to murder like crazy. This approach is consistent and has a plausible origin: director and co-writer David Gordon Green (“Stronger”) relieves the viewer of having to watch parts two to eight in order to understand what is going on in the new “Halloween”. On top of that, all he has to focus on is the origin of the series – the fight between Michael Myers and Scream Queen Laurie (who, as the film suggests, is not his sister). It all works very well, but seems a little out of date compared to the jump scares and sensationalism. On the other hand, the look and the levels of violence adapted to the zeitgeist seem like a concession to the modern horror film audience. And it is in this mixture of staged (and loudly spoken) homage to the original and consistent further development that “Halloween 2018” works best.
Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) has been waiting to finally face Michael.
In the trailer, the already iconic scene in which two podcasters confront Michael Myers about his mask in a checkerboard-patterned prison courtyard (which, from a logical point of view alone, you simply shouldn’t think about any longer) seems like a highlight. In the film, however, the horror only really begins afterwards. After all, the giant, who isn’t even masked at the beginning, has to break out of the prison before he even gets to haunt his hometown a second time, just in time for Halloween. The sequence between Michael’s stay in the psychiatric ward and his once again very dignified killing spree in Haddonfield surprisingly turns out to be the strongest passage in the film. On the one hand, we don’t yet know at this point to what extent the makers will stick to the drawing of the creeping, silent nihilist (it would be quite possible that the Michael Myers from 2018 would be much faster or more talkative). On the other hand, the production alone is exciting, because of how skillful cameraman Michael Simmonds is (“nerve”) the frontal view of the horror icon is avoided, so that despite the unmasking, you are never able to see Michael in his full glory (Rob Zombie once chose this completely opposite approach to the original for his controversial “Halloween II” from 2009). At the same time, just realizing that this character can very well exist without a mask strips Michael of just enough of his boogeyman status to ultimately make him even scarier. This killer is not a supernatural killer figure, but a completely normal person on whom his mask – as the scene in the prison yard suggests – has a very special effect. And if he does the most brutal things to his victims without a mask, how should they behave when he’s out and about with a mask?
What now sounds like the makers are taking an overly psychologized approach is only part of the fascination for the 2018 “Halloween”. And that’s a shame, because even if purists of the franchise will love the new part above all because the creators have based the most important points on the very minimalist original (including the appropriate opening credits, which not only focus on the original music, but also used the font of the 1978 original and an almost identical structure), the film here and there lacks dynamism and – quite simply – tension. The new “Halloween” part pleasantly manages with only a few jump scares and relies entirely on Michael’s frightening charisma then and now – in one of the best scenes you just see him walking for minutes through the Halloween festivities taking place on the streets of Haddonfield, Peek into strange rooms and arm yourself for the bloody deeds to come. But you’ve already seen all of that. And if the script, for which not only David Gordon Green, but also Danny McBride (“Your Highness”) and Jeff Fradley (“Vice Principals”) once they go their own way, they can sometimes be quite outrageous (keyword: psychologist). The characterization of Laurie and the family construct built around her are much better. The events in “Halloween – The Night of Horror” not only left a mark on Laurie, but also on her family. Dealing with the psychological consequences of such an act is often left aside in many other horror franchises; Gordon Green and his crew don’t make that mistake.
Laurie is prepared!
Returning Jamie Lee Curtis (“Scream Queens”) embodies the equally broken and resolute Laurie, who is waiting for her revenge, as if she had actually been waiting for her opportunity to strike back all along in recent years. Curtis has visibly aged on the outside, but in small details she makes it clear that the Laurie of today is still the Laurie of yesteryear; only with someone who has now studied the behavior of Michael Meyer and has therefore proven to be an equal opponent. The script also credibly takes up the fact that her emotional state of emergency due to fear and anger also had an impact on her daughter (Judy Greer) and is played by the eternal supporting actress (“Ant-Man and the Wasp”) also authentically embodied. The fact that the final hunt for Michael turns into something like a generational battle seems a bit forced, but in the context of the film universe, Laurie somehow deserves this symbolic satisfaction. In Michael Myers’ eyes, many innocent people deserved to die – and these murders are correspondingly bloody in the new “Halloween”; Much more explicit than in the original, which primarily focused on hints and appealed primarily to the viewer’s imagination. Faces are smashed, throats are cut and knives are rammed into bodies. You should therefore tolerate a little blood in order to enjoy “Halloween”. Anyone who does this will not only be presented with a more than solid horror film, but above all with an ambitious homage to the original, especially because of the many cross-references in this direction (this time, for example, it is Laurie who suddenly appears somewhere and then disappears again – completely just like Michael did back then) even provide a touch of quiet humor every now and then. And that really gives this year’s “Halloween” its own unique touch.
Conclusion: The new “Halloween” is primarily a homage to the original film by John Carpenter, which should particularly satisfy fans of the seventies classic. It’s not the big horror film highlight, but especially as a genre contribution for the Halloween weekend, it’s worth a look as a quiet nostalgic horror with modern elements.
“Halloween” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from October 25th.