It’s Good, But Not Great…
I’ve been a fan of Halloween for many years and like other fans was excited for the new and final installment in the franchise. With all of the different “explanations” and “endings” that plague the movies as well, I was really rooting for the final fight between Laurie Strode and the mythical Michael Myers. However, sadly, 2018’s Halloween missed the mark. SPOILERS AHEAD!! You have been warned.
The first act of the movie is nothing more than a mish mash of sequences that either add nothing to the story or really just serve as a mirrored reflection from the original. The story starts with two podcasters visiting the hospital that Myers is about to be taken away from for transfer. Dr. Sartain (the new Loomis and the man who has been taking care of Michael) takes them to a court yard to visit the alleged Boogeyman. There’s a cool scene (that can be seen in the many trailers) where a handcuffed and calm Michael is presented with the legendary mask and everyone around him in the hospital goes berserk. We then fast forward past the opening credits to find out that the podcasters have found the elusive and hermit like Laurie Strode and request an interview. Fast forward some more and we meet Laurie‘s distant daughter and her intelligent granddaughter. Again, skipping ahead, Myers is on the bus to be transported, bus crashes and of course he escapes.
We’re then brought back to some weird outside plot points like Strode‘s granddaughter Allyson breaking up with her boyfriend, some random killings (like the death of the podcasters where Michael gets his mask back), and a few funny bits here and there. From there, the local Sheriff is now on the search for Myers with the help of the Doctor and pick up Allyson along the way while Laurie and her daughter Karen are safe in Laurie‘s fortified home. At one point the sheriff finds Michael and runs him over. Then, after checking if he is dead, Dr. Sartain pulls a switcheroo and kills the Sheriff. He puts the iconic mask on to emulate Myers and kidnaps both him and Allyson. They arrive at the house and Myers wakes up, kills the Doctor, and Allyson escapes.
Finally, the part that everyone waited for, Michael and Laurie duke it out in an intense and bloody battle ending with the aid of her family to trap Michael in the basement and burn the house to the ground. The final shot focuses on a bloodied kitchen knife in Allyson‘s hands. There’s also a post credit sequence where you hear deep breathing. So, maybe Michael isn’t dead?
Like the title says about my thoughts…I’m not mad, just disappointed. Let’s start with the positives though. While it may be littered a bit too much with nostalgia, the subtle nods to the original film and some of its sequels are equal parts funny and interesting. The costume looks cool and Jamie Lee Curtis is undeniably amazing in the role of an obsessed and aged Laurie Strode. Plus, the soundtrack in impeccable! It was a good movie, but could have been so much better.
For the negatives…there was absolutely no direction. There was barely a story and for what is to be a direct sequel to the first, I’d rather stick with Halloween II. The lead up to the grand finale seemed pointless and was a waste of time really.
The deaths also didn’t do much to serve the narrative and seemed like the film itself was confused on if it wanted to be a slasher movie, a sequel, a remake, or its own original entity. Again, like was said before, the homages to the original sometimes were a little too much and were lazily thrown in at points.
My biggest disappointment by far though, the ending. Even before the post credits, I knew there would be an open ending for a sequel (I did not know that studios have already planned it prior to seeing the movie). During the scenes of the house burning down, I was hoping for a major surprise and callback to the original with seeing the unstoppable Myers burning up in the flames as we saw in the original sequel Halloween II. Instead, Myers is nowhere to be seen.
This film could have been so much better and was supposed to be the absolute final installation of the franchise. With room for a sequel, I’m even more disappointed. Carpenter in the past has talked in length about the importance of storytelling and even had difficulty writing the original sequel. So now with a whole visual history erased, I literally have no clue where a sequel could go or why it is even needed.
Overall, it isn’t a terrible film. It’s just good/okay. At the end of the day though, it could have been better.