Director: David Gordon Green
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak
Release Date: January 15, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. Master of horror John Carpenter joins forces with director David Gordon Green and producer Jason Blum (Get Out, Split) for this follow-up to Carpenter’s 1978 classic.
Disregarding all previous sequels in the franchise, the new ‘Halloween’ picks up forty years after the events of the original film. While Michael Myers has remained in captivity for the last forty years, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her famous role) has spent those decades preparing for what she believes to be the night that he will eventually return sooner or later. While everyone around her believes his escape to be impossible, a transfer to a new facility for Michael quickly proves the opposite as the killer escapes and promptly slashes his way back to Haddonfield to finish what he started four decades prior. As Michael arrives back home and the bodies start piling up throughout town, the inevitable final confrontation between killer and victim forty years in the making looms.
Directed by David Gordon Green (Joe, Manglehorn) from a screenplay he additionally co-wrote with regular collaborator Danny McBride (TV’s Vice Principals, Eastbound & Down), and Jeff Fradley (TV’s Vice Principals), Green does a magnificent job at the helm of the new ‘Halloween’ capturing the heart and vibe of the original while also modernizing it in many ways. The film features a pretty capable cast that includes the always wonderful Jamie Lee Curtis (once more reprising her iconic role of Laurie Strode), along with Judy Greer (Jurassic World), Andi Matichak (TV’s 666 Park Avenue), Will Patton (TV’s Falling Skies), Virginia Gardner (TV’s Runaways), Haluk Bilginer (Ben-Hur 2016) and more, as well as a cameo by Nick Castle who portrayed The Shape in the original ‘Halloween’ film and reprises the role in at least one brief scene in the new film, with James Jude Courtney playing the character for the majority.
The new ‘Halloween’ sequel (or sequelboot?) stays true to the heart and style of the original classic and brings fans of the long running franchise a tense, bloody and well-made new entry in the legacy of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. In many ways taking things back to basics especially in regard to the scenery, location and general activities, even while opting for a pacing more in line with an action film as opposed to the slow burn style of the original, and naturally upping the blood and gore factor in a big way. One thing remains certain throughout though, it’s very much a ‘Halloween’ film at heart and consistently showcases its love of John Carpenter’s unforgettable classic (and also the first film in quite some time that the man himself has returned in any capacity for even as an executive producer, let alone additionally contributing to the score). While the new film does disregard all prior sequels and serves as a direct continuation to the original classic, it also goes out of its way to pay homage to many of those sequels (if not possibly all), such as a scene that recreates an iconic moment from ‘Halloween II’, as well as a group of kiddies out trick or treating on Halloween night sporting the masks from ‘Halloween III: Season of the Witch’ just to name a few. Fans of the long running horror franchise will definitely want to make a point of checking out the new ‘Halloween’ whenever possible if they haven’t already had the pleasure. It’s one of the finer sequels in the series and while it may not necessarily be my personal favorite, it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Overall, the new ‘Halloween’ is a faithful sequel to John Carpenter’s original classic that delivers plenty of blood soaked chaos and noteworthy kills, while always exuding its love for the original masterpiece and even the various sequels which it may disregard story wise but still makes a point of tipping its hat to throughout. Benefited all the more from the capable guidance of director David Gordon Green and a well selected cast led by Jamie Lee Curtis who does a fantastic job recapturing the heart and essence of Laurie Strode. The new ‘Halloween’ is definitely recommended for fellow fans of the popular franchise (and genre fans in general) that didn’t have the chance to catch it during its theatrical run. It should easily prove well worth your time and the price of a rental at the absolute least, and don’t be too surprised if you find yourself also wanting to purchase a copy after.
The Blu-ray release of 2018’s ‘Halloween’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great as a whole and provides a sharp, clean and detailed presentation from start to finish, with no notable faults or issues to be found along the way. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving scenes that are so common throughout, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is another wonderful high definition video presentation from Universal that should have no trouble satisfying the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a DTS: X (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA presentation. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a smooth, crisp and consistently aggressive audio presentation throughout. Almost constantly taking advantage of all seven available channels in order to send the wonderful score, along with nature elements, creepy noises, gunshots and plenty more whipping throughout the various speakers with regularity, and never allowing any dialogue or other audio activity that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fantastic DTS: X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that makes a wonderful compliment to the overall viewing experience and sounds consistently great throughout.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Halloween’ includes a few noteworthy extras that fans of the new film should enjoy. Included on the release are some ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 13 minutes in length altogether), in addition to a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween’ (running approximately 6 minutes), ‘The Original Scream Queen’ (approximately 2 minutes), ‘The Sound of Fear’ (3 minutes), ‘Journey of The Mask’ (2 minutes) and ‘The Legacy of Halloween’ (4 minutes).