By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
It’s perhaps fitting that I tabbed the review for this after two weeks of navigating the very different horror of dealing with a serial welcher. After all, I have a little experience with the franchise.
Season of the Witch for the sequel win!
Halloween revisits Michael Myers and Laurie Strode 40 years later. For some fucking reason they’re transferring Myers on Halloween night 40 years to the day since his famous rampage, and, well, I’ll give you two guesses as to whether that transfer is successful and good ‘ol Haddonfield has nothing to worry about.
Screenwriter Danny McBride and Director David Gordon Green (Vice Principals and Eastbound and Down) may seem like an odd fit for this franchise, but it’s clear from the start that they’re the most earnest of superfans of the franchise. It’s ballsy cutting every single other sequel out of the continuity, but roping Jamie Lee Curtis for one (?) more run by presenting Laurie as a one-man doomsday prepper is a pretty damn solid approach.
Yeah, she’s ready.
The film is full of nods to the original, perhaps none quite as cool as getting the maestro, John Carpenter himself, to write a new minimalist electronic score for the film. The opening minutes of the film, as two otherwise annoying podcasters visit Michael in the asylum he’s been confined to for 40 years before a smashcut to one of the finer opening title sequences I’ve seen in some time with that iconic score blaring in the background, promise a lot more style than the film otherwise delivers, but there’s no doubt that it’s work of polished craftsmanship.
Ultimately, all the visceral thrills and knowing callbacks you’d want from a erstwhile franchise reinvigorater are present- if you’re a fan, this is definitely fan service.
If anything this is a bit too faithful of an homage. This is very much a J.J. Abram-style slick Hollywood nostalgia-fest, and while it hits those familiar pleasure centers, it’s just a bit off, like a Coke Zero.
Condolences, your taste buds have died.
So, I dug the cheeky McBride/Green humor that this film also features as its greatest distinguishing characteristic. However, other critics are not wrong in that it can undercut the babysitter murder scares just a tad when they’re immediately ironically commented on by the most awesome babysat black kid. The script overall can get a little hammy in places- McBride overall delivers, but his relative experience as a full-length screenwriter does show.
Halloween is pretty much exactly what you thought it’d be, and that’s both as bad and good as you’d expect. If you’re a fan of the franchise, it’s for you.
Halloween (2018) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every kill, obviously
Take Another: if it’s unseen but features utterly gross foley effects
Take a Drink: for every call-back to the original film
Do a Shot: seriously, that’ll fuckin’ do ya. Pour one out for the old sequels.