It was also produced by Blumhouse, famous for making highly profitable and often critically well-received low budget horror, like Get Out, The Purge, and Happy Death Day.
I had relatively low expectation for this as I actually thought the trailer looked super cheesy, but this was way better than I thought it was going to be. It’s leagues ahead of the Rob Zombie versions and easily the best since the original. It’s also probably the best straight-up slasher film to come out recently, at least that I’ve seen.
The 2018 version is decidedly more comedic than John Carpenter’s film, but it didn’t overdo it. It took itself seriously when it needed to and the funny parts were well done. Green’s sequel is predictable for the first half or so, but has some surprises towards the end. It mostly avoids cliches and characters are rarely bumbling idiots like in so many slashers.
This portrayal of Michael Myers is pretty solid. He looks great and we don’t get extensive explanations or backstory, and his true nature is wisely left ambiguous. This is much like the 1978 original as is how he’s not invincible and explicitly supernatural like he was in some of the other sequels.
Jamie Lee Curtis is fantastic as I was a bit unsure at first about how strongly they were emphasizing how much the traumatic experience affected her over the next 40 years, but her performance sold it for me. The Laurie Strode character is written as very intelligent and capable.
There’s a new doctor introduced who studied under Donald Pleasance’s character Dr. Loomis, but I don’t really care for his subplot. It goes in a weird, unnecessary direction and doesn’t have any sort of satisfying payoff. This is a pretty minor complaint, though. A few other minor characters were kind of annoying as well, but none of them detracted too much.
The kills are gorier than the original for sure, but they never go too crazy with the violence. John Carpenter returns to do the score, which I loved and listened to on its own as soon as I got home.
Halloween moves along quickly. It’s only around an hour and 45 minutes, which I think is about the perfect length for a horror film like this. Slashers generally don’t need to be over two hours.
It has a somewhat rocky start but gets better towards the end and leads to a very tense conclusion.
Green and McBride decided to ignore all of the sequels and reboots and I think this was a smart decision. The Rob Zombie reboots were poorly received by a lot of fans and critics and only hardcore fans care about the other sequels. There hasn’t even been a film in the original continuity since 2002.
Almost absurdly, the Halloween franchise now has 5 different timelines, in what has to be some sort of record. There’s a continuity with the original Halloween, Halloween II, and 4 through 6, one with the original, Halloween II, H20, and Resurrection, the reboots, Halloween III, which was an entirely unrelated story, and now this timeline with just the original and the 2018 version.
I definitely recommend this to any fans of the series and really just horror in general. Even some non-horror fans could get into this as it’s pretty accessible to general audiences.
Right now it has an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is 30 points higher than any other film in the franchise, excluding the first’s 93%.
Halloween only cost $10 million to make, less than both Rob Zombie versions. It’ll also outgross both of them before it’s even been in theaters a full week as it’s currently looking at a domestic opening weekend of at least $75 million. The would be the second biggest October opening weekend ever.