Soft reboots of classic franchise films seem to be all the rage these days, and it was only a matter of time until classic horror franchises got the same treatment. Halloween (2018) simultaneously offers up a sequel to Halloween (1978), and recreates exact shots and sequences from the original, essentially offering up a bitesize version of the same film. The end product is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a mixed bag.
Director David Gordon Green of Pineapple Express fame helms the production of Halloween, bringing on co-collaborators Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley to write the script. What results is a film that features frequent humorous one-liners and characters that feel out of place, almost like they accidentally stepped into a serial-killer movie to utter a joke, and then get killed off. The killer of course being Michael Myers, who returns on the 40-year anniversary of his murderous rampage on Halloween night to wreak revenge on the sole survivor.
Jamie Lee Curtis returns as the famous final girl, now a mother to a daughter (Judy Greer) and a grandmother to Allyson (Andi Matichak) – but is successful at neither, the night of 40 years ago having weighed heavy on her mind. She is troubled, but is now less of a screaming damsel and more of a bad-ass, shotgun wielding heroine. Her hideaway in the woods is a fortified trap house akin to something out of the Home Alone movies, full of tricks and little hideaways just in case Michael Myers ever came back to finish the job.
Which is of course, exactly what happens. The film is a predictable, barren swamp devoid of any interesting deaths or moments that were just stripped and then slightly modified from John Carpenter’s classic. Even the score, which is by far the best part of the film, feels like it was written for a much more deserving movie, which makes sense as it borrows so heavily from the original’s synthy aesthetics. At times it feels like a homage, at other’s parody, at other’s a straight up rip-off. The occasional cool moment crops into frame every now and then, a long-take as Michael Myers stalks the streets of Halloween night at the same time as kids are trick or treating is a particular highlight. However, overall the film feels like any other average horror that might be released this Halloween season.