"Intense and Engaging But Unacceptable"
Forty years ago, the original HALLOWEEN movie set a trend for mad slasher movies about masked and sometimes disfigured serial killers slaughtering teenagers in the night. The popularity of these movies often led to copycat murders by susceptible young people (according to psychological studies, about 7-11 percent of the people who see such violence want to copy it, though only a few of them actually go out and do it). The original HALLOWEEN was a bit different, however, from the movies that followed it. It featured an appealing female lead, played by Jamie Lee Curtis (the daughter of Janet Leigh of PSYCHO fame and the original MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and Tony Curtis of SPARTACUS and SOME LIKE IT HOT), who fought back against the monster. It also featured a heroic psychiatrist (played by Donald Pleasance) who talked about the reality of evil in the world. Finally, the original movie features a pulse-pounding score by Director John Carpenter that perfectly accentuated the girl and the psychiatrist’s fight against the monster. Sadly, though, a lot of mediocre sequels followed the original movie.
Forty years later, Producers John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis have teamed up with Director (and co-writer) David Gordon Green to revisit the story of the mad killer Michael Myers. In the new movie, Michael escapes from custody again and returns to his hometown, only to encounter a well-armed and well-prepared Laurie Strode, the woman who narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night forty years ago in the first two movies. As Laurie tells the local sheriff, she’s been praying that Michael will return someday, so she can finally kill him.
The movie opens the day before Halloween. Two British reporters visit Michael Myers at the maximum-security insane asylum where he’s been held for years. They’ve brought the mask Michael used during his killing spree forty years ago to try to get him to talk, but Michael refuses to say a word, as he has for 40 years. That night, Michael is scheduled to be transported along with other prisoners to another facility, where he’ll no longer be studied to find out what makes him tick. Of course, his current doctor, a man named Sartain, is against the move. Dr. Sartain is still obsessed with trying to unlock the key to Michael’s behavior.
The British reporters travel to Haddonfield, Illinois, the city of Michael’s first attacks in 1963 as a boy and in 1978 after his first escape. They’ve come to visit Laurie Strode, the sole survivor of Michael’s killing spree in 1978. Laurie agrees to talk to them for the $3,000 they’ve brought with them, but they get little for their money. After they leave, Laurie practices shooting some dummies in the woods behind her house. Inside her house, she visits a basement room hidden under the island in her kitchen.
Laurie is estranged from her daughter, Karen, who was taken from Laurie when she was 12 by the authorities because of Laurie’s single-minded obsession with Michael. Now married with a teenage daughter of her own, Karen wants nothing to do with her mother. However, Laurie and her granddaughter, Alyson, are desperate to have a close family relationship.
That night, the bus transporting Michael and the other prisoners, with Doctor Sartain on board, crashes. Michael escapes and kills the two guards and a motorist and his son. The next day, on Halloween, Michael accidentally runs into the two British reporters at a gas station, brutally kills them and takes back his mask.
The stage is set for a final showdown between Michael, Laurie and Laurie’s family.
The new HALLOWEEN (2018) is the best-made, most intense of the HALLOWEEN sequels since the original 1978 movie. It has some entertaining twists as the female heroine defends herself and her family against a purely evil killer. She wants to bring an end to Michael’s ultraviolent, wicked killing sprees.
That said, the villain’s murderous behavior is likely to attract more susceptible teenagers wanting to copy such violence. The new movie also contains lots of strong foul language and a couple marijuana references involving its teenage characters to go along with the extreme bloody violence. Finally, there’s some brief explicit nudity from a flashback scene to the first HALLOWEEN movie, where Michael stabs his half-naked teenage sister to death. The objectionable content in the new HALLOWEEN (2018) movie is excessive and offsets the story’s positive elements concerning a woman trying to protect her family from an evil force. Also, despite the heroine’s reference to prayer; ultimately, she resorts to her own devices, strength and wit to defeat the villain.
In the new HALLOWEEN movie for 2018, the mad killer Michael Myers escapes from custody again and returns to his hometown after 40 years to kill again. Meanwhile, Laurie Strode, who narrowly escaped Michael’s 1978 killing spree, is well-armed and prepared for him. She has prayed for his return, so she can kill him once and for all. She wants to protect her estranged daughter and her teenage granddaughter, who don’t understand the menace Michael presents for them. Once again, Jamie Lee Curtis plays Laurie Strode, who’s become an iconic, appealing female hero over the years.
The new HALLOWEEN is the best-made, most intense of the HALLOWEEN sequels since the original 1978 movie. It has some entertaining twists as the female heroine defends herself and her family against an evil killer. That said, the villain’s murderous behavior is likely to attract more susceptible teenagers wanting to copy such violence. Besides extreme violence, the new movie contains lots of strong foul language, some sexual references and a couple marijuana references involving its teenage characters. For these reasons, the new HALLOWEEN (2018) is unacceptable entertainment.