Halloween is a 2018 American slasher film directed by David Gordon Green and written by Green, Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride. It is the eleventh installment in the Halloween film series, and a direct sequel to the 1978 film of the same name, while retconning the continuity of the previous sequels. Set 40 years after the original film, the plot follows Laurie Strode as she prepares to face Michael Myers in a final confrontation when he returns to Haddonfield, Illinois to finish her off for escaping his killing spree on Halloween Night in 1978. Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle reprise their roles as Strode and Myers, respectively, with stuntman James Jude Courtney also portraying Myers. The film also stars Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, and Virginia Gardner.
Laurie Strode 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.
Why it Rocks
- Brings back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, Nick Castle as Michael Myers and John Carpenter, who helped direct the movie.
- The idea of making Laurie actually prepare for Michael on his next killing spree so she can kill him herself is pretty original.
- Great acting, mainly from Jamie Lee Curtis who returns as the iconic Laurie Strode and Andi Matichak who plays her granddaughter, Allyson.
- By far one of the most violent and gruesome movies in the franchise.
- Michael Myers himself is still the intimidating and scary figure that he was 40 years ago and Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney do an amazing job at playing him.
- There are a couple of clever easter eggs and throwbacks from the first film and the other sequels, which is pretty nice
- The soundtrack is top-notch and sounds much like the original, while having a Synthwave feel.
- Amazing character development, especially with Laurie Strode, who went from a smart high-school girl in the first film to a post traumatic, Sarah Conner-esque gun carrier who's been preparing for Michael's next escape.
- Many fans of the original have praised this film for living up to the original and capturing the terrifying tone it had.
- The setting and cinematography is very chilling as it captures the suspenseful tone the film and its predecessor has. It ignores the events of the other sequels that began to water down the franchise.
- Making Laurie and Michael no longer siblings is a nice touch as it only strengthens the horror and suspense on why Michael is hunting her down.
- The characters are unforgettable and entertaining in their own ways, especially the post-traumatic Laurie Strode who's been arming herself ever since her first encounter with Michael in 1978.
- Leaves no continuity errors behind or last minute changes and actually brings up some of the events of the first film as it's a direct sequel to it.
- The scenes are still unpredictable and terrifying, mainly the death scenes.
The Only Bad Quality
- The title can confuse newcomers with the original film.
In September 2018, early tracking projections had Halloween grossing $40–50 million in its opening weekend. On October 5, two weeks before its release, weekend estimates had increased to $60 million. By the week of its release, debut estimates were as high as $70 million from 3,928 theaters. The film made $7.7 million from Thursday night previews, the third-highest ever for an R-rated horror film after It and Paranormal Activity 3.
Worldwide, it is expected to debut to around $100 million, including $12–30 million from 21 markets internationally.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 80% based on 209 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Halloween largely wipes the slate clean after decades of disappointing sequels, ignoring increasingly elaborate mythology in favor of basic – yet still effective – ingredients." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 68 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it a 75% positive score and a 65% "definite recommend"; social media monitor RelishMix noted a "positive buzz" response to the film online.
Peter Debruge of Variety felt that the film brings the series back to its roots, calling it "an act of fan service disguised as a horror movie. The fact it works as both means that [director] Green [...] has pulled off what he set out to do, tying up the mythology that Carpenter and company established, while delivering plenty of fresh suspense — and grisly-creative kills — for younger audiences". Writing for The Verge, Bryan Bishop said the film was "better than almost every other sequel in the franchise" and "a fitting coda to a story that began 40 years ago", while Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly described it as "a faithful, fundamental sequel (and funny too)". In his review for Bloody Disgusting, Joe Lipsett wrote, "All in all, Halloween is a worthy entry in the franchise [...] Everything really clicks at the finale, which makes sense considering the film exists to pit Laurie against Michael. And in this capacity, Halloween doesn't disappoint".Jonathan Barkan of Dread Central wrote, "Halloween pays loving and respectful homage to the 1978 original while making a very bold and decisive claim for its own existence," also noting, "... this is quite possibly the scariest Michael Myers has ever been." Laura Di Girolamo of Exclaim gave the film 7/10 and wrote, "This Halloween doesn't redefine the slasher genre as the 1978 original did, and that's okay — it's not trying to. Instead, it's paying homage to the films that came before it and what made them work."
In a mixed review, Eric Kohn of IndieWire criticized the film's dialogue and staging, but said "Carpenter's own Halloween was itself a bumpy ride, made on the cheap, but carried along by the director's firm grasp on his potent themes. The new one works overtime to keep them intact, while communing with the first installment in every possible way — from that famously creepy synth score to the blocky orange credits that bookend the story". RogerEbert.com's Brian Tallerico gave Halloween two out of four stars, writing it "is admirable in its thematic relation to Carpenter's vision, but the no-nonsense, tightly-directed aspect of the influential classic just isn't a part of this one. Carpenter's movie is so tautly refined that the sometimes incompetent slackness of this one is all the more frustrating. As is the complete lack of atmosphere, another strength of the original". Forbes' Scott Mendelson thought the film is "not very good or tightly-directed, and it fails as a character play and a scary movie".