REVIEW: Halloween Performs But Fails To Amaze
***Review contains Spoilers***
In 1978 John Carpenter directed, scored, co-wrote, and produced one of the most iconic horror movies ever, Halloween. The 1978 film centers around Michael Myers who was committed to an insane asylum as a child for the murder of his older sister. Fifteen years later, Michael Myers breaks out of the asylum on Halloween night as he stalks Laurie Strode and her babysitter friends while being pursued by his former psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis. Horror fans embraced John Carpenter’s Halloween and Michael Myers as the boogie man.
Forty years and 10 films later, Michael Myers is resurrected once again on the big screen. Previously Halloween (2007), a remake, and Halloween II (2009), a sequel, was remade by horror director and musician Rob Zombie. After Dimension Films lost the production rights to develop a new Halloween film, Blumhouse Productions acquired the rights. John Carpenter was given the role of composer, executive producer, and creative consultant. David Gordon Green was brought on as the director and co-writer of the script.
There had been much speculation as to what the movie would entail and how the 2018 Halloween movie would fit into the Halloween universe. The movie was given a $10 million dollar production budget. The new Halloween was released on October 19, 2018. The film was marketed as a showdown of sorts between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers.
No one can deny the financial success of 2018 Halloween film. The opening weekend at the box office Halloween grossed approximately $76 million making the film the most financially successful movie in the Halloween franchise. But isn’t that what Jason Blum does? Blumhouse Productions makes horror movies on a lower budget gets them a wide release and makes money from moviegoers. Often times these films contain nothing more than a few jump scares or in this case the movie relies heavily on the fame of Michael Myers.
Financially, Halloween is a hit. It was a safe investment for film financiers. But did the movie really contribute to the franchise? What did it do for those hardcore horror fans like myself? Simply put, the film didn’t do anything for me. Sure, it was cool to see Michael Myers on the big screen again but the story line failed to amaze.
So according to the new movie, what has Laurie Strode been doing the last forty years? She has been training for a showdown with Michael Myers. She has been so obsessed with the showdown that she lost custody of her only daughter and became a recluse. With a stock pile of weapons, booby traps, and a fortress for a home, Laurie Strode is ready for Michael Myer’s escape. The only thing missing is her daughter and granddaughter. However, they eventually join her.
As always, the hospital administers decide to transport an aged Michael Myers on Halloween during which he escapes like always. Michael gets his old mask back from a podcasting journalist that he kills. And the showdown is on.
The issue with this storyline is that the Laurie Strode character strangely reminds me of Sarah Connors from Terminator 2. While Sarah Connors was training her son for Judgement Day, Laurie Strode was training and arming herself and her daughter for an encounter with Michael Myers.
The encounter between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers were really unimpressive. The film didn’t really have the body count or action that I would have expected from this sequel. But the producers and film financers probably don’t care at this point because we have already purchased our tickets for the film and they have made their money.
It is easy for me to say that I was unimpressed but what would I do different? If Jason Blum would have called me and said pitch me the new Halloween sequel, what advice would I have?
I would have opened the movie with Michael Myers being transported on a bus to new asylum two days before Halloween. Because he is so dangerous, he would be transported alone with a lead car and several officers. An accident would occur and Michael Myers would escape. Maybe have him on a bridge and get shot by the police as he falls into a river. Michael is presumed to be dead.
Two years later, Laurie Strode has a daughter (Karen), son-in-law (Toby), a nineteen year old granddaughter (Allyson), and a nine year old grandson (Nick). Laurie’s daughter recently moved back to Haddonfield, Illinois. Nick is having trouble adjusting in school and is evaluated as having potential mental health issues. The Dr. working with Nick asks about family history of mental health issues which prompts Laurie to come clean to her family that her brother, Michael Myers, was the boogey man.
Allyson is watching Nick on Halloween night as Laurie, Karen, and Toby go out to discuss different treatment options for Nick. While they are out, Michael Myers returns and starts slaughtering everyone in their neighborhood. Laurie, Karen, and Toby return to Karen’s house just in time for Michael to stalk and kill a majority of the family.
At the end, I would have Michael Myers stalking Laurie, Nick, and Allyson in the house. This point in the story, we would have lots of options for endings. One option would be Laurie trying to protect Nick and Allyson. Michael kills Allyson. Laurie stabs Michael and he falls from the second story and is laying in the yard. As Laurie is looking at Michael’s body, Nick cuts Laurie throat and pushes her from the second story.
Nick is looking down at Laurie’s and Michael’s bodies for a moment as police cars can be seen approaching from a distance. Nick goes down to the front yard. Michael’s Myers body is gone but his mask is besides Laurie’s dead body. Nick picks up the mask and a new Halloween franchise is born.
That’s the Halloween sequel Sgt. Horror would have made. What would you have done differently?