Review: “Halloween” is Undoubtedly Meritable

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Review: “Halloween” is Undoubtedly Meritable

Cash Martinez and Kevin Sittner

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Although the 2018 horror film “Halloween” is not a remake, but a direct sequel, many of the elements that appear throughout the film’s runtime harken back to the 1978 original. From iconic death sequences to John Carpenter’s classic score to the vintage style credits, as well as the other subtle nods and callbacks from start to finish, the film is undoubtedly that of the Halloween multiverse—a story of survival, fear, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of pure evil- while doing more than enough to prove to audiences and critics alike that it is an original slasher flick in its own merit.

Marked by the psychological and physical makeup of the serial killer Michael Myers from the 1978 original, a 60-year-old Myers’ instinctive tendency towards remorseless murder stems now from yet another mishap during the transfer of inmates from prison to prison that leaves him liberated of the immediate stranglehold of authorities. The film’s opening scene, although predictable, in which a father and his son encounter the crashed prison bus once used to safeguard Myers from humanity, supplies a familiar sense of terror, one that once again is derived from Myer’s unstoppable life force and the power of his will for vengeance instead of the all too familiar, unimaginative predicaments perpetuated by hasty or rash decisions. The heart-pounding and terrifying return of Michael Myers to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois, is only paralleled by the opening reintroduction of Carpenter’s Final Girl, Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis). Strode, now a 59-year-old, gun-toting grandmother, has been preparing for the last 40 years for Myers’s inevitable return; however, her paranoia and obsession with Myers has put a strain on her relationship with her already-estranged daughter, Karen Nelson (played by Judy Greer), and, by extension, Strode’s granddaughter, Allyson (played by Andi Matichak). Although the film tries to set up Allyson’s character as a post-modern Laurie Strode, it fails to create even a comparison between the two, leaving her story arc open-ended and our questions of her motivations unanswered; but what lacks in Allyson’s development as a character is made up for by breathtaking cinematography, a strong balance between violent action sequences and emotion-driven storytelling, and the strong, self-willed, powerful female force that is Laurie Strode. Halloween is not just a story of fear and murder, but that of vengeance and the will of an individual to survive and fight back against forces of evil. Ultimately, the long-winded battle between the unlikely heroine Laurie Strode and the murderous Michael Myers is representative of our own fight against our deepest fears, carefully packaged into one hour and fifty-five minutes of pure terror and suspense. Halloween is a film that will leave you on the edge of your seat and watching through your fingers.

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