It’s in the namesake. Michael Myers and Halloween movies are a tradition, so what better day to take a look at this latest horror opus than today, on Halloween.

It has been a bloodthirsty battle of the blockbusters at the box office over the past couple of weekends! Halloween opened on October 19th, just two weeks after Marvel’s Venom (starring Tom Hardy of The Dark Knight) hit theatres with the biggest October movie opening of all time. The pair of cinematic villains went head-to-head, but everyone knows when Michael Myers suits up, he means business; the latest installment of this classic Halloween franchise went on to slash Venom‘s two-week reign. Ultimately, Venom stood no chance against the classic horror juggernaut.

Now the number one movie in the world, “Halloween 2018,” as it’s been nicknamed, has claimed the second largest opening for a horror movie (second to IT), the second biggest opening weekend in October (second to Venom), the biggest opening for a horror movie with a female lead, the biggest opening for a movie with a female lead over 55, and the biggest opening of all the Halloween films. How’s that for a stab in the dark?

It’s no secret that slasher movies follow a certain recipe, one that has been reused, reduced, and recycled for decades: a crazed, masked serial killer terrorizes teenagers in a suburban town only to spawn a half dozen sequels with the same plot. Halloween manages to break that pattern, delivering a fresh spin on an already established and beloved storyline.

It’s been 40 years since Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) survived a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers on Halloween night in 1978. Now, locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when his bus transfer goes horribly wrong, and Laurie faces a terrifying showdown when he returns to Haddonfield, Illinois! But this time, she’s ready for him! Or is she?

Present day Laurie Strode is but a shell of her former self, however. Directly following the events that took place on Halloween night in 1978, Halloween 2018 is a sequel that disregards all the other films in the franchise, from Halloween II onward. In many ways, Halloween 2018 is a lot like Halloween II, from Laurie’s PTSD and the memorable ending to all the odes and Easter eggs as prominent as Michael’s kitchen knife is sharp.

Now, Laurie has a daughter names Karen (Judy Greer, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), not a son as she did in 1998’s Halloween: H20 (sorry Josh Hartnett). She also has a granddaughter named Allyson (Andi Matichak, Underground) who rises up to the terrifying occasion, fitting into Laurie Strode’s getaway shoes quite nicely. All three women shine in their respective roles, and while Laurie’s daughter Karen is less developed as a character than the others, strong female leads in horror are something to be celebrated. 

The overall feel of Halloween is a nostalgic one, and the film truly does give new and original fans a lot to get behind. The maniacal rampage Michael Myers goes on is as gruesome as always, the cinematography, set and costume designs take you right into that Halloween feeling, and there are some interesting plot twists you won’t see coming, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed in how much of the film they revealed in the trailer.

If you have a weak stomach, Halloween will make you squirm in your seat. The killings (which happen too quickly and are often expected) are horrific and gruesome; Michael really outdoes himself.  But throughout the 1h and 46m of Halloween, only a few of these killings, as well as some select plot twists, are revealed as a surprise. And while the added comedic element is good for some genuine laughs, it would have done the film well to just focus on the horror. That’s what people are buying tickets for – to be scared.

The mixture of original and new talent, on the other hand, works very well, and with the massive success of this reboot, don’t be surprised if Michael Myers suits up for another film in the near future.

“Face Your Fate!”

3.5 Popcorn Kernels / 5


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About the Author

Joey Viola is the Co-Founder of MoJo Toronto and an LGBTQ community leader who utilizes his passion and flair for the art of writing by bringing a fresh perspective in reviewing entertainment and advocating for equality, tolerance, and social/political justice.