When I first watched the original Halloween film from 1978, I remember thoroughly enjoying the thrill and excitement of the horror flick. I enjoyed the film so much that I spent my whole summer watching every film in the Halloween franchise (minus the Rob Zombie remakes). I was only 15 at the time but the franchise fascinated me.
Fast forward 13 years later and the franchise has been reignited with the release of another Halloween film, one that brings back the original heroine, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), to face off against the evil that has haunted her for forty years, Michael Myers.
This year’s Halloween not only commemorated the 40th anniversary of the original film but also acted as a direct sequel, thereby ignoring the previous installments of the film franchise. Having been some time since I watched the Halloween films, I’d forgotten the fact that many of the films in the series ignored continuity and many essentially followed alternative timelines. Having forgotten the many changes to Laurie’s story, I was personally displeased with the fact that this new film basically ignored her previous interactions with Michael and the fact that she had once ‘died’. I’d even forgotten that she had a daughter in one film and then had a son instead in another. It made for a very confusing start to the new film.
However, upon realising that I needed to take this newly released film as a standalone, I began to take interest in the film.
The film follows Laurie forty years after the incident with Michael Myers. Such a traumatic experience left Laurie scarred, leaving her to become paranoid and constantly on edge, resulting in a strained relationship with her daughter and granddaughter. Of course, it was extremely predictable that Michael Myers would escape and renew his quest to eliminate Laurie. That’s the one thing about horror films these days. Many are just too predictable with unsatisfactory endings.
Whilst Halloween included all the things I dislike about horror films such as unnecessary gore, plot holes and random characters that seemed pointless, what I really enjoyed was the throwback factor. This film certainly brought out the nostalgia for the original film with many shots mimicking the 1978 film. In many ways, it was these similarities in shots and scenes that really captivated me and brought out my inner horror film enthusiast.
The action was certainly aplenty with a lot of gore. I found myself looking away from the screen more out of disgust than fear and seeing awful blood-splatter and other less than appealing bits and pieces threw me off. Nonetheless, the film did well to bring Laurie and Michael Myers back together again.
The desperation to kill Michael once and for all was so evident that it felt almost necessary for us to sit up and cheer for Laurie. The feelings of wanting to watch Laurie walk away and lead a happy life was so strong that I was glued to my seat, despite knowing that the film would end in a certain way.
The film techniques used along with the soundtrack, courtesy of John Carpenter, the man behind the original Halloween film, added to the intensity of the film. Having such an iconic piece of music play throughout the film increased the feeling of being back in 1978, watching Halloween as it first took over the world by storm.
Without giving away too much more, Halloween was an enjoyable watch and brought back many classic aspects that made the original film great. However, with some plot-holes, predictability and unnecessary scenes, the film lacked the overall ‘thrill’ factor despite moments of being glued to one’s seat and being gripped by the film’s intensity. Watch the film for yourself and you’ll see what I mean. This is one film that will leave a more neutral feeling to it. In other words, I didn’t thoroughly love it nor despise it. It was a rather so-so film overall.