John Carpenter’s Halloween: Hit or Miss?

John Carpenter’s 1978 making of the film Halloween has immortalized villain Michael Myers in the horror movie hall of fame. His recognizable murder mask and Carpenter’s eerie soundtrack has remained a holiday staple for the past forty years before finally making a reappearance in theaters in 2018.

The 1978 version tells the story of Michael Myers, a sociopath with an intense passion for murder, after he escapes his holding asylum where he has been living since he was six years old. At the age of six, Myers brutally murdered his older sister Judith on Halloween night. His outbreak, as chronicled in Carpenter’s original film, allowed him to terrorize his younger sister, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) as well as other teenagers in the area. However, he is ultimately caught and transported back to his asylum.

The 2018 sequel continues the narrative Carpenter has so greatly painted. Set forty years after Myers’ last outbreak, the watcher discovers that although Strode has aged and started a family of her own, her life is still haunted by Myers’ crimes and her fear of him. Strode’s daughter and granddaughter criticize her paranoia, but her preparation ultimately is the divide between life and death for the Strode family when Myers breaks out and comes after them, killing many other unlucky townspeople on Halloween night. Strode luckily traps Myers in her basement and sets him on fire, allowing the watcher to believe that he has died. But has he?

Credit Nightmare Nostalgia

I never saw the 1978 version of Halloween. However, the 2018 sequel disappointed and underwhelmed me. The film was packed with a cheap storyline and lots of guts and gore to distract the watcher from the lack of effort in the script. Judith’s story is retold in flashbacks, but not once do filmmakers remind the audience that Strode is actually Myers’ younger sister, leaving the question, who is Laurie Strode, and why is she so infatuated with Michael Myers? A quick Google search solved that issue for me, but I found myself waiting throughout the entire film for some clue to be dropped without success.

The amount of brutal killings unrelated to the storyline make this film almost disgusting to watch. Myers has the tendency to hack anyone to death who stands in his way of ultimately reaching Strode. I would have prefered a structured storyline with perhaps some meaning to the deaths of the townspeople. I felt as though their murders were cheap ways to draw out the storyline before Myers reaches Strode at the very end.

I am by no means a film critic, but I would only rate Halloween (2018) six out of ten stars. I was definitely entertained, but I think next time I’d save the $8 and watch something with a little more substance. I’m also left wondering, is this the end? Is Michael really dead? I suppose the audience will have to wait another forty years to know.

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