26 October 2018

Happy Halloween, Michael.

Halloween is one of my favourite movie series so when I was invited along by Odeon to review the brand new Halloween sequel, I jumped at the chance!

As fans of the cult classic series will know the original Halloween movie by John Carpenter and Debra Hill came out in 1978, and introduced the iconic serial killer Michael Myers to the world, The series spawned 8 movies, 2 remakes and now the 2018 official sequel, which sees the return of the incredible Jamie Lee Curtis as the equally iconic Laurie Strode.

The Odeon Experience

 Before I jump into the specifics of the Halloween universe and the new movie, let's take  inure to appreciate the Odeon experience. My local cinemas are a Showcase and a Cineworld, so the only other time that I've been to the Odeon was when I popped along earlier this year to review the new Tomb Raider movie, (which you can read more about here if you're interested). For the movie I was treated a large combo to enjoy while I watched, for which I chose popcorn, or course, getting a mix of sweet and salted, and for Halloween they had toppings you could add yo your popcorn as a little added extra, so I chose mini oreos. The popcorn was literally massive, I barely managed 1/4 of it because it was so big, and I was so engrossed in the film I barely blinked nevermind ate! The combo also came with a large soft drink, I got diet coke. Again the size of the large drink was crazy, it was bigger than my head, I loved it! 

For seating we were treated to two Odeon Premier seats in the middle of the very back row of the cinema which was absolutely perfect as I love to sit in the middle back row usually, so that was a pleasant bonus! The premier seats at Odeon are a little wider, softer and more comfortable to relax in  for optimum viewing pleasure, it was amazing!

A Bit Of Background

The Halloween timeline is a unique one in itself given that films 1&2 are a direct story and sequel, 3 disregards Laurie’s storyline altogether and focuses on a cult (it doesn’t even feature Michael… eh?).
4 goes back to the Laurie storyline by focuses on her young daughter who Michael is targeting now, 5 is set a year later with the same idea, he’s after Jamie again. 6 skips 6 years to Jamie randomly having a baby, breaking out of the place she’s being kept and then Michael proceeds to go after her and her baby.

Halloween H20 (number 7) was the original attempt at a direct sequel to films 1 & 2, that disregards anything after the second films and brings back Laurie as Michael her 20 years after she faked her death in the 4th film, with number 8 being the disappointing end to the Laurie timeline, but it was still a good film.

40 Years Later...

So, with the already jumpy plot line in the series, the new film is a much needed and definitively more satisfying sequel than any of the others.  The plot of the 2018 version takes place directly after the events of the first film, which means it disregards the plots of the remaining movies, and since it does, this means that in the 208 version, Laurie and Michael are not brother and sister!

This was a twist that I never caught onto until I was watching a video about the movie after I had seen it, as there is a scene in the film where Laurie's granddaughter says that the rumour about Michael being her grandmother's brother was just a that, a rumour, but that is the first and only time that it is mentioned so I didn't catch on she was being series. It seemed to me like she was just saying that because she didn't want people to know!

For me, that was the one details that after seeing the movie I thought was a bit off. For me, one of the series big draws and most interesting plot devices is that he is after his sister, it's part of the sinister plotline! But it still works amazingly nonetheless, as it adds another layer to the creepy, stalking nature of Michael Myers. The idea that he's so intent on killing this one woman that he stalked at random scares people more than the idea of him killing his own family!

The movie opens with 2 investigative podcasters meeting with Michael at the iconic Smith's Grove Sanitarium in an attempt to get him to talk to them about his murders. This of course is the catalyst for the rest of the movie, setting Michael back on his murderous path, intent on getting out of the sanitarium to get Laurie.

Donald Pleasance unfortunately passed away back when the original Halloween move series was still being made, so this film sees Michael with an all new, bizarre and slightly too obsessed with him, (trust me this guy become a plot twist later on!) psychiatrist who allows the podcasters to bring Michael's old mask to him, which of course twigs something in him.

Of course, Michael escapes and goes on a rampage, killing a host of people as he makes his way back to Haddonfield in search of Laurie and her family to complete his murderous plans!

Two of the biggest selling points for me 1. The character development of Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode, and 2. The mass of easter eggs in the movie that pay homage to the original 1978 Halloween.

This sequel sees the roles of predator and prey essentially reversed, which I think is a great direction to take it. Thought Michael is still the one basing in heads, slashing people open and at one point, even treating a human skull like a bug (literally) under his shoe (tiny spoiler, but necessary if you're squeamish!), Laurie is the one doing the hunting. We see that she has spent the last 40 years of her life meticulously planning and preparing for her eventual inevitable showdown with Michael, only this time, she'll be the one who is one step ahead. She essentially turns her home into a big game of mouse trap, stocked with weapons and booby traps, just waiting to catch herself a mouse. Or in this case, a butcher knife wielding, boiler suit and creepy as heck mask wearing psychopath.

I think that Jamie Lee Curtis plays this role absolutely outstandingly. In the original she was the perfect cliche 'final girl', and now she is the perfect badass. She makes you really feel how anxious and paranoid Laurie must always be, and understand it, and when it comes to the action scenes, wow. She takes the idea of 'final girl' and does a complete 180, becoming the self sufficient and well-prepared woman she is, so that when she sees Michael again, she wont' be helpless and clumsy, she'll be ready to end it. She was the perfect actress to portray the role, and I'm beyond thrilled she made reprised the role for this film!

The second biggest thing I loved about this film was the amount of easter eggs related to the original movie and it's original sequel. Since I'm a big fan of them I picked up on a lot of them first time, but after doing some research I noticed even more little ones, and I love it when films do things like this, it gives an added little kick for movie fans like me when we pick up on them.

There's quite a few scenes with these easter eggs that I loved. the scene when Laurie's grnaddaughter Allyson is sitting in desk at school and looks out to see Laurie watching her, which is the exact scene from Halloween where Laurie is at the same desk and looks out to see Michael in that same spot. When the bus Michael is on crashes and the father and his son drive into the mist and run into a loose group of escaped mental patients, just like Dr Loomis and his assistant did in the original. The scene where Michael steaks a kitchen knife from the kitchen of a woman in curlers making a sandwhich, directly copied from Halloween II.

In both films there is a scene at the graveyard where we see Judith Myer's gravestone, in the original because Michael steals it and in the remake because he is watching the podscasters there. Micheal walking directly into a group of costumed kids who stare at him as he goes after Allyson's friends. Then there's that whole scene in general where he kills the best friend and her boyfriend while they babysit (the funniest kid in the world!), scare the kid into running out of the house, pose the girl's body (like he did in the original), pin the boyfriend to the wall with knifes, it's basically the exact same scene!

That's all before you even get to the main scenes that take place in Laurie's house, where you realise that Karen (Laurie's daughter) has a dollhouse as a child that was an exact replica of the Myer's house. Or that there is a lot of shots and emphasis wardrobes with shuttered doors as an homage to the iconic scene from the original Halloween. Or the repitition of the line "do as I say", one of her famous lines from the final scenes of the 1978 movie. Or that the main upstairs room is an almost exact replica of the room from the Doyle house at the end of the original Halloween where Dr Loomis shoots Micheal until he falls out of the window.

Which ironically is one of the most iconic scenes in the horror movie world, and one which is recreated shot for shot in this movie when Laurie is thrown over the balcony and lands in the garden, only to be gone when Micheal looks away and then back, just as the legendary Halloween theme begins to play to signal that the real action is about to go down, I had literal goosebumps at this scene.

Overall I would highly, highly recommend this film. Whether you love the original movies from this series, or you just love horror movies in general, this one is a must see. For fans of the original Halloween movies it is fantastic sequel to the 1978 cult classic, that really does the original story justice as a sequel.

For horror or movie fans in general, it's still an epic slasher story that you can love and follow even without prior knowledge of the series or storyline. All you need to know is that Michael Myers killed a bunch of people, Laurie got away and now he's back after her, which the movie helpfully explains anyway for any newbies to the series.

I've tried to keep this review as spoiler free as possible in terms of Michael's escape and new kills, so that if you plan to see it yourself you've got all the surprises in store. But definitely go see it, it's 110% worth it!

Are you a fan of horror movies? Have you seen any of the Halloween movies? What was your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!

Where else to hiyaitsashley!

Post a Comment