Review: New “Halloween” Is The Greatest Entry In Series Since The Original

Dumb Luck performed as the Misfits at Interzone on Saturday night Oct. 27. (Photo: Angela Scott)

Forty years have passed since the original “Halloween” redefined the horror film genre. Now, after years of sequels and remakes that have varied wildly in quality, a new film bearing the namesake of the original 1978 classic has restored the long-running franchise to its initial glory and produced the best “Halloween” movie since the first.

The film is both a soft reboot of the franchise and a direct sequel to the original 1978 “Halloween” that largely ignores the numerous sequels and the much-derided remakes by Rob Zombie. The resulting story makes the mystery of Michael Myers secondary to a frightening atmosphere that draws viewers into its world rather than trying to beat them over the head into submission.

David Gordon Green brings a unique directorial style that honors the lineage of the original while also putting a new spin on the long-running series. With his previous work on offbeat comedies such “Pineapple Express”, the script (which Green co-wrote alongside actor Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley) injects a dark sense of humor even in some of the most gruesome moments of the film. On a modest $10 million budget, CGI takes a backseat to kills being done with makeup and practical special effects.

Still, the biggest draw of the film is the central conflict between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. Hardened by her encounter in the original film’s events, her desire for revenge makes for one of the best performances of Jamie Lee Curtis’ career.

Under the guidance of producers Jason Blum and Malek Akkad (son of the late Moustapha Akkad, who the film is dedicated to the memory of), this latest “Halloween” film is easily the best entry since the original. With some the best critical and commercial results the series has seen in years, it’s a great example of an often forgotten lesson in horror: sometimes, to get the best scares, less is more.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 Stars

Review by Steven Pryor

At a Glance:
Halloween (2018)
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Virginia Gardner, Will Patton and Nick Castle
Directed by: David Gordon Green
(Based on Characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill)
Rated R

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