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Halloween (2018) Blu-ray Review

Written by Steve Pattee

Blu-ray released by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Halloween 2018 Blu Ray Poster

Directed by David Gordon Green
Written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green
2018, 106 minutes, Not Rated
Released on January 15th, 2019

Starring:
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode
Judy Greer as Karen
Andi Matichak as Allyson
James Jude Courtney as The Shape
Nick Castle as The Shape

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Review:

Just so you have an idea of where I stand as far as the Halloween films go, my favorites are in this order: Halloween (1978), Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Halloween II, Halloween: H20, and then the rest in a big bag that I can shake up and watch as they all are kind of…meh. If you only want to count the ones with Michael Myers, simply remove Halloween III from my list and leave the rest as is. Having finished the latest incarnation in the world of Halloween, where would I rate it? Read on, my friends, and you shall find out.

Let’s get this out of the way, this latest part in the franchise totally ignores all canon past the first film. All of it. You need to go into this film knowing that. (I had no idea, but I figured it out soon enough, and that actually heightened my enjoyment of the film.) Also, keep in mind I’m the type of person who doesn’t bat an eye over remakes or sequels. Nothing will ever change the original, contrary to what people think. In all honesty, I’d rather have money thrown at a brand new film that possibly creates a new iconic monster or killer than have, say, a dozen Friday the 13ths because, really, how many films in a 10+ movie franchise are memorable? Be honest. However, every once in a while, a sequel is a solid entry in the universe. Like this Halloween.

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I’m going to say I like it. I like it quite a bit. Taking place 40 years after that fateful Halloween of 1978, this take has a pair of bloggers visiting a now 40-something-year-old (but looks 50-something) Michael in the sanitarium a day before he is to be transferred. It’s a delightful opening and immediately unsettling. Maybe it’s the other crazies surrounding Michael, shouting out non-sequiturs, or possibly it’s the German Shepherd that starts barking knowing something is amiss, or maybe it’s just seeing the shape of a maskless Myers who is clearly older but no less dangerous. Props to the decision to the way scenes are cut before Myers eventually retrieves and dons his iconic mask. You almost see him numerous times, but you never get a full glimpse of what he looks like. And even more impressive is Nick Castle, who kicked ass as The Shape in 1978 and is just as intimidating maskless in 2018. He’s still got it.

As things go in horror films, the bus Myers is on during transport has an accident (it’s unclear how, but I suspect it was his doing), and it’s not long before he is on the way back to Haddonfield, his home, to finish what he started. This of course involves leaving bodies in his wake. Admittedly, one of the first few deaths took me a little by surprise. It goes someplace that films don’t normally go. God bless them.

Look, this is a Halloween movie; a slasher, so you don’t need to go deep with the synopsis. That said, just like in 1978, Laurie Strode (the amazing Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role) is no slouch. In fact, she’s more of a bad ass now than she was in her youth. She’s secluded herself from society, training and preparing for the inevitable day Myers would return, and she’s ready. In addition, her daughter Karen (Judy Greer; Archer, Arrested Development) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) are reluctantly dragged into this murderous game of cat and mouse, but Karen is her mother’s daughter and does not take things lying down. In fact, she is responsible for one of my favorite scenes in the movie; her delivery of a particular line had me laughing with glee.

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The film isn’t perfect, and it has some questionable decisions. For example, Allyson’s character is underused and I have to wonder why she’s even in the movie (which Ali goes into further detail in her review). Don’t get me wrong, Andi Matichak did just fine with the character and there are zero problems there, it just feels like the character is only there to appeal to a younger audience (which makes sense for money, I suppose). But, man, I would have loved to see the movie just focus on Laurie and Karen. The mother and daughter have an incredibly strained relationship due to Laurie’s choices when raising Karen (you know, the usual things a mom who was attacked by a serial killer would teach her daughter; how to fight, how to shoot, etc.). But when the two get together to battle Michael, all bets are off.

However, it’s easy to overlook these flaws because the script by Danny McBride (who seriously kicks ass with Vice Principals and Eastbound & Down) and David Gordon Green does what any good script does: brings enough to the table to make things fresh again in a series that already has ten movies in it. Don’t get me wrong, it covers most if not all the tropes we expect to see in a slasher, but I do give points for going the direction they went with it. Instead of trying to continue the story, as convoluted as it is, they just said the hell with it and about started from scratch. And it works. Throw in the return of Jamie Lee Curtis and you up the ante considerably.

So where does it stand in my list of favorite Halloween films? Right after H20, but not too far after.

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Video and Audio:

Seeing how this film just came out from a major studio, so there is no reason why it shouldn’t look and sound terrific, and it does. The 2.39:1 presentation is crisp and clear, not allowing you to miss a thing unless you choose to.

The audio is just as great, with the perfect balance with busy use of the surrounds and the dialog never overtaken by neither the score nor effects.

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Special Features:

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween
  • The Original Scream Queen
  • The Sound of Fear
  • Journey of the Mask
  • The Legacy of Halloween

The special features are rather average, consisting of five featurettes totaling about 13 minutes and seven deleted and extended scenes running just under 13 minutes.

The featurettes are just enough to get you wanting more, and I am especially frustrated with The Legacy of Halloween. It opens with Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter, David Gordon Green and Jason Blum all sitting down chatting about the film. From the opening, I thought I was in for something detailed, but after it ended less than five minutes later, I am disappointed to say the least.

The same goes for The Original Scream Queen, which focuses on Jamie Lee Curtis. This woman deserves far more than two-and-half-minutes.

If there was one thing I wish were on here, it would be a commentary with Green and McBride. There are a slew of homages in the film from the Halloween franchise, and I’m sure I did not catch them all. It would have been cool to hear them talk about those homages, as well as the birth of the idea and more.

Maybe we’ll see a Collector’s Edition at some point.

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Grades:

Movie: Threeandahalfstars Halloween 2018 Blu Ray Cover
Buy Amazon Us
Video: Fourandahalfstars
Audio: Fourstars
Features: Twostars
Overall: Threeandahalfstars

 

About The Author
AR2
Author: Steve Pattee
Administrator, US Editor
He's the puppet master. You don't see him, but he pulls the strings that gets things done. He's the silent partner. He's black ops. If you notice his presence, it's the last thing you'll notice — because now you're dead. He's the shadow you thought you saw in that dark alleyway. You can have a conversation with him, and when you turn around to offer him a cup of coffee, he's already gone.
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