Monday, October 22, 2018

Short Attention Span Review: Halloween (2018)

Short Attention Span Review: Halloween (2018)

Like so many of my fellow fright fans, I have been eagerly awaiting this one.  While it is proving somewhat divisive, I will add my voice to the camp that is heaping praise on this nightmarish follow-up to John Carpenter's original classic.  It is not perfect, and it may not match the power of the first one, which was leaner, meaner, and far more unexpected upon arrival.  However, it is a tremendous addition to the franchise, easily qualifying as the best addition to the Halloween legacy; some may deem that slight praise, but I enjoy most of the movies in this series.  However, if necessary, I will go even further in my recommendation here, for I found this Halloween to be one of the best sequels I have ever encountered.  It is the rare second chapter that adds to the story rather than rehashing it, paving the way for a grand new vision of what transpired after Michael's gruesome homecoming back in 1978.  It does so in a bold manner, ignoring everything that came after the first picture and raising the stakes dramatically, taking the protagonist on a sensational journey through PTSD, determination, and alienation.  And in the end, it puts Laurie and those she holds most dear (even if they don't necessarily share this affection) to the ultimate test.  Throughout this grim odyssey, Jamie Lee Curtis fires on all cylinders, offering up what may just be her definitive performance--and further cementing her place in the hallowed hall of scream queens.  In fact, she may just own the top spot on that list thanks to this riveting showcase. One can only imagine how thrilled she must have been when she received this script, which is built upon a vision of Laurie Strode as a deeply troubled woman who becomes a force to be reckoned with by refusing to to be a victim.  Both the opening and the closing are supreme, with the grand finale standing as one of the better showdowns I have seen in such fare.  There are a few dry spots along the way, but there are also numerous clever set pieces rooted in suspense and terror, and at least one major surprise.  Curtis isn't the only one seeking to elevate this picture, as her co-stars also perform admirably, and Carpenter's updated score is positively massive.  Honestly, this is the finest treat I could have hoped to receive this October, and I encourage horror fans to catch this one in the cinema.  David Gordon Green has done a remarkable job with one of the genre's most chilling entities, and opportunities to take in a horror film of this stature on the big screen should not be missed.

Final Grade: A

Jamie Lee Curtis has never been better, and this Halloween is a worthy follow-up to the John Carpenter original that ignited a legacy of terror.

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