Carl heads back to Haddonfield for a rendezvous with Michael Myers and the import Blu-Ray edition of Halloween (2018)
I love the Halloween movie series. From John Carpenter’s sublime and often imitated original back in 1978 to the completely awful Rob Zombie’s attempts with his two reboots, the series has been running now for over 40 years. The sequels (apart from Halloween 3 which had nothing to do with Michael Myers) were of varying quality. From the completely enjoyable (Halloween II, Halloween H20) to the ridiculous (Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers and Halloween Resurrection) we have been tricked or treated pretty well over the years.
However, put the original and Halloween II together and to me, you have the perfect pair. Halloween II followed the original from the exact point the original ended. The film wasn’t in the same league as the first film but carried on the storyline to its natural conclusion. Although more gory and bloodier than the original (caused in part by Friday the 13th), the film was again a frightening tale of one man’s quest to kill. You couldn’t get any better than the first two films. Or so I thought.
Halloween 2018 | From Blumhouse/Universal Pictures
Halloween 2018 takes the series and rips it apart. It disregards every sequel ever made, throwing away the various storylines (No brother/sister ties here, No Jamie Lloyd (Daughter of Laurie Strode, sadly killed off-screen in a car crash), no faked death (Halloween H20). Instead, it picks up 40 years after the events of the first film with an alternate timeline from whats passed before it. And it makes the film so much better for it.
The film starts at Smiths Grove Mental asylum. Two English bloggers have arrived to make a podcast regarding Michael Myers who is being transferred to a new facility the next day. You see, in this timeline, Myers was captured after the events of the first film. Getting nothing from Myers, the bloggers seek out Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the survivor of Myers 1978 rampage to interview her with the aim of attempting to get her to sit down face to face with the remorseless killer, prompting a showdown in a controlled environment. Laurie is a broken woman. A twice-divorced alcoholic who lost custody of her only daughter, Karen years before, never regaining her back from child services. Laurie dislikes the questions thrown at her by the journalists and throws them out of her heavily fortified home. Laurie has been training herself for a final confrontation with Myers. She knows that one day he will come back for her. She was trying to train Karen when she was in her care to be prepared for the fateful day to come. She’s praying for Myers to escape so she can finish what was started forty years previous. And of course, during his transfer, Myers escapes. Now Laurie, her daughter and her young granddaughter must get ready for him to return to Haddonfield for the final battle.
The Blu-ray is a triumph. Universal rarely lets us down with their presentations and they’ve done us proud with this release. The picture is outstanding, no blurry or grainy images here. The colours are so rich and vibrant, the images leap out of the screen. Unlike the movie theatre, I saw the film in, I can actually SEE the picture during the darkest moments of the film. During the stalking and murder of the character of Oscar, you can actually see Myers in the background which in the movie theatre, I couldn’t. The quality of the picture on the Blu-ray brings an even more sense of dread and fear to the film.
The sound quality is, again excellent. No muted sounds, conversations or dulling of the effects here. The mix is perfect. Every creak can be heard in crystal clear sound quality. The sounds of Myers killing his victims are heard in scarily fantastic quality. Nothing is left out or dulled down, every thrust of his knife, thuds of a hammer hitting a victims head repeatedly off screen and his killing of a character by stamping on his head is heard and adds to the fear factor.
The various releases of the original film come with an abundance of special features and here, Universal don’t let us down. Deleted and extended scenes are present here. Some could have remained in the film to flesh out and explain what happens to various characters or flesh out their relationships but the majority would just be filler material in the film. The scene of Officer Hawkins and Dr Sartain in the patrol car is funny but had no place in the finished film. This is a horror film after all. We are here to be scared and to be on the edge of our seats and the patrol car scene takes us out of the tension that’s been built up. It doesn’t belong in the film and the makers wisely decided to cut it. The shower scene between our two journalists does lend weight to their relationship and their eventual fates but it again is unnecessary and wisely removed from the final edit.
The behind the scenes features are where the disc’s strengths lie. Back In Haddonfield: Making Halloween is a great behind the scenes look at the making of the film. A discussion on how the filmmakers went about creating their own tale of Myers while paying homage to the original film, covering the characters details, the directors love for the original film and crafting death scenes for the characters and other elements.
The Original Scream Queen is an all too brief look at Jamie Lee Curtis’ character as she appeared in the original film and her appearance in the new film. The new cast and crew pay tribute to her for her acting talents and for the way Curtis has shaped her character.
The Sound Of Fear is a nice bonus feature paying tribute to John Carpenter’s magnificent original score from 1978 and as the foundation for the new music he, his son Cody and Daniel Davies have produced for the film.
Journey Of The Mask is again a brief feature regarding the iconic mask Michael Myers wears in the films and discussions of the mask’s origin and the feelings of fear it conveys.
The Legacy Of Halloween is where Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter, Jason Blum and writer/director David Gordon Green sit down for a conversation regarding the making of the film, the staying power of the original film and bringing Laurie Strode back into the centre of the Halloween world once again.
In all, the disc is a fantastic package for all Halloween fans and non-fans alike. The film itself fits in perfectly with the series and the disc does likewise within any home film library. It will sit nicely alongside the original film and its first sequel. Just sit back in the dark with a drink, some snacks in the comfort of your own home and let Michael Myers scare you again. Just pray there are no unexplained noises behind you during the film. For Michael Myers has come home again. And he’s quite welcome to stay.
Halloween (2018) from Blumhouse/Universal Pictures is available to buy in the United States now and will be released in the UK on February 25th. And, check out the official movie novelisation from Titan Books available from all good retailers now.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!