Halloween means three things – fall weather, trick or treating, and scary movies. And 2018 has graced horror fans with the return of one of the genre’s biggest icons.
Michael Myers first graced the big screen back in 1978, appearing as a product of John Carpenter’s vision and a lack of a big budget. The minimalist approach worked, giving the slasher legend a type of suspenseful scariness that some remakes have failed to replicate.
Following over a half-dozen sequels including a reimagining in 2007, 2018 saw a new take on the series written by Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Greene, the latter also serving as director. Warning, this review will contain spoilers!
Set 40 years after the original film, Michael Myers has been institutionalized following his capture after the events of the first movie. This one ignores all the sequels, and portrays Laurie as having no blood relation to Michael. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the events of the first film, she’s become an infatuated shut-in who has spent decades preparing for the killer’s inevitable return.
With her obsession having wrecked two marriages and got her daughter taken by social services, Laurie is considered a pariah by her family. But during transfer from Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, Michael escapes and resumes his pursuit of Laurie – but not before killing two journalists/podcasters studying his case, and retrieving his iconic mask in the process.
The movie was full of callbacks to the original. Everything from the score, performed by John Carpenter himself, to the opening credits that utilized the same font as the original were things true fans would enjoy.
The film ultimately sees Laurie’s suspicions come true, as she goes from paranoid nutjob to the one everybody should’ve listened to. Michael goes on a killing spree and ultimately winds up in Laurie’s home where he targets her daughter Karen and granddaughter Allyson.
The film plays on the predator/prey dynamic and questions who fits what role, as Laurie stalks Michael in her own house and cuts off his places to hide one by one. In another nod to the original, Michael throws Laurie out a window after a fight – but when he takes his eyes off her body for a few seconds, she vanishes.
Laurie’s underground bunker was always viewed as her cage, but turned out to be a trap – and after locking Michael inside, she burns the house and escapes with Karen and Allyson. At the end, Allyson is seen still clutching the knife as they ride off. And after the credits rolled, Michael’s breathing beneath the mask can be heard once more.
The film has smashed records at the box office, pulling in $90.5 million and making more than any film in the series.
Everything from the atmosphere to the music harkened back to the original. While it offered a bit more gore to keep with the times, it didn’t go overboard, and was a good showing for Michael Myers. It just shows that Carpenter’s formula, when done right, can still succeed in the modern era.