There is something definitive about giving the latest Halloween sequel the exact same title as the original 1978 masterpiece. The expectations become even greater with the knowledge that it is not a remake, but actually a continuation of that first film. The hype leading up to this film’s release led me to believe it would be something original, when the reality is a lot closer to any of the early sequels in the 1980s. In a lot of ways, the kindest thing I can say about Halloween (2018) is that watching it felt somewhat like discovering an unseen sequel from the franchise’s past. Even with a female-empowered action climax, I was disappointed by the film’s lack of creativity and innovation.
After four decades, Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) is now a grandmother, allowing for the usual teen hijinks that the slasher genre is best known for. Having spent the better part of forty years as a recluse dealing with PTSD, Laurie’s relationship with her daughter (Judy Greer) is severed, despite the best efforts by her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak). Even with an inevitable show-off between Laurie and Michael, a majority of the film is spent following Allyson and her friends, whose Halloween celebrations elicit a response from Michael once he escapes from a prison transfer. This means a number of inconsequential teen characters, some of which are certain to act awful in order to justify their deaths.
Those who haven’t watched the original Halloween film anytime recently might be surprised at the pacing of David Gordon Green’s new sequel. It definitely adopts the original’s structure, with a majority of the film simply being a suspenseful build-up to the climactic interaction between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. At the same time, the pacing of the film is surprisingly slow for a modern horror movie. When John Carpenter made the original Halloween, it was the end of the 1970s and filmmakers were still heavily influenced by the European art films of recent past. Nowadays audiences don’t have the same patience, and some may even find moments within this sequel to be a tad bit boring, despite the 106-minute film being trimmed down heavily from the first cut. Many of the scenes cut for time are included in the special features included on the 4K and Blu-ray discs.
There are about thirteen-minutes of deleted and extended scenes included in the home entertainment releases, along with five promotional featurettes, although none are over five minutes long. They cover the iconic music from John Carpenter, the mask, and Jamie Lee Curtis, with the remaining two being even more generic. Despite looking as if there is a lot, most of the special features are just throwaway, missing anything substantial like a commentary track. The 4K Ultra HD disc is the real highlight, with the best of the film’s moody cinematography enhanced by the richer colors and deeper blacks. The package also includes a Blu-ray disc and a code for a digital copy of the film.
Entertainment Value: 7.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7.5/10
Historical Significance: 6.5/10
Special Features: 5/10