Griffintainment - Halloween (2018)

Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at 06:00 PM


"The moose is loose"

Halloween (2018)

Movie Review by Griffintainment X CalgaryMovies.com

30 years is a long time to be trying to kill someone. You have to really want that person dead, to go at them for 30 straight years. And Michael Myers, the man in the faceless mask, perpetually obsessed with machine like dedication, with killing his sister Laurie, has just that level of commitment. David Gordon Green's Halloween is the 11th film to feature Myers, his butcher's blade hacking through horny teens and nerdy sidekicks, attempting to finish a job he started back on October 31st, 1978.

That being said, Halloween 2018 is not a sequel to the 10th Halloween movie, which was directed by Rob Zombie and was more concerned with how much gore it could squeeze into the runtime, than with any type of intriguing or emotionally involving narrative arc. It's more or less a direct sequel to the 1978 original. The best one. The one that spawned an entire sub-genre within horror, the teen slasher flick.

As you would expect, Laurie Strode, played here and in many of the sequels, by the original Laurie Strode and everlasting 'scream queen' Jamie Lee Curtis, is a very damaged individual. She suffers a host of post traumatic anxiety and obsessive disorders and is considered by the few people she allows into her life, as bat shit crazy. For Laurie, as long as Michael is alive, he is a threat. And her stock pile of weaponry, her booby trapped house, her endless hours of target practice, and her long nights of staring into the dark, waiting for Michael's empty visage to appear, seem to reinforce her paranoia, rather than quell it, or provide her with any sense of safety or, indeed, rationale. But it is rational of course. And it isn't a spoiler to say that her paranoia is well founded. Michael does eventually appear. He does hack his way through unfortunate souls and Laurie and Michael do have their inevitable showdown.

The interesting thing about this Halloween though, is that it's actually Laurie who is doing the hunting. Once she learns Michael is free of the asylum in which he was previous held, she spends the entire movie trying to chase him down. Not the other way around. When Michael does try to slice her up, it feels, oddly, like self defence. Not that Myers is written as a character we're meant to feel sympathy for, he's still doing awful things to innocent people. But he doesn't ever seem particularly interested in Laurie, until she goads him into it.

Another sad and well written aspect of this film, is that Laurie, as the victim of abuses so horrendous and scarring, it's a wonder she's not the one in the asylum, seems to be written with a very knowing nod of the head to the #metoo movement. This massive wave of strong, courageous women coming forward, basically daily, to accuse and oust the men who did damage to them, physically, mentally and/or emotionally, are represented here by Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode. And that gives the film an added revenge fantasy hook that will no doubt play well with anyone who has ever daydreamed of repaying their attackers for the abuses they've suffered.

I won't say how the movie ends of course, or whether Strode finally fulfills her vengeance. But that's ok. Because Laurie killing Michael isn't really the point, is it? Does closure heal all wounds? I guess it could, but there's no guarantee that with Michael gone, Laurie will settle into a life of peaceful domestication. That's she'll join a book club and buy a cat.

I think the tragic thing about Laurie, and about all women who have suffered an attack of some kind, is the fear that even if you remove one monster, there may be others who could take its place. And in that way, despite this being a horror film, despite the moments of blood and the exaggerated reality of the picture, I truly feel that Halloween, by providing us with some girl power in a well written and very well acted character who struggles with PTSD, could provide a certain percentage of the audience with some relatability and therefore, perhaps, some healing.

And for the percentage of the audience who are just there for a fiendishly well made, grisly, 1980's throwback hack and slash horror flick? Well, they'll leave pretty happy too.  

Rating: ****

Calgary Showtimes:  Halloween (2018) >

 

NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.