Latest Review – Halloween [Blu-ray] [Universal Pictures Home Entertainment]


Director: David Gordon Green

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner, Haluk Bilginer, Jefferson Hall, Rhian Rees

UK Distributor: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Genre: Horror/Slasher • Year: 2018 • Country: US • Running Time: 106 minutes (1:45:47) • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 • Image: Colour • Language: English • Rating: 18 • Region: Region B • Video: 1080p High Definition | MPEG-4 AVC • Audio: English DTS X | French | Italian | Castilian | English DVS (Descriptive Video Service) • Subtitles: Optional English SDH | French | Italian | Castilian | Dutch | Danish | Finnish | Norwegian | Swedish | Portuguese | Arabic | Icelandic

It was back in 1978 that The Horror Master John Carpenter first captivated legions of horror fans with his hugely influential slasher, Halloween, kickstarting a hugely successful new franchise and introducing the film world to the relentless serial killer,  Michael Myers, a character that would go on to become one of the genre’s most iconic and mysterious figures.

Forty years on from the events of that first film – which saw ‘The Shape’ (as Myers is referred to in the closing credits) stalking high school student Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends – the pair once again return to the screen in director (and long-term Halloween fan) David Gordon Green’s impressive new addition to the franchise; a direct follow-up to Carpenter’s original that forgets all other franchise sequels ever even existed.

Since his infamous killing spree in Haddonfield, Myers has spent the last forty years in solitary confinement in a high security sanitarium, meanwhile, a paranoid, post-traumatic Strode is living in almost total isolation in a makeshift weapons-laden security bunker, watching and waiting, obsessively, for her would-be killer’s inevitable return.

Halloween is a film principally occupied with exploring the various relationships that exist in Laurie’s world, primarily the unsettling bond between her and Myers, but also her strained relationship with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and much more sympathetic relationship with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), though in attempting to bulk out the narrative with added depth and complexity it unfortunately loses the streamlined simplicity of the original.

It is however interesting to see how Laurie’s character has evolved over the years; gone is the naive, unprepared teenager of old and in her place is a hardened warrior and proud survivor, fully prepared to protect those around her and take down unrelenting evil once and for all.

Though it never quite captures the overall magic of Carpenter’s stylish original, the much gorier new Halloween is still a very effective slasher in its own right, filled with big, crowd-pleasing set pieces and plenty of intense thrills that will undoubtedly please franchise fans and newcomers alike.

Featuring a familiar score co-composed by John Carpenter – along with Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies – and atmospheric cinematography that echoes Dean Cundey’s claustrophobic original, Gordon Green ensures his Halloween is one chock-full with references to the first film.

It isn’t without its faults, but ultimately it proves an engaging and thoroughly entertaining homage from a director and production team (Jason Blum, Bill Block, and long-term franchise producer, Malek Akkad) that clearly hold Carpenter’s milestone original in great esteem.

Special Features: 

Deleted/Extended Scenes – Extended Shooting Range – Deleted Suicide Thoughts, Shower Mask Visit, Jog to a Hanging Dog, Allyson and Friends at School, Cameron and Cops Don’t Mix, Deluxe Banh Mi CopsSartain and Hawkins Ride Along (12:42)

Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween (6:05)

The Original Scream Queen (2:32)

The Sound of Fear (3:19)

Journey of the Mask (2:33)

The Legacy of Halloween (4:25)

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