a (spoiler-free!) review by the Azure-Winged Magpie.
Halloween, the REAL Sequel: a Magpie’s Opening Thoughts
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Hey-hey! You get two for the price of one, tonight! The Crow had a surprise post scheduled since last evening and I didn’t even notice it. But I’d been meaning to publish a spoiler-free of Halloween tonight anyway, since… y’know, it’s… out?
So you get a double blog-burger! (no fries, tho…)
Hmph. I had to hold off on this one and ended up being a little late with it. Curse you, Crow!
So… it’s been a while since I used up another pip from my golden ticket and went and watched this film. UFC 229 and all of those other reviews got in the way. But seeing how Halloween‘s finally hitting theatres Friday, here’s yours truly, Magpie-Myers, with a later-than-usual-early-bird-review!
I haven’t watched any of the Halloween films apart from the first one (I know, I’m shook, too. I’m like the BIGGEST horror fan there is…), but that’s no biggie here because Halloween 2018 is a sequel to the original film, and ignores EVERY OTHER FILM in the series.
Whew! I ain’t done missed nothing. NOTHING!!!
But… y’know… maybe not just calling it Halloween just like the first one might’ve been a good idea? jus’ sayin’… It just sounds like it’s going to confuse folk down the line.
eg: “Which Halloween are you on about, m8?!”
But hey. Here we are. Michael Myers is back in his Captain Kirk mask. And bodies gonna hit the Magpie-damn floo’. So let’s sit back, sharpen those chef’s knives and circle the corpses Michael leaves behind this…
Halloween, the REAL Sequel: the Premise
WARNING: This section contains VERY MINOR spoilers.
Michael “Mickey” Myers (Nick Castle, the original “Shape”; yeah… I refer to him by his nickname, ’cause we’re like-minded, Mickey and I. Our “connection” goes way back.) has been cooped up at Smith’s Grove looney bin for nearly forty years since what happened in Halloween. He seems fine with what’s going on, and he’s waiting to be transferred to a Max. Security joint. Everything’s all kosher and all good in the hood. And then… down come these two annoying journos (Aaron and Dana) to wreck his peace of mind.
Mickey’s been hanging around, sworn to a vow of silence like a Zen master, and the journos are told that there’s no point trying to get him to gob by his weird doctor Ranbir Sartain (Haluk Bilginer), ’cause he just doesn’t do that sorta thing. But they try anyway. They bring up stuff from his past, mention Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), and even show him his worn-out Captain Kirk mask. But… zilch. Mickey ain’t got nothing to say to them. (Poor babies.)
So with Mickey giving them the good old “F-off“, the journos do the next best thing they can and go over to Laurie’s house (see why they’re annoying? Journos usually are…). She throws them out at first, but they end up money-ing their way (with three grand US dollars!) into an interview with her after some pesky-pestering. During the Q&A, they find out about how what happened in 1978 has totally messed her life up (which her absolute unit of a spot hasn’t given away to these nuggets), and what she’s been up to since she got messed up in the head (read: she turned into Laurie Strode: Gladiator Grandmum).
Everything looks good for the journos, but it’s when they ask her to come along with them to get Mickey to speak that she goes full beast mode and kicks them TF out after taking the three grand they offered her (like a boss).
And that’s the set-up, folks! You know who’s gonna decide ‘Eh, better finish the damn thing. Can’t let folks get away, can we?‘ come Halloween night.
Mickey, that’s who.
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But… Nightmare Nan’s a-waiting. And she’s packin’ some heat.
Halloween, the REAL Sequel: the Executions and Execution
Far as slasher flicks go, this is pretty neat. It’s a no-fluff, no-bullshit slasher that doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. It just delivers on the cutting and shooting and the occasional scare. Bodies hit the floor left, bodies hit the floor right, and bodies hit the floor centre.
While the kills on their own-somes are a little… “meh” by what the kids these days are used to, the build ups to a good chunk of them are awesome. The trailer gave some of them away, but there are some big surprises still to be seen.
It looks nice and the music/score (by original director John Carpenter) is on-point. The film doesn’t need to make you go gaga with special effects or “money shots” really. It just is what it is. We have Mickey, and we have the Strodes. And they get into a fight that other people just go get in the way of.
Mickey’s no superpowered Lake-Zombie. He ain’t no magical Nightmare-Perv. He ain’t nothing but a dude in a mask who likes chef’s knives and spilling blood. There isn’t even a good reason for what he’s doing. He just… does things. He’s big and strong and birds can he take a few hits. All he wants is to fix his one bad day at work, and here comes grandmum, grandtot, and tot to ruin his day all over again…
I liked how the film had this whole “generation” thing going on. The story really hits on how long it’s been since the original film. I kinda fancy the idea that the other films in the series that this one ignores are just creepypastas/stories that popped up since the murders in 1978. It’s the kind of thing I could totally see happening if murders like the ones in the original Halloween happened. No motive. No explanation. Just random people dead and a murderer looking for more, but saying sweet-FA once he got caught. Even his damn shrinks don’t have a clue where he’s coming from, by the looks of it.
Hell, there’s even a line in the film that straight-up says that stories have been made up about the murders. And yeah: the line references the “other” films in the series.
Now here’s a thing: let’s talk about what didn’t work so much.
- The funny-bunnies is one of them. There are some random-arse laughs dumped into this film for no Magpie-damn reason. And not all of them good. I’d-a liked it a lot if they’d just left that sort of thing out of the picture. It just doesn’t really… fit.
- There are a few (a FEW!) weird things that happen in the film that just never get brought up again. It’s like moments of: “OHHH! I SEE WHAT THEY… OHRIGHT. NEVERMIND!” that just show up from time to time near the end of the flick.
- The whole thing about Mickey talking… um. Okay? I kinda thought there’d be something more to it, but nah. It is what it is.
- Can we stop with teenagers? Slasher films… could u not? (I thought I was a handful as a sub-twenty. These kids make me want to go GENOCIDE-MAGPIE, sometimes…)
- More Jamie Lee Curtis, please. She was the best thing in the film.
- It feels a little… divided? It’s like this film was shot in two goes and glued together. Don’t really get that.
So yeah. It’s not a perfect film, but it’s a delicious little slasher that ticks most of the boxes that get me going, at least.
It’s been a hot while since I saw anything good come out of this category of horror films. Nice to see the folk who made this play it straight.
Halloween, the REAL Sequel: a Magpie’s Closing Thoughts
Am I recommending it? Oh heck yeah, but only if you like slashers, this is the film for you. It’s a slasher film which shows off slasher films at their slashie-est. If you’re not a fan, this film is going to be one giant MEH to you.
Just as a film-film, it’s alright. As a slasher, it’s good. As a thriller, it’s a bit over average. But it’s not a movie that’s going to go up there with names like The Shining, Oldboy, Audition, etc.. It’s nowhere close to that good.
But it ain’t got any real bad bones in its body, neither (a few splintery bits, though, like in an overcooked chicken wing drag it through some honey-chipotle sauce, and nom nom!). It’s better than okay, if you’re not that into slashers. It works as a thriller… kinda. So at least that’ll work for you.
So I guess I’m still recommending it even if it’s not really your jam. ’tis the season for watching humans getting stuck like pigs by chefs’ knives after all, no?
Now, we’ll have to wait and see how they milk another bazillion films out of this one…
Halloween is out in theatres tomorrow, so go and watch it if slasher’s your thing, and go watch it even if you aren’t cause it’s “fresh” and “seasonal”. It’s a decent little film that’ll grab your eyes and keep you interested in it’s little world.
THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 7/10
THE CROW: TBD/10
Here’s the official poster: