Jan 052019
 

Halloween (2018) was on the disappointing side for me though I don’t consider myself a major fan of the franchise considering there’s really only two good ones, one I consider a guilty pleasure while the rest were either average or pure garbage. I would rank this sequel/reboot in the middle of the pack.

 

 

Halloween
(2018)

Genre(s): Horror, Thriller
Universal | R – 106 min. – $39.98 | January 15, 2019

Date Published: 01/05/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Writer(s): John Carpenter and Debra Hill (characters); Jeff Fradley & Danny McBride & David Gordon Green (written by)
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner
DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes, Deleted/Extended Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Slip Cover: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Universal Studios Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 2.75/5


The Halloween franchise isn’t exactly vaunted with some subpar sequels and plenty of retconning that began with Halloween II making Laurie Strode and Michael Myers siblings. With the series running out of gas with the hilariously awful Halloween Resurrection and Rob Zombie’s remake and its abomination of a sequel, the series is returning to its roots ignoring everything after Halloween 2 and making a direct sequel to the original 1978 classic, though it’s also titled Halloween for some reason. This “sequel” was highly anticipated and while I did like Halloween H20 which is effectively no longer canon, I was at least intrigued. Unfortunately upon finally watching this, it rather apparent the franchise should have stayed buried.

The sequel takes place 40 years after the events of the first film and finds serial killer Michael Myers held in a prison asylum, having never uttered a single word to his psychologist doctor (HALUK BILGINER). Two podcasters also attempt to make contact, with one going so far as to have procured Michael’s original mask. The beginning was rather effective though it becomes apparent later that these two characters, which I’m not even bothering to name, were merely there for three reasons: 1) to provide exposition for the uninitiated in the series (with footage from the first film), 2) re-introducing audiences to a now older and paranoid Laurie Strode (JAMIE LEE CURTIS) via a contentious interview, and 3) a way for Michael to get his mask after dispatching the couple.

Meanwhile, Laurie is a recluse and has a contentious relationship with her daughter, Karen (JUDY GREER) as her childhood was filled with fear and preparation for Michael’s return, including a hidden entry to a cellar. However, Laurie still remains close with granddaughter Allyson (ANDI MATICHAK). But soon enough their world is turned upside down when Michael, during transport to a max prison, crashes and makes his escape.

Tasked with hunting him down is Deputy Hawkins (WILL PATTON) who was the man who caught Michael back in 1978 and using a police scanner, Laurie is also on the trail, both following the trail of bodies The Shape leaves in his bloody wake. Soon enough, and I still don’t know why, Michael is determined to kill Laurie, I guess the only reason is she’s the one that got away, considering this one removes the retcon of the two being brother and sister.

My issue with Halloween 2018 is that despite director David Gordon Green (Our Brand is Crisis, Stronger) attempts to recreate a similar atmosphere to John Carpenter’s original (who did co-compose the score) and comparable scenes such as Michael killing a babysitter, and friend to Allyson, along with her boyfriend and it wouldn’t surprise me if the homes he enters are the same ones. But despite these attempts, something felt off. Where the first film had genuine frights, this one I felt like a spectator just waiting for the next plot point, including an obvious “twist”.

On the positive side, Jamie Lee Curtis does give it her all one more time, playing the character for the fifth time while it’s always nice to see Will Patton. Other than those two, everyone else were fine, however this is yet another movie where you have actors who looked like they’re in their early 20s playing high school aged kids. That said, Andi Matichak is decent as a scream princess and hoping to see more from her (though not in another Halloween sequel).

In the end, Halloween (2018) isn’t terrible but hardly a game-changer for the franchise though I did like seeing bad ass Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode once more but at times this felt like a bigger budget fan film. The scares were light and the motivation for Michael is unclear as to why Laurie and her family were targeted other than perhaps the script said so. It might’ve been a lazy retcon making Laurie and Michael siblings, but at least then it might makes sense why he went after her. Now? Who knows.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5


This release comes with an embossed slip cover and a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All of the features are available on both the UHD (presented in 4K) and Blu-ray. The total running time for the five featurettes was only 19-minutes.

Deleted/Extended Scenes (12:42) – There are seven scenes included here, some interesting stuff I guess but likely removed for pacing reasons or in the case of a shower scene, a lame jump scare.

Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween (6:05) – This behind-the-scenes featurette includes interviews with the crew (David Gordon Green, John Carpenter, Danny McBride, Jason Blum, etc.) and cast (Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak). It’s a bit too short to really get anything terribly in-depth.

The Original Scream Queen (2:32) is a short profile on Jamie Lee Curtis and her iconic role.

The Sound of Fear (3:19) looks at the impact the score had on the film, including Carpenter’s Halloween theme.

Journey of the Mask (2:33) is on the design of The Shape’s mask.

The Legacy of Halloween (4:25) – Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter, Jason Blum and David Gordon Green discuss the origins of this addition.

PreviewsGlass, The Little Stranger, The First Purge

 


4K VIDEO – 4.75/5, BD VIDEO – 4.5/5


Halloween slashes and stabs onto 4K UHD and Blu-ray where it is presented in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio. The 4K format is shown with a 2160p resolution and does look fairly impressive especially since this is a pretty dark film with, from my memory, nearly all of the third act takes place at night. As such, black levels do look stark without appearing crushed. Detail does look pretty sharp throughout and is a bit better compared with its Blu-ray counterpart and there is an ever so slight boost in colors courtesy of the HDR10. But even so, the Blu-ray still looks fairly good.

4K/BD AUDIO – 4.5/5


Both the 4K UHD and the Blu-ray discs come equipped with a strong DTS:X track which does output good and clear dialogue levels mostly through the central channels though this does come to life with the variety of Michael’s kills along with the iconic Halloween theme which immerses itself into the home theater via the front and rear speakers with precision. I won’t go so far to say this is the best sounding track I’ve come across as others were a bit stronger in some aspects, yet here it’s still an in-depth experience.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Overall, Halloween (2018) was on the disappointing side for me though I don’t consider myself a major fan of the franchise considering there’s really only two truly good ones (Halloween 1978 and Halloween II), one I consider a guilty pleasure (H20) while the rest were either average or pure garbage. I would rank this sequel/reboot in the middle of the pack though it was competently shot and well acted, though the writing and plot had more to be desired. This 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo pack comes with solid video/audio transfers but the features were utterly lackluster.

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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