Halloween II Receives A Fresh Facelift (Movie Review)

HalloweenGoing into this one I was iffy.  It’s not because I don’t love Halloween.  I’m a huge fan of Michael Myers.  He’s my favorite fictional slasher.  It’s because of the X-Men-like way, albeit without time travel or a flux capacitor, the filmmakers want us to shrug off the former Halloween sequels ever happened.  Now I can easily do that when talking parts 3-6, but I’m quite fond of the original sequel to Halloween not to mention H20.  I know I’m in the minority here, but I’d much prefer a glorified reboot with Carpenter’s assistance then be forced to forget some of these great horror moments never happened.  You see my conundrum?  I’m forcing myself to accept this latest chapter because of my undying devotion to The Shape.  Ladies and gentlemen…we’re breaking new ground here, onward and upward from here on out.  It’s a whole new playing field wiped clean and ready to smear.

Our 2018 reboot of Halloween here is directed by David Gordon Green.  He directed one of my most favorite comedies, Pineapple Express.  If you know me, then you’ll know I’m messing with you.  I hated that movie and really all of them in the pot smoking genre, but I digress.  Furthermore, Green wrote this with Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride.  It’s that latter name that makes me take notice here.  Yes he’s part of that Pineapple Express craziness I hate, but he has recently taken my world by storm in shows like HBO’s Vice Principals or within an infamous horror/sci-fi franchise in Alien Covenant.  Therefore, with his involvement in this I’m looking forward to what he brings even more than seeing my favorite stalker onscreen.  Look at how successful Jordan Peele was with Get Out.  However, I’m terribly sorry and I digress again.  We’re here to talk Michael Myers!


As I mentioned up above this Halloween not to be confused with the first Halloween in 1978 is a direct sequel to the first Halloween.  That’s a lot of Halloween’s in one sentence, huh?  It disregards the continuity of the previous sequels (2, 4-8).  In the grand scheme of things, including the Rob Zombie ones, this Halloween is the eleventh installment overall in the franchise.  It’s set forty years after the original film as we once again follow Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis)  as she prepares for the inevitable, a final confrontation between her and Michael Myers (also reprised by Nick Castle).  Is it really ever final though?  The film also stars Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner and stuntman James Jude Courtney also portraying Myers (presumably so they don’t need to use a walker for some of the stunts).

Sigh.  The next few paragraphs are going to be very hard to write about.  Truth be told this Halloween is a worthy sequel to the original, but then again so was the first one in 1981.  In fact as we discussed up above there were a number of them.  While there are elements I really loved about this newest Halloween, which we will get to in a moment, the film overall was just average.  It’s not something I necessarily would have wrote home about to my relatives in Cleveland, OH and exclaimed oh my God I get why they wiped out all the Halloween sequels in favor of this one.  That’s because I don’t get it.  Other than the gore and brutality of this one compared to Carpenter’s original classic there’s nothing that really hasn’t been done before.  Even the story felt old and tired to me.  So let’s start with the good and work our way backwards.


The score throughout was phenomenal.  There were cues and callbacks to the original film fans of the series will instantly get.  However, it’s the brilliant way that Carpenter and others didn’t change much, but took the original score and I would say improved upon.  It sounds fuller, more menacing, but at the same time unmistakably familiar and comfortable.  There were also familiar jump scares, tensions and tactics that worked in the previous entires.  I was also glad to see that Michael Myers was aged.  The dude had gray hair and you really couldn’t ask for more in terms of authenticity there.  Even the kill scenes were well done and effective.  However, did you notice how many times I used the words familiar mere sentences ago?  Perhaps that’s where our problem lies.

Let’s start with the cast.  Yes they are familiar, but rightfully so.  Gone is Laurie’s son she had in H20 and this time she has a daughter.  Okay, that much is different.  However, it’s the overall story arc, events and relationships in the film that are way too familiar.  Laurie’s granddaughter has two main sidekicks in this one she walks to school with just like in the 1978 one.  The element of babysitting is also prevalent here too.  It kind of has that Force Awakens attitude to it you know if ain’t broken, then don’t fix it.  I completely get it.  That will work for the October movie patrons who are merely coming here for the cheap scares and screams, but for the hardcore fans I think we deserve more.  We deserve something new and awesome to take our minds off the fact that you just erased Halloween entires 2 and 4 through 8.  I never thought I would say these words, but I truly appreciate the direction in which Rob Zombie took his Halloween II.  It makes me wish we would have received a third outing from him. I know.  I know.  Throw your proverbial tomatoes at me.  I can take it.


I have to chuckle when I read early reviews saying this is the sequel we have been waiting for.  While satisfying this is nothing more than a facsimile and not the rebirth or reboot of the slasher genre I thought I would see under the tender loving care of the Blumhouse.  Sure it feels fresh and new, but also stale at the same time like I’ve seen this one before and we all know how it ends.  So yeah I guess you can say there are some disappointments I have here.  However, at the end of the day there’s still a lot of positives to walk away with here, hence my generous score below.  The property was treated right with the utmost of sensitivity whenever possible to the franchise and lore.  Obviously, the score was the main star of the show here with cues indicative of events and gags from the 1978 entry.  The direction under Green works quite well too.  There’s a lot going for it.

What’s lacking for me is I just don’t know if Halloween ever truly enhances anything about Michael or Laurie that we didn’t already know or couldn’t draw our own conclusions from.  Quite frankly it left me with more questions than answers and I left bummed there’s no such thing as Halloween II at the hospital in this new timeline anymore.  There’s also a continuity problem between the 1978 film and this, but to talk about that would be a disservice to you all.  Spoilers are not my thing.  So guess what!  It’s Halloween season.  What are you sitting here reading this for?  There’s a new Halloween film in the theaters this weekend.  How long have we been waiting for this?  Regardless of what I or others may say go out there and support this old school, slasher horror feature.  We need more of this in our PC lives nowadays.  Enjoy and beware of the Boogeyman.



Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

1 Response to “Halloween II Receives A Fresh Facelift (Movie Review)”

  1. Ulises

    I also loved Rob Zombie entries! This one is enjoyable but not great.