Movie Review: “Halloween”

Rachael Jaeger
Staff Writer

“Halloween” had a promising premise with a long shot of the prison that Michael Myers has been captive in for years, then the shots crept closer and tighter to the predator. Breath-holding moments follow a warning not to step inside the circle, with Michael escaping and beating nearly all his inmates to their deaths as he travels home to Haddonfeld.

Since Laurie Strode (Jaime Lee Curtis) has obsessed over staying alive from her trauma as a teenager, she had trained her own daughter Karen to have such fear that Karen listens. Despite that, Karen believes Laurie is in desperate need of mental help. Allyson tries to bridge the gap between her family members. Allyson invites her grandmother to a quiet dinner outing and Laurie’s outrage costs embarrassment to the whole family.

The audience is then shown a deeper glimpse into Laurie’s life who now has a huge house, set up with a secret basement with guns and hidden panels stocked with supplies she could use if necessary. As the film goes on, the audience notes that she has entrusted Karen with her own gun and forces her to confront her own insecurities. That is good but even then, the intrigue has already faded away.

Countless discrepancies poured into the film, including when Michael kicked down the bars in the back seat when he chased one of the other girls. Those bars are bolted down for security reasons and to see how easily Michael was able to wrench them from their foundations caused much incredibility.

Brian Tallerico, critic for Roger Ebert, summarized his own disappointment in these two sentences, saying, “In that first movie, you can hear the crunch of the leaves and smell fall in the air. This one always feels like a movie, never transporting you or offering the tactile terror of the story of “The Shape”.

I agree; This recent plot falls short because it did not follow through with the excitement. I would like to say the eventual confrontation between Jaime and Michael lasts not more than 10 minutes during the movie and it felt more like five. How the conflict ended, the movie could have run no longer than that. It is also dumfounding to watch Karen stand for what feels like an eternity in the film world when she gestures for Allyson to join her in the secret basement. For as long as that scene drags out, both women would have died for how quick Michael held his reputation. During the whole time I watched “Halloween”, there was not a moment for me that stirred the slightest scare.

A specific soundtrack played when Michael made an appearance, or was about to kill someone. But because I had watched the original, I knew what to expect. The mere physical presence of Michael’s hollow eyes and the pale gray mask and how he sneaks upon his victims raises hairs on audiences’ necks. Yet makeup, costume, and music fall short of what “Halloween” could have been and yet, the sad fact is that “Halloween” will continue to haunt us only because the mask of Michael Myers. I have to admit, the only “Halloween” I have watched is the original one that was produced and filmed in 1979. It fulfilled imagination and the theme of evil’s potential when you dabble in it, but I cannot imagine even if the original sequels were any better.

 

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