NEW HALLOWEEN MOVIE IS NOTHING COMPARED TO ORIGINAL
November 6, 2018
Disclaimer: There are spoilers ahead
Screaming. Running. Strangling. Slashing. On Oct. 19 the new entry to the Halloween series was released in theaters everywhere. The Halloween franchise began with the original 1978 film directed by John Carpenter, and since has become one of the highest-grossing horror film series of all time. Although the new Halloween has its moments, it does not compare to the original 1978 slasher film.
In the beginning sequences of the 2018 film, the audience watches Dana Haines and Aaron Korey, two reporters who are following the story of Michael Myers. The only reason these two characters are in the story is because Michael needs someone to kill within the first 30 minutes of the film. Even though both of these reporters are unnecessary to the overall story and outcome, they are given the screen time and have prolonged death scenes as if they were critical to the plot. It wasn’t as if these two were comical or charming–neither of them had any appealing traits or personalities that would make them stand out as characters. They were both bland with little sense of humor, which is why their deaths left no impact on the audience. They were expendable, as are most of the characters in this eleventh installment of the Halloween franchise. Although expendability is a staple in most horror movies, not every horror film needs to replete itself with empty characters–case in point, the original 1978 entry of the Halloween series.
Laurie Strode, the protagonist in four prior films within the Halloween series, has an important role in this film as well. Her main priority is not only to protect her daughter and granddaughter from the murderous Michael, but to also kill Michael herself. In the original film, Michael kills both of Laurie’s friends as well as almost killing Laurie when she was babysitting children. Since then, Laurie has been craving revenge for all these years. When Michael is roaming down the streets of Haddonfield, Illinois once again, she tries to warn her family; however, they are hesitant to listen.
This is where certain supporting character actions begin to not make sense. At one point, the granddaughter demands Laurie get over the murder of her friends because it was “so many years ago.” Despite knowing everything Laurie has went through in her past it’s simply not believable that her family would not heed her warnings and dismiss her as crazy. Also in retrospect, no one would ever tell another person, particularly if that person is family, to get over a tragic event such as a series of murders. The whole scene seems unlikely to happen between two family members, especially because of the special bond they share.
There are also pacing issues in the new film. In the original film, Michael doesn’t achieve his first killing until approximately 45 minutes into the movie, not including the murder of his sister when he was only six years old. Because of this, it leaves the viewers with a feeling of suspense as they wait with anticipation for Michael to make his first move. However, in the new movie, Michael is quick to brutally slaughter the people of the small town, which leaves little to no suspense for the audience. There are some visually creative scenes in the new film, such as when the camera lingers on the window of a house as the audience watches Michael go around to the side door, enter the home then the room, and kill the woman, all without any camera cuts. Although this scene does build up a feeling similar to suspense and fear, it does absolutely nothing for the story or plot which has Michael killing at every opportunity, almost randomly choosing his victims, rather than having a more focused, more terrifying strategy by creating his own opportunities in the original.
There were several other disappointing moments in the film, such as the “plot twist” of Michael’s doctor stabbing the sheriff, killing him. There was no surprising or shocking factor to it. There was no need to make the doctor a psychopath as well–it provided nothing to the plot or characters and was merely added to keep the viewers interested and entertained, which it failed to do. A more predictable but compelling set-up would be if Michael instead killed both his doctor and the sheriff, a more believable outcome in a film starring Michael Myers.
The original film, even at 40 years old, surpasses the 2018 sequel because of the captivating feeling of suspense. The new Halloween lacks both the strong characters and the entertaining plot the classic movie provided. Alone, the sequel is a promising movie with few engaging and chilling scenes, but in juxtaposition to the original, the 2018 sequel doesn’t stand a chance against the spine-chilling classic.