This Is Halloween

Calling all film critics, chill-seekers, or boo-enthusiasts; now is your time!

On October 18th, 2018,  David Gordon Green’s slasher thriller Halloween was released into theaters.  I was lucky enough to go with my family and experience the spooks of Michael Myers. This movie is a sequel to John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween.  John Carpenter’s film had a very small budget as an independent film and was initially unappreciated, but one critic changed the fate of this movie.  Now there are 11 movies in this franchise, although only 10 are about Michael Myers (that’s a story for another time). Point is, it is quite inspirational how one person can make a significant impact even though it may seem as small as writing one positive movie review.

Films about Michael Myers have been dragged out through many sequels and remakes of Carpenter’s original, to the point of “enough already”.  But I promise you that this new release is highly worth the visit to the movie theater. I also highly recommend that you watch the original before any other version.  The 1978 Halloween created the cultural phenomenon of Michael Myers, and without watching Carpenter’s original, it's hard to appreciate this film.  To be specific, techniques that John Carpenter used with camera angles and shots can be seen incorporated into the 2018 sequel. Besides that, similar scenes are filmed in ironic ways relating to the original which adds some humor to the quite terrifying plot.  Trigger warning though, this is a slasher film so it gets gory. So, if you get scared easily, please read summaries to try and prepare yourself ahead of time! Also, go with friends, on a date, or with your family! Films are fun to see with others in general, but horror films are better in numbers to keep the stress and anxiety levels down.

Pictured above is Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in the 1978 Halloween.  However, unlike that version, there is no damsel in distress in this sequel. Jamie Lee Curtis is inspiring and empowering in her role as the leading character, besides Michael of course.  Without giving it away, the ending scene, although rushed, is quite inspirational. It features Karen Nelson and Allyson Nelson in female roles that are initially portrayed as weak and passive, but in the end, they reclaim themselves and truly show who's boss.   

On the subject of female empowerment, in an interview with MovieWeb, Jamie Lee Curtis speaks on an underlying message in the movie and what 2018 Halloween truly means to her.  This spin on the classic sets a new tone to the significance of Michael Myers and supports giving voices back to victims.  I think an important takeaway of this interview was when Jamie Lee Curtis stated, "I think what fans can really expect is the truth. The truth about what happens when you have a trauma 40 years ago. ... It’s about a young woman whose life was altered by this random act of violence. Hopefully, it resolves with the woman being able to take the narrative for her life back from the perpetrator." (Watch the interview here)

This insight of the movie gives a new twist that may not be obvious but is very important.  After watching this interview, I developed a deeper appreciation for Halloween, beyond the directing choices and authenticity, because of their deeper message that females are independent and strong. I also very much appreciate their intentions to shed a light on victims of violence and trauma, because it is a rarity we hardly see in Hollywood.