Review by Steve D. Stones
Is the new Halloween movie as good as the 1978 original? Will it become a great classic in time as the original? Perhaps only time can answer these questions. I feel that the new Halloween is not as good as its original, but it has plenty of knuckle-biting sequences to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat, particularly the last twenty minutes of the film. As I watched the film, I enjoyed picking out references from the first film and finding similarities in how scenes are shown.
References to the first two films can be found throughout this film. A mother carving a ham is hammered in the head by killer Michael Meyers as she is watching something on TV in the kitchen, in a scene very similar to one shown in the second film. A babysitter is also murdered and draped with a white ghost sheet – which gives reference to Meyers draping a ghost sheet over himself when he confronts actress P.J. Soles in an upstairs bedroom in the first film.
When Lori Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is thrown through an upstairs window by Meyers, her body is no longer laying on the ground when the camera cuts away from Meyers standing above her, which is similar to the first film when Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is looking out the upstairs window of the Meyers home after Meyers falls to the ground from multiple gunshots at the end.
The director is careful not to reveal the face of Meyers when he is questioned by an interviewer in an opening sequence. He is chained to a block, standing inside a painted square in the yard of a mental institution. Here we see a much older, graying Meyers, but his height and size still make him very imposing.
In the first film, the viewer is not shown how Meyers obtains his iconic mask. Sheriff Brackett simply tells his daughter at the scene of a hardware store burglary that someone stole some Halloween masks and tools from the store, so the viewer assumes that Meyers took the mask from the hardware store. In this new film, the viewer gets to see where Meyers obtains the iconic mask by taking it from the trunk of a car of two reporters who attempt to interview him at the mental institution.
What makes the first film so effective to me is that the violence is much more subtle, and often only implied. This new film uses techniques more appealing to the millennial generation by showing extreme, graphic violence in which the violence is drawn out for a much longer period of time in the scene, such as a gas station bathroom killing sequence near the beginning of the film.
The opening credits also show a similar type face design to the credits shown in the first film, which is a nice touch to the opening of the film. Instead of the camera slowly zooming in on a lit pumpkin as we see in the first Halloween, here we see the pumpkin slowly reshaping itself from being squished.
The new Halloween movie is well worth the price of admission, but only time will tell if it becomes the great classic of the original 1978 film. Happy Halloween!!