Halloween 2018

Photo courtesy of Matthew Toumi, the “Toum-raider.”

“You don’t believe in the boogeyman? You should.”

There’s a reason I don’t do scary movies; it’s called “‘Dark Night of the Scarecrow,’ and I was seven.”

For real.

The trauma of that 1981 TV movie has persisted for decades – almost as long as it’s been since Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) first faced onscreen trauma of her own: a methodical maniac named Michael Myers.

(Insert that creepy-ass theme music here)

But this freaky franchise is too iconic to be missed, and “Halloween” by way of Blumhouse Productions simply is a recipe for scary success. Am I right?

It’s been forty years since that Halloween night when Judith Myers was killed, the details of which are recounted here with visual flashbacks as well as narration from investigative journalists Aaron Korey (Jefferson Hall) and Dana Haines (Rhian Rees).

For their podcast, Aaron and Dana pay a call to Smith’s Grove Rehabilitation Facility to interview “a person who’s spent the last four decades in captivity and never spoken a word.”

Y’know, because this is a good idea. (Sarc!)

Aaron has a surprise for Michael, hoping to get him to “say something!!

The confrontation balances jumpy and quick images of and howls from other patients with systematic and intermittent zooms on Michael as he stands in the yard, unflinching and unaffected, each shot of him inching closer in the most disturbing of ways.


And that pattern beneath Michael’s feet is no coincidence; this absolutely is just the start of a truly demented chess match – one that began 40 years ago….

If by some miracle you haven’t seen 1978’s “Halloween,” its backstory is filled in enough for you to follow along, though you’ll miss the visual nods paying homage to the original film in the series.

Upholding the expectations of the genre, “Halloween 2018” offers plenty of moments that will have you wincing, shaking your head, and wondering whyyyyyyy?!?!

But if you’re a character in a horror film, you’re supposed to make poor choices, the results of which most likely get you killed. So, there aren’t any real surprises in that regard, but that doesn’t mean the expectations aren’t intense.

Director David Gordon Green effectively keeps us on edge, evoking gasps of suspense by setting up scenes in such a way that we see the danger approaching, but these characters do not; using point-of-view restrictions to direct or impede what we’re able to see until just the right moment; incorporating silence to build anticipation and pull us into a scene to that point that we’re afraid to look away, make a sound – or even breathe.

As the body count increases, so does the audience’s level of anxiety. Bravo, man!

This newest flick is unexpectedly gorier than the original – including perhaps the most disgusting thing I’ve seen onscreen since “American History X” – but the movie counters that heaviness with some humorous dialogue, most of which is courtesy of pint-sized scene-stealer Julian (Jibrail Nantambu).

The big draw to these movies has always been Michael Myers, the psychopath that refuses to die and has carried the franchise for decades.

Maybe the most disturbing thing about his killing sprees is that he commits them with zero emotion; that eerie white mask with the hollow eyes erases all humanity and exposes Michael as nothing more than “pure evil.”

This new installment, though, wisely centers on a trio of feisty females: Laurie; her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer); and granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak). Each is plenty capable on her own but becomes stronger yet when forces are combined.

Your move, Michael.

“Halloween 2018” is intense and gruesome and funny and frightening.

It’s everything you’d hope for from a horror flick and a fulfilling chapter in this terrifying and longstanding franchise.

You have just enjoyed the insights of Movie Addict Mel, a cinema dork and conversational writer. Follow her on Twitter @movieaddictmel, and “like” her Facebook page www.facebook.com/movieaddictmel. You also can email her at movieaddictmel@outlook.com.

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