‘Halloween 2018’ – a film review

With Hallowe’en night officially over (I know, I’m devastated too), everyone’s already swapping their pumpkin and bat decorations to cut-outs of snowflakes and tiny Santas – and I for one am not having it. Hallowe’en isn’t just a day – it’s a whole bloody season. I refuse to get out of the spooky spirit, and thus, went on my way to catch the first showing of the new film Halloween at the Commodore. Sitting down with armfuls of candy from the confectionary desk (popcorn at the cinema is only a pound?? Catch me spending my whole student loan on cheap junk food), I felt super hyped to get back in the Hallowe’en mood. With remnants of my face make-up from Wednesday eve still evident – because fake blood is ridiculously persistent – I felt prepared to be scared.


Halloween is the eleventh film in the series – eight of which were absolute disasters. Honestly, you could watch the first and second movie, skip the rest, and then watch the new one and you wouldn’t have missed anything important. Considering this new one was meant to come out a while back but the rights had to be switched, fans of the franchise have had to wait for a looong time to finally see a version with potential. With a stunning plot that moves at a pace slow enough to have jump scares actually make you elbow the guy next to you in shock, but fast enough to see the whole story unravel, it’s executed pretty perfectly.


Technically, this Halloween is a sequel to the original 1978 film. It somehow still has strong 70s vibes, despite being set forty years later. The general idea is that a psychopathic murderer responsible for a killing spree back in the first film has been locked away for years in order to be studied. He has remained silent ever since his spree (which I’ll admit is infuriating), and it really just irritates everyone involved. At some point, a journalist goes to visit him in his prison and holds up a mask to him just yelling at him to talk, rendering everyone else in the prison (all of whom are deeply mentally unstable) to utterly break down. It was a bit of an ass move, so when all goes to hell for this journalist it’s not totally horrifying.


The psychopathic murder manages to escape with his inmates (who eventually just run off and are lost to the wind forever, presumably), and then bam, slaughter, everywhere. It’s very gory, but not in a way that overdoes it. When people get their heads mashed in and eyeballs shot out, the camera angles are quite discreet, making it more creepy than disgusting.


A whole bunch of semi-main characters get murdered, which I suppose means there won’t be another Halloween movie (or maybe there’ll be another 11, who knows). It definitely flips your expectations of a typical horror movie, because usually the main characters survive despite being shot at and set fire to and a whole array of other things that a person logically wouldn’t survive. There’s no lull of security with this film.


The rest of the film includes a “caged” safe room (which, to be frank, is awesome and I want one), a bunch more murders, and a really hilarious little kid that just yells out profanity at every inconvenience. Nick Castle features in this film – the original psychopathic murderer – along with Jamie Lee Curtis. For any Malcolm in the Middle fans, however, prepare to see Jamie in a whole new light.


The movie is filmed surprisingly well, and the use of blank spaces, shadows, and restriction in regards to not showing the character’s faces until necessary (again, somewhat infuriating) renders it more scary than the storyline actually is. It’s also rather educational – I have since learnt to stop hitchhiking with random people because I’m too tired to walk, and to actually lock my door at night rather than leave it swinging open all night. Honestly, in the classic “idiot female in house does idiotic thing like leave her group to check out a ghost herself, falls over, gets murdered” -esque plots which usually has everyone groaning in the cinema – I would 100% be said idiot female.


Anyway, considering I get terrified by the Gremlins trilogy, Halloween didn’t actually scare me too much. Maybe it’s because it’s more subtle in the way it messes with you, or maybe because I relate too much to the whole Gremlin’s plot and it hits too close to home (“don’t eat after midnight” and “avoid bright light” – especially after Vodka Tuesdays – makes me feel personally victimised).


Overall, Halloween is an absolute stunner of a movie, and skips out on all the clichés that recently acclaimed movies such as It and The Nun feature. It’ll freak you out, but won’t have you squinting out from behind your hands in fear the whole time.


Halloween will be featured at the Commodore Cinema every day at 7:30pm until Thursday, 8th November. I dare you to see it.