Tag Archives: Jamie Lee Curtis

My Thoughts on: Halloween (2018)

A full year after I talked myself into watching the original Halloween (1978) and barely surviving the encounter, I finally summoned up the nerve to watch the 2018 continuation. This film essentially retcons everything that happens after the original Halloween, and while I was initially bummed that this meant that Laurie actually isn’t Michael’s long lost sister, I found I otherwise wasn’t bothered, because good lord almighty this film scared the crap out of me.

I don’t care what anyone says, Halloween (2018) is just as terrifying as the original, maybe even more so. From the moment the film starts, there’s a building tension as you’re just waiting for the moment Michael inevitably gets loose to wreak havoc once again. I really like how, for the bulk of the film, you really can’t see Michael’s real face, even though it takes some time for him to get the mask back on. However, if you know when to look, you can get brief glimpses hear and there, and then as now (because remember he’s briefly unmasked in the original film) it’s unnerving how normal he looks, aside from being blinded in one eye by Laurie of course. But once that mask comes back on…*shudders* I know there are 40 years between this film and the first one, but I swear I can’t tell the difference once the mask is on and that infernal music starts up.

I think the most terrifying moment for me in that entire film is that really long take when Michael starts his killing spree in Haddonfield (with the iconic Halloween theme playing at the same time). Watching Michael seamlessly move from house to house, just killing and wrecking lives as he goes, it feels like we’re just being helplessly pulled along in his wake.

Aside from the havoc involving Michael, which is undoubtedly my favorite part of the film, the part of the film that really pulled me in is everything to do with Laurie’s PTSD from what Michael did to her 40 years ago. This is something that I haven’t really seen covered in a horror film before: what happens to that lone survivor who gets away? Given the brutality in the first film, it’s no wonder Laurie Strode has become what we see in this film: a deeply paranoid woman (albeit a badass one) who is nowhere near recovered from the trauma she endured as a teenager. Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance is completely mesmerizing .

Quick side note: I wanted with all my might to reach through the screen and smack some sense into Laurie’s daughter Karen. I get on some level why Karen resents her mother, but the way the character came across just grated on me.

One other scene I wanted to discuss in this review and that’s THAT scene in the bathroom. I remembered seeing hints of this scene in the previews, back when I was going to be brave and watch this film in theaters (I’m so glad I didn’t, this film would’ve broken me on a big screen) and being completely terrified then. Well let me tell you the bathroom scene in full does not disappoint. The tension is almost painfully thick the moment the door opens and you just KNOW that Michael is in there with his next victim. And once the violence erupts….it just doesn’t stop. The sheer violence in Michael’s actions, it just burns into you.

And then there’s the music, oh god that music….you don’t know how happy I was that the 2018 continuation makes ample use of that iconic theme throughout the film. That, more than all of the easter eggs, really serves to bind this film to the original. Because as soon as you hear that music, that eerie theme, your brain just knows “this is a Halloween movie.” Having heard this music in two Halloween films (so far), I dare to say that this is my favorite horror movie theme, I haven’t heard one yet that instantly sends a cold chill down my spine the way the main theme for Halloween does.

Ultimately I’m glad I finally worked up the nerve to watch the 2018 Halloween. It’s a good continuation of the story, with more than enough easter eggs and nods to the original film to satisfy any fan of the original story.

Let me know what you think about Halloween (2018) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Halloween (1978)

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My Thoughts on: Halloween (1978)

*deep breath* I did it. I’m scared out of my mind but I did it, I watched the original Halloween from beginning to end without stopping.

I should explain: I’ve had a fixation with horror/slasher movies for years, by which I mean I’m fascinated by them but I’ve always been too scared to watch them (being the kind that scares quite easily). However, this year, with everything that’s been going on in the world, I decided that now was the perfect time to dive in and check out some of the films that I’ve always been too scared to try in the past (YOLO right?). The original Halloween seemed like the perfect place to start (and also like the one I’d be most likely to get through given my other options were A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th).

If you haven’t seen it, Halloween is the first film to feature the silent killer Michael Myers (Nick Castle), who might be the Boogeyman given how callous he is when it comes to killing people. Fifteen years after committing a brutal murder (in a first person sequence that had me scared to death), Michael escapes from an asylum to return to the scene of the crime…and it’s on Halloween night. Michael is pursued by his doctor, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance), who hopes to stop Michael before it’s too late. Unfortunately, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is in for a Halloween she will never forget.

I knew going in that I’d be scared, but my God…..from the moment the film started I was neck deep in a sea of tension. And why? Because of that iconic music!!! You know what I’m talking about: that spooky piano melody that permeates the film. As soon as I hear it, it sends chills up my spine and puts me completely on edge. And that music can start at ANY time, you never know when it’s going to start up again, and it just makes things so scary! Speaking of music, I was also spooked by the sudden “moan” that comes into the music whenever Michael lunges out for the kill. It’s almost just as terrifying as the iconic theme. This is definitely one of those films where the music 100% contributes to the terror.

Despite this feeling, it actually takes most of the film for things to get messy (i.e. violent). Except, by that point (when Michael finally comes after Laurie), the tension has become completely unbearable. By this point (when Laurie finds out what’s happened to her friends), I’ve been watching Michael stalk (and kill) for over an hour, and I’m thoroughly spooked. So much so, in fact, that when Michael’s face slowly appears out of a darkened doorway behind Laurie, I swear to God I nearly screamed in terror. THAT is how you do a scary horror movie, build the tension to by-God-unimaginable levels of terror and then turn the scary killer loose on whoever’s left standing. I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep tonight, but by God I can admit when a film is well done, and that was well done indeed! (Also, I had no idea the sound of breathing could be made to sound so scary!)

Donald Pleasance is a joy to watch in this film. The way he talks about Michael speaks volumes about the silent character, how soulless and evil he is. Which is quite helpful since, as Michael himself never speaks, we have no way of knowing anything about him other than what Dr. Loomis tells us. I think what got to me the most though, was how calm Dr. Loomis was about it all, like he expected all of this would happen sooner or later. Then again, there was a pretty blatant hint about “unescapable fate” early in the film….

I identify so strongly with Laurie Strode it scared me to death. Like Laurie, I was the goody-two-shoes who focused on her studies, babysat, and wasn’t really interested in boys. I could easily see myself in her place and it was scaaaaary (particularly when Laurie was hiding in the closet). Even though I knew Laurie would come out of this alive (I always read plot summaries for films that I know will scare me so I know where most of the jump scares are), the film does such a good job of making it scary that I was freaked out the whole time.

Honestly, I have no idea how I’m going to sleep soundly tonight. I haven’t been this scared in I don’t know how long. Halloween was just as scary as I always thought it would be, but it wasn’t quite for the reasons I thought. The terror comes from the tension and anticipation of what Michael will do, less on what he actually does (although that’s just as scary too).

Am I glad I watched Halloween? Ultimately, yes, yes I am. I got through it, and even though I was really scared I didn’t turn it off. Will I be watching the movie again anytime soon? Ehh…..I wouldn’t hold my breath on that (it’ll probably be a yearly thing….maybe). I am really proud of myself though, for finally watching what everyone told me was an iconic horror film (and they were right!)

Let me know what you think about Halloween in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Reviews

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