Blu-ray Review: Halloween (2018) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Halloween (2018)

Studio: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Jan 15, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Forty years to the date of Michael Myers’ gruesome murder spree, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) sees her worst fears unfold as the bus transporting the killer to a new prison facility runs off the highway, releasing its dangerous human cargo into the outskirts of Haddonfield, Illinois. It’s a scenario she’s feared her whole life, but also one she’s spent that time preparing for even as it damaged her relationships with her daughter (Judy Greer) and granddaughter (Andi Matichak.) When that dreadful day came, Laurie would be ready.

This is the sequel the original 1978 horror masterpiece has long deserved, completely ignoring the seven – or six, if you discount the unrelated Halloween III – other sequels of varying (poor) quality that came in between. Writers David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and Jeff Fradley developed a script that went back to the original movie’s roots, focusing on the post-traumatic heroine as she once again comes face to face with a monster that forever changed the course of her life. Michael Myers here isn’t the over-analyzed, over-backgrounded maniac presented in other sequels are reboots, but a mystery man with an unexplainable drive to kill, his emotions hidden behind an expressionless mask.

This Halloween also reframes the original’s story, with the teenage granddaughter in place of the younger Laurie Strode. That take is told through a thoroughly modern lens, however: when discussing the murders 40 years ago, one young character mentions that a guy killing “only five people with a knife” really doesn’t seem like much “by today’s standards.” It’s a smart (and tragically true) acknowledgment by the screenwriters. Of course, Halloween 2018’s kill count is significantly higher than the first movie’s.

The extra features on Universal’s Blu-ray home video release are plentiful, at least in terms of quantity. There’s a selection of deleted and extended scenes that, in review, seem like they were wise trims. There are also a number of featurettes focusing on broad subjects such as the film’s legacy, Jamie Lee Curtis’ role in the series, and how this sequel came together. They’re the sort of canned, press kit-style featurettes that don’t give nearly as much insight as you could have hoped for, lasting only a few minutes each and not including much more than quick, on-set talking head snippets from each of the movie’s various collaborators. (The exception is a feature with Carpenter and his family band showing how they updated their iconic score for this film; this one goes into more detail.) It’s nice to have these extras here, for sure, but you’ll long for more – we’ll probably have to wait a decade until the movie’s anniversary before we see the in-depth special edition it deserves.



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