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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
David Gordon Green
Cast:
Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak
Writing Credits:
Danny McBride, Jeff Fradley, David Gordon Green

Synopsis:
Laurie Strode confronts her long-time foe Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

Box Office:
Budget:
$10 million.
Opening Weekend:
$76,221,545 on 3928 Screens.
Domestic Gross:
$159,342,015.

MPAA:
Rated R.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS X
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English DVS
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 106 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 1/15/2019

Bonus:
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• “Back in Haddonfield” Featurette
• “The Original Scream Queen” Featurette
• “The Sound of Fear” Featurette
• “Journey of the Mask” Featurette
• "The Legacy of Halloween" Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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RELATED REVIEWS


Halloween [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 6, 2019)

Back in 2006, Superman Returns attempted to pretend that a bunch of films didn’t exist. In the Returns universe, the action picked up in the wake of 1978’s Superman and 1981’s Superman II, with no acknowledgement of 1983’s Superman III or 1987’s Superman IV.

In an even more extreme case, 2018’s Halloween provides a direct sequel to the original 1978 film. Given that both share the same title, one might expect the 2018 flick to restart the series, but instead, it brings a continuation of the 1978 source with no nod toward any of the many sequels – or the 2007 reboot.

That’s an interesting choice, and the selection of David Gordon Green as director seems intriguing as well. Best-known for the stoner comedy Pineapple Express and the artsy drama George Washington, Green doesn’t seem like a natural fit for a horror film, and that left-field perspective adds potential to the enterprise.

Set 40 years after violent psychopath Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) slaughtered her friends, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) continues to deal with post-traumatic aftereffects. Her family life in tatters and consumed with paranoia, she isolates herself in a fortress of sorts, all designed for protection against Michael’s potential return.

Authorities decide to move Michael from one psychiatric facility to another – on Halloween, of course. Inevitably, Michael escapes and a fresh pattern of violent brutality results, all with Laurie as the ultimate target.

Though the 2018 film doesn’t formally reboot the franchise, it does come across as a remake of sorts. Expect the film to provide plenty of nods toward the 1978 original – and one wink at 1981’s Halloween II, as the new movie alludes to a plot twist from that flick as an “urban legend”.

While the 2018 Halloween provides a mix of semi-clever links to the first movie, it doesn’t do a lot to create its own identity. That’s where my view of it as a semi-remake comes in, as the 2018 version fails to expand past the source in a distinctive manner.

Sure, it seems interesting to see Laurie after 40 years, and Halloween obviously makes the angry, jaded 2018 character much different than the innocent, naïve teenaged version. The notion of the ways a character deals with traumatic events offers an intriguing springboard.

However, Halloween doesn’t explore Laurie’s mental state well – or much of anything else, honestly, as she often comes across as a semi-afterthought. Whereas Laurie should reside at the core of the film, instead she pops up less frequently than I’d anticipate, as the movie spreads its focus thin.

Halloween never seems quite sure where it wants to concentrate the viewer’s attention. In addition to our time with Laurie, we get plenty of moments with her estranged daughter Karen (Judy Greer), granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), Michael’s psychiatrist Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) and two podcasters who investigate Michael’s case (Rhian Rees and Jefferson Hall).

Throw in Michael’s shenanigans and we find an awful lot of plot threads for one 106-minute movie. Halloween can’t explore them especially well, so it seems like we lose touch with too many of the roles too much of the time.

That’s especially true for Laurie. After Michael himself, Curtis remains the franchise’s big draw, and while she gets to acquit herself fairly well in the end, I really do feel the movie ignores Laurie too much of the time.

Even when Laurie gets to kick into action during the climax, the movie’s derivative nature becomes an obstacle. While the finale makes Laurie more proactive than in the original film, it still hews somewhat closely to the 1978 ending much of the time, and that robs it of some suspense.

All that said, Halloween still offers an above-average horror experience. Some of this impression stems from my view that most 21st century horror movies stink, but even with a mix of flaws, Halloween manages to provide a reasonably involving tale.

Curtis’s presence acts as one major reason for this. Despite the semi-remake vibe, she adds a darkness and weariness to Laurie that allows us to attach to her. Curtis doesn’t single-handedly carry the movie, but she turns it into something better than otherwise would’ve been the case.

All of this leaves Halloween as a passable sequel/remake/reboot/whatever. At no point does it threaten to become a memorable tale, but it does enough right to allow it to keep the viewer fairly involved.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Halloween appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a largely appealing presentation.

Overall sharpness worked fine. A little softness interfered with the occasional wide shot, but the film usually brought nice accuracy and delineation.

No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to mar the proceedings.

In terms of palette, Halloween opted for a subdued feel, with an emphasis on teal and amber. These tones went down a low-key path and seemed fine given the stylistic choices.

Blacks looked dark and dense, while shadows showed nice clarity and definition. Nothing here excelled but the image worked well.

Downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1, the film’s DTS X soundtrack showed a fairly typical horror mix. It focused on the usual scope one associates with creepy horror films, so this meant a lot of spooky ambience and not much more.

That said, the mix did kick to life at times. Some of the stabs at scares boasted good involvement around the spectrum, and music provided nice utilization of the channels.

Audio quality seemed solid. Music was lively and full, while speech appeared natural and concise.

Effects also appeared accurate and dynamic. All of this led to a generally appealing soundtrack.

Five featurettes appear here, and we start with Back in Haddonfield. It runs six minutes, five seconds and includes notes from writer/director David Gordon Green, producers Ryan Turek, Bill Block, Malek Akkad and Jason Blumhouse, executive producer/co-composer John Carpenter, co-writers Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride, and actors Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Judy Greer, Virginia Gardner, James Jude Courtney, Drew Scheid, Rhian Rees, and Toby Huss.

“Back” examines story/characters, cast and performances, Green’s take on the material, some “death scenes” and reflections on the original film. A few minor insights emerge but much of the featurette feels fluffy.

With The Original Scream Queen, we get a two-minute, 32-second piece that features Curtis, Green, Carpenter, Matichak, and Greer. Essentially an appreciation of Curtis, little substance arrives here.

The Sound of Fear goes for three minutes, 19 seconds and offers info from Carpenter, Green, McBride, and co-composers Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies. We learn about the movie’s music in this brief but decent overview.

Next we locate Journey of the Mask, a two-minute, 33-second reel with Curtis, Green, Carpenter, McBride, Courtney, and FX makeup designer/actor Christopher Nelson. A few notes about the movie’s iconic Michael Myers mask appear but not much of interest results.

Finally, The Legacy of Halloween lasts four minutes, 25 seconds and features Curtis, Carpenter, Green and Blum. They discuss the decision to create a sequel, story/characters, Green’s appeal as director, and the series’ appeal. It’s another superficial piece.

Seven Deleted/Extended Scenes fill a total of 12 minutes, 42 seconds. These add small character beats and a little more comedy. None of them seem especially useful or memorable.

The disc opens with ads for Glass, The Little Stranger and The First Purge. No trailer for Halloween appears here.

A sequel that negates the existence of its predecessors, Halloween launches from an interesting perspective. However, as a continuation of the original film, it seems only sporadically compelling. The Blu-ray brings pretty good picture and audio along with lackluster supplements. The 2018 Halloween provides an above-average horror movie but it’s nowhere close to the quality of the 1978 flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.8333 Stars Number of Votes: 6
35:
14:
0 3:
22:
01:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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