The Halloween Cycle in General 'whatever'. Posted December 1, 2018 · Edited December 1, 2018 by The Shape Chapter 10 - Halloween 2018 2018, 40 years after Halloween was released. Times really have changed. Looking back on the last 10 years of horror, its a far cry from Halloween's era. Slashers are few and far between, mostly relegated to lower budget and parody. To give a simplistic overview of current horror, it's the era of the spiritual and the social. A good chunk of modern horror films tend to revolve around curses, spirits and demons or groups of individuals seeking to do harm. Current horror has moved away from the individual monster or killer, it seems that the current trend is focused on forces beyond our control or that we are a minority at the mercy of a greater collective. As always what we fear reflects our times so in this era were we understand our world with amazing detail or with societies ever growing collectivism and some would say decreasing morality, it's little wonder we'd turn to very faceless horrors. Example would be the Purge franchise, Hereditary, The Ritual, The Endless, It Comes at Night, Get Out, The Witch, The Conjuring series, The Visit, The Strangers and the Paranormal Activity series. Thats not to say older styles of horror are gone. IT released last years blends the theme of an otherworldly horror, social horror and an iconic horror villain in a very good way. Also parodies not all bad, as seen with the horror/comedy series of films Hatchet. Amazingly one of the last slasher genre's has actually been making a small comeback. The Child's Play franchise has been able claw it's way back from the pit of self destroying parody it fell into in Seed of Chucky and produced two fairly good, although far from ground breaking sequels, Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky. The franchise also has a remake on the way but interestingly it seems that when the deal was made it was intended that the remake not tread on the toes or nor prevent the possible continuing of the main franchise, from what we've heard the film will be about a killer mechanical doll rather then one possessed by a serial killer. Time will tell how that pans out. The Saw franchise is also still kicking around, 7 years after it's "Final Chapter" entry in 2010, Jigsaw released last year. Unfortunately, much like the slashers befor it, the franchise is stuck in a sequel rut and even after a 7 year break the franchise seems to have yet to claw it's way out as Jigsaw is viewed little better then Final Chapter. It's got a sequel on the way but I don't think it's going to improve much. The film Split is something of a blend of slasher, the cerebral and social horror and was pretty successful while on the flip side the movie attempt at Slender Man pretty much feel flat on it's face. So with horror as it is now, trying to bring back an icon two or possible three generations removed from the present is an uphill battle. Fortuity they did a pretty dame good job in my opinion. Thats not to say the film breaks any new ground, it's a slasher and there are trops it follows for good or ill, but for a sequel and a story reboot it dose a pretty good job. Plot Synopsis via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_(2018_film) The best way to sum up the films pros and cons is to say that what it dose well it dose very well and when it's not, it's not bad but stereotypical and average. While similur in plot to H20, there's a very different feel to the film. In H20 Michael had been active for 20 years since Halloween II so there was always the very real threat that he could be stalking Laurie in the new film, which for simplicities sake I'll refer to has H40, Michael has been incarnated since that night in 1978. This gives the atmosphere around Michael and Laurie a more festering feel. Their conflict was never settled and is on the verge of not reaching a conclusion in the first act, its the feeling of the fated battle postponed for to long. An old cut that was never allowed to heal but is no longer fresh. The fims atmosphere along with most of it's characters, music and design really carry the plot, a plot that again is very good in some ways and stereotypical in other. The film has a blend of older style horror with the new and this dose work most of the time, however it's comedy is going to be hit or miss for many people and their are times when the film could really have done without it. The character of Laurie in this film is probable the most intreasting and well rounded version of any of the films. Much like H20, this Laurie is clearly traumatized but unlike her younger counterpart H40 is no long just suffering with these issues, she's gotten old with them. Rather then pure terror of Michael, she also has a deep hatred of him. She's developed a survivalist attitude and has spent 40 years planning to fight him when he escapes. This has cost her dearly as she is now alone and viewed as crazy, estranged from her own daughter (who was taken into custody due to how Laurie was rising her) and her granddaughter. Much like her H20 self, H40 appears to be a functioning alcoholic although it's more subtly displayed here. Perhaps the saddest part is that she doesn't just hate Michael, she hates herself. At the beginning of H40 Michael is about to moved to a more secure prison where he has little to no chance of ever escaping, if that happens everything Laurie has done in her life will have been for nothing. Part of the reason she's been able to go on this long was that it would be worth it in the end and the possibility of that not being the cause puts a real strain on her. On the night of Michael transfer, Laurie actually watches him and the combined emotions she feels almost drives her to commit suicide. Once Michael is loose however this side of her evaporates and goes on the hunt for the Shape. Laurie has clearly studied Michael's methods as deeply as possible and her home is an built to counter the slasher. Not only with fences, flood light, bared windows and doors and a lot of guns but also with shutters for every room. This allows Laurie to be able to control and restrict Michael's movements within her home, as well as trap him if possible. That said she doesn't have all her bases covered but we'll come to that. Her daughter Karen by contrast wants to live a normal life and forget everything about her younger years with her mother and Michael while her granddaughter Allyson just wants them to be a normal family. Design wise this is easily one of the best masks Michael's had. Heavily based on his original but with an aged and wrinkled look to reflect the age of our killer. Thankfully this film gets the eye holes right as Michael's eyes are vertually invisible. Cloths wise he's waring his good, old fashioned, blue jumpsuit. Michael is seen without his mask a few times in the film although always from a behind or slightly to the side. This Michael is over 60 years old, his hairs mostly grey and his skin is as wrinkled as his mask. The most intreasting detail of all is that his left eye is opaque and partly closed, showing the damage Laurie inflicted when she stabbed him with the hanger all those years ago. A change to occur in the film itself while attacking Laurie through a door, she is able to fire a shot at him which takes of the ring and little finger of his left hand. Because the film ignores all other sequels Michael gets a pretty big shift in character and powers. He totally lacks any kind of regenerative powers, as seen with his eye, and is far more susceptible to pain and injury then befor, although he still powers through it. In fact thats actually the best way to put it, he seems to ignore all but the most sever pain, He flinch's but keeps going despite being shot in the shoulder when walking away from Laurie at one point but if forced to back off when his hand is shot. He also survives begin hit head on by a speeding care but is rendered unconscious for a time. His strength however is greater the in the original Halloween as, while most of what he dose in the film is pretty in line with the original, at one point he completely crushes someone's skull by stamping on it. His stealth is still fully intact, and we are given a wonderful scene that allows us to follow him as he works his way round several homes, however he doesn't display the ability to seemingly know were people are. Despite this depowering Michael still has that supernatural quality to him, it's just been scaled back to be more ambiguous as with the original. With his blood connection to Laurie removed in this film, this Michael is the most mysterious portrayal since the characters original appearance, and while weaker he feels more unbound. While Michael has attempted to kill a child in the passed, here he breaks a boys neck with no hesitation and once he returns to Haddonfield rather then going right after Laurie he begins to sneak from home to home killing people seemingly at random, only focusing on Laurie and her family after their first encounter. This reopens the mystery of why is Michael so focused on Laurie, when he's quite happy to simple sneak about in homes and kill other people. Interestingly when Michael and Laurie meet for the first time, Michael doesn't actually engage her but actually seems to retreat, without even trying to kill his intended victim at that moment. Why he dose this is an intreasting question, is he simply leaving because he has lost his primary weapons, stealth and the element of surprise, is he trying to revaluate his strategy or is it even possible that maybe he's shocked or afraid in his own way. I mention these later ideas because Michael's doctor in the film, when talking about Laurie's state of mind, mentions that such events also have an effect on the perpetrator and wonders how that night in 1978 might have affected Michael. Michael method of killing in this film is far more like his original apperances. He enjoys taunting his victims and installing fear in them. This is shown in the gas station rest room scene were he opens all the stalls one by one, stand in front of his victims stall without moving and then dropping his last victims teeth over the door as well as when he hides in the closet and when he only movies towards one of his victims when a porch light times off. One of his more gruesome tricks involves removing someone's head and stuffing a torch in it to create a human jack-o-lantern to bait someone. His most actively cunning moment is when he's in Laurie's house. While Laurie is following his blood trail and locking down the house section by section, Michael goes up to the room were she keeps he target practice manakins. He the quickly and quietly assembles them in the room to act as distractions and cover, opens the balcony window and leaves a blood stain on the closet door. While Laurie is checking the room Michael has actually hidden himself in a patch of darkness between the window and the balcony, right behind one of the manikins which allows him to get the drop on her. Michael's sadistic nature dose get him into trouble here though, after knocking Laurie off the balcony he goes after Karren and Allyson, displaying his great strength once again by ripping the kitchen unit from of the floor to reveal the basement stairs but he hangs back aware that the women are armed. Karren seemingly breaks down stating she cannot do it, but as soon as Michael appears it's shown this was a ruse and she takes a shot that hits him right. Laurie then appears and knock him into the basement. After a brief struggle the women reveal the house's secret. The basement was actually a trap, there is a leaver which causes spikes to cover the entrance, and the house is rigged to be flooded with gas and be set ablaze. The last shot of Michael is him standing in the basement looking up as flames erupt around him... Yet as Laurie, Karren and Allyson leave the basement is shown to be empty and breathing can be heard over the end credits... for evil never dies. A final character worth talking about is Dr. Ranbir Sartain, a former student of Loomis and Michael's current psychiatrist. While billed as the "new" Loomis, Sartain lacks any of Loomis's fear of Michael. In fact his intreast, while just as obsessive, is one of admiration. He speaks of Michael with an awed tone and is frustrated that he was unable to get him to speak and will be taken from his care. Despite surviving the crash the allowed Michael escape and seeing what he is capable first hand Sartain want him recaptured at all costs, this is the first glimpse that their is something wrong here. It turns out Sartain's obsession with Michael eventually caused him to go insane, the full breadth of his madness is revealed when Michael is run over by a police officer. To prevent Michael from being shot, he stabs the officer to death and states "So thats what it feels like". He then dawns Michael's mask for a short while as he bundles Michael into the back of the police car, along with a horrified Allyson. Sartain was always envious that he never saw Michael in the "wild" and believes that an encounter with Laurie will provide the breakthrough he so desperately wanted. This also leads one to suspect that Sartain had a hand in Michael's escape, given that he was the only staff member not killed. Sartain is tricked by Allyson who claims that Michael spoke to her once she learns his obsession. When he stops the care Michael awakens and begins to break out, injuring Sartain in the process. Sartain tries one last time to communicate with Michael but indifferent to his words, Michael stamps on his head. While Sartain's character is handled weakly in the film, I feel he's an intreasting inversion of Loomis's character. In summery this is easily one of the best films in the Halloween franchise. While not perfect and it was never going to recapture the magic of the original, this is easily one of the most genuine attempts to continue the franchise since Part 4, with a fairly solid story, great characters and a lot of respect of the character of Michael Myers. I even give the props for deciding to take the more controversial root and cut out everything after the original film which was much to H40's benefit. For me I rate it as the second best of the whole franchise. And with that we come to the end of this examining of Halloween and Michael Myers... for now anyway. With a sequel to H40 in the table, I'll very likely be back here examining the next film when the time comes. Good or bad.