Halloween 2018

TIFF Journal: Halloween (2018)


Movie Rating:


It may be heresy to say, but David Gordon Green’s version of Halloween isn’t just better than the (overpraised) original, it’d work perfectly well if it were a standalone film that toyed with general slasher movie tropes rather than a continuation of a horror film saga. At the same time, the film also works exceptionally well as a follow-up to John Carpenter’s original, making references both explicit and subtle to appease even die-hard fans.

This balance between serving the fans (as evidenced by screams of recognition at the world premiere) and speaking to the uninitiated makes the movie work as well as it does. Green’s gift is to use precise cinematic craft to both pay homage to his heroes and make something new with the ingredients. His art-house-meets-pulp version of the franchise is particularly welcome.

Green co-wrote the script with Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride, writers known for their ribald comedies. They manage to inject a heightened sense of fun into the film, never letting it bog down in self-seriousness. On the other hand, this isn’t a farce. The gore and horror elements are fully exploited.

This is essentially a multi-generational revenge story, pitting the hunted against the hunter in quite enjoyable ways. Jamie Lee Curtis remains a force of nature, and everyone around her must bow to her presence on screen. The film plays out in pretty expected ways, but along the journey we’re treated to loads of Gothic and moody elements along with the darkly humorous parts.

Green’s Halloween is a blast, a veritable holiday treat that brings scares, thrills and a hell of a lot of fun to the party.


  1. Csm101

    Those are some ballsy words, Jason. I commend you for that. I don’t want to get too excited for this new version but it’s nice to hear good things.

    • Chris B

      I get what he’s saying. I absolutley love the original Halloween but I think people who hold it up as the greatest Horror movie ever made are indeed over-praising it. It’s one of the greatest slashers ever made though. Credit where credit is due.

      Like you, I’m excited for this one and happy to hesr it doesn’t suck. Bring on October!

      • njscorpio

        I think it excels as a template for future slasher movies, none of which have actually surpassed it. Some may have added more gore, or more violence, or more scenes to illicit terror, but I don’t think here is any slasher movie that is actually a “better movie”.

        Expanding it to “horror”, I would put this in my top 5.

        • Chris B

          I like Ft13th as much but for different reasons. Cunningham is no Carpenter but his movie was nastier and gorier than Halloween, which is virtually bloodless. Halloween has far more style and a great atmosphere though. Both have their strengths.

          • njscorpio

            Ft13th totally brought it’s own spin, and an important one at that, to the genre.

            Personally, I think the highlight of the slasher genre is A Nightmare on Elm Street. Such an amazing concept.

            They all owe something to Halloween…just like how if you were to watch ‘Dog Day Afternoon’, it feels like it’s just a basic bank robbery movie with the standard tropes, yet it was the movie that established those beats in the first place.

          • Csm101

            My go-to for introducing people to slashers is Friday the 13th. I love watching those in marathon mode with a group. Halloween is a close second.

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