Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Halloween 2018 - review

THE NEW HALLOWEEN is an unapologetic love letter to the franchise, honoring what has come before while simultaneously trying to reanimate it to remain pertinent in the present day and make a man in a mask utterly terrifying in the post Modern world of rampant terrorism and widespread shootings.  It wisely jettisons the baggage of the preceding 9 movies and tangled continuity of thorn cults and stripper moms to wipe the slate clean and bring Halloween back to its roots of a maniac without boundaries loose on a night of potentially limitless horror.

Although the prior movies are wiped from continuity their ghosts and bones remain in this movie.  There are deep cut references to the thorn cult, the sister trilogy, the clownish cops of Halloween 5, the silver shamrock masks from Halloween 3, and the bathroom stalking scene in h20.  Even the name of one of the journalists investigating the myers murders is the same as one of the security guards from Halloween: resurrection.   Despite these easter eggs and references to what has come before, the movie makes it clear its only interested in following up on the immoral classic; only the original counts now, and myers has been locked up for forty years since his original Halloween night killing spree.

The beginning of the film is defined by denial.  Laurie, the lone survivor from the original Halloween killing spree, insists that evil is out there, that they are not safe, that the bogeyman exists, but after so long nobody really wants to hear about it anymore.  She is a prophet of doom living uncomfortably in a time of peace.  That Halloween night so many years ago defined her entire life; she stays scared to survive, but others included her own daughter and granddaughter, doubt there is anything to fear in the first place. 

And of course evil just bides its time; Michael escapes during a routine prisoner transfer on hallows eve to return to Haddonfield, and wastes no time staking up the body count.  Michael is a force of nature here, stalking from one house to the next, killing the occupants in brutal fashion and moving on as trick or treaters flow through the suburban streets outside none the wiser.  He spends the most time stalking a blond bombshell, continuing the Halloween ritual he began in the first film of systematically murdering nubile teen babysitters that reminded him of Judith, his first kill and arguably his first thrill.   

it isnt long until laurie is teased out of hiding to hunt myers down before he can repeat the havoc wrought on halloween forty years ago.  She seems eager to face her fate this time; she wants the pleasure of killing him for revenge .  She acts as the new dr. loomis of this film, although there is another false loomis haring in the mix, the controversial dr. sartain.

Dr. sartain is introduced as an understudy to dr. loomis, however he shares none of the late doctors ideas about what to do with myers.  Dr. sartain sees it as an opportunity to study pure evil and try to understand it.  Loomis wanted nothing short of seeing myers destroyed.  Dr. sartain seems oddly protective of his patient michael myers; he even goes as far as murdering a cop to try to preserve that evil.  He is more like dr wynn from Halloween 6, fascinated by unbound evil, desperate to understand it and maybe control it.  Dr sartain could be a snarky jab at the Halloween fanbase who share in his desire to see michael live to create unlimited sequels, to preserve the shape so he can spread terror indefinitely.  The late producer malek akkad once famously said Halloween would have no less than 21 entries, dr. sartain seems to be on the same page. 

Dr. Sartain is operating under the assumption that michael and laurie are cosmic counterpoints to each other as predator and prey; that michael lives to stalk laurie, and laurie lives to avenge the deaths of her friends forty years ago.  While it certainly is apparent that laurie never shook the horror of that original Halloween night and has been waiting for the bogeyman to return ever since, its uncertain how michael feels about it.  Every effort to illicit a response from him seems futile, his refusal to speak confounds any attempt to attach a motivation to his actions and leaves journalists and doctors desperate for a reason to his madness other than evil merely existing.   dr. sartain corals michael to lauries sanctuaryhome in the woods to force a final conflict in an attempt to learn more about the condition, to observe michael as loomis has, in the wild.

The final act plays out almost exactly how you would expect with some role reversal between laurie and the shape thrown in; at one point laurie even stabs michael with his own knife, the ultimate Freudian subversion of male strength.  By the end every institution of safety fails laurie and her family making all of her prophetic musings about survival ring true; it is up to them to dispatch the evil themselves, to face fate no matter what it brings.  Little does michael know hes walking into a well laid trap of feigned female vulnerability, leaving him in a smoldering wreckage much like the ending of the original Halloween 2, not to mention a few fingers short.  The final shot of the film is 3 generations of defiant strode women riding off into safety, a final girl expose. 

The soundtrack was done by carpenter himself and is on point as expected.  I can see myself spinning it quite a few times this season for those classic Halloween feels.  There are many musical cues and call backs to the original film; the zingers are back, the slasher is back.  This new entry is exactly what the genre needs, a true Halloween resurrection.  It honors everything that came before while expounding on some of the original themes and subtext if the immortal classic.  I have already seen it three times in the theater and plan on another trip before it is through.  While it is impossible for a movie to live up to its hype I felt like this one was not a letdown and will be in regular watching rotation come next Halloween season, right next to the classicks.         

Monday, October 22, 2018

Halloween 2018 - review coming soon

Happy Monday maniacs!  Hopefully you have all seen Halloween 2018 by now, I want to watch it a few dozen more times before formulating a complete deep dive review, but for now all I've got to say is what a nice love note to the fanboy and girl fanatics!  It's had me re-watching the classick Halloween movies all week.  Halloween triumphant; the Shape will never die!


Friday, October 19, 2018

Revenge of the Slashback Video

Man I would love to visit this exhibit someday, so rad!  Totally gives me the nostalgia feels for the video store of yesteryear, a regular Friday round of cheesy horror and greasy pizza.  I love this stuff!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Ranger - 2018

THE RANGER is another retro friendly entry into slasherdom; a CANDY COATED PUNK EXPLOTATION SLID SNUGGLY INto A SLAStastic  TEMPLATE, another eighties throwback that does it right.  THE LEAD CHARACTER AND FINAL GIRL IS EMBEDDED IN THE PUNK CULTURE OF FAST MUSIC, FASHION, AND DRUGS, but a drug bust gone sideways sends her and her wannabe rocker gang deep into the woods, where they encounter the enigmatic RANGER; a blue blood by the books backwoods badass determined to keep city filth off his mountain.  the ranger also shares a mysterious past with the main character, a tragic moment from her childhood that she can barely remember through a blurry haze drugs and partying.  The ranger deadpans esoteric government code and regulation while cutting the fashion punks into ribbons for his revered mountain wolves to devour.  He wants the girl with the pink hair to remember that she is a wolf too, wild and deadly and just like him she has a hidden dark side waiting to howl out in pure animistic blood-lust, to revel and embrace the violence of the wild world.  after all, Wolves recognize wolves.

The ranger was shown before Halloween in imax, with the frontman from the rock band in the film giving a brief intro, delving into the punk roots of the film and how he got involved.  The film is very pretty, neon pink and blue highlights, some decent bloody bits and one liners; its sure to engage anyone that has ever delved into the punk scene and enjoys the marriage between horror and hard rock.           

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Halloween 2018..the art keeps coming...

Halloween in IMAX 40th anniversary

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Halloween tiki mug from MONDO

The merchandise is really going some weird places haha...

Get yours HERE!

See you kids at the theaters friday!