Film Review: Halloween (2018)

Forty years after the original movie, Halloween (2018) is a fitting follow up to the slasher classic. 

Forty years after Michael Myers’ murder spree, Laurie Strode lives in a state of constant vigilance. Meanwhile, two journalist wish to interview Myers before he is transferred to a different institution…

There have been many sequels (not forgetting the reboot) to horror classic Halloween (1978). Now, forty years later, director and co-writer David Gordon Green asks viewers to cast all those aside, and view this latest picture as a direct follow up to John Carpenter’s original. The offer is tempting – the film offers the talents of writers Green, Danny McBride, and Jeff Fradley, and the return of Jamie Lee Curtis (although Curtis did return for 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later among sequels). Whilst those familiar with the entire franchise may wonder whether another film is necessary, the filmmakers quickly allay these fears. 

Halloween (2018) is a competent and enjoyable horror movie. Green’s film begins well, and establishes characters and their relationships succinctly. The real action begins when Michael is on the loose once more. The bodies quickly pile up, with even named characters dispatched without ceremony. It certainly gives the feeling that none of the characters are safe. 

Some of the usual jump scares are present, unsurprisingly. There are some great sequences; the foreshadowing makes the inevitable more of a thrill to watch. Halloween is largely credited with cementing slasher movie tropes (although 1974’s Black Christmas should share this accolade), and these are writ large in Green’s film. There are several callbacks to the original, yet the film does not try to ape its predecessor. It provides an electrifying ending, turning the tables of the original, whilst giving viewers something fresh. 

Laurie’s understandable paranoia is a recurring theme, and in the end spells out who will survive. Forty years on, the prey is now the hunter. Halloween turns the final girl into a fearless protector. Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role with aplomb. Judy Greer is also a welcome presence.

Halloween is a respectful follow up to the original film. It feels like a suitable conclusion to the franchise, and hopefully closes the door to anymore offshoots.

Previews: Halloween Trailer, First Man Poster, More!

A profusion of film-related goodness in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the band new Halloween trailer, First ManBad Times at the El Royale, and more…

Halloween Trailer

Here is the brand new Halloween trailer. Forty years after John Carpenter’s horror classic, Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode. Directed by David Gordon Green, the film sees the return of Michael Myers, as he escapes from a secure facility. Halloween will hit UK screens on 19th October 2018.

First Man Poster

This is the first poster for the upcoming First Man. Directed by Damien Chazelle (La La Land and Whiplash) and written by Josh Singer, the film is about NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong. First Man, which stars Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy, will be released on 12th October 2018.

Bad Times at the El Royale Trailer

Bad Times at the El Royale is the latest film from Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods). The film features an enviable cast that includes Chris Hemsworth, Jeff Bridges, and Cynthia Erivo. Bad Times at the El Royale is set for release on 10th October 2018.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Trailer

Above is the first trailer for the third instalment of the franchise, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. The film catches up with a slightly older Hiccup and Toothless as they discover their destinies. Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera return for the latest instalment, which follows 2014’s How To Train Your Dragon 2. How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is set for release on 1st February 2019.

Home Entertainment Releases

Upcoming home entertainment releases include A Quiet Place. The critically acclaimed horror is directed by John Krasinski, and also stars Emily Blunt. A Quiet Place receives its Digital release on 30th July, and 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray on 13th August 2018. Also set for a home entertainment release is Game Night. The action comedy stars Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman. Game Night is released on Digital Download on 25th June and Blu-ray and DVD on 2nd July 2018.

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Previews: Halloween Poster, The Happy Prince, More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, which include the brand new Halloween poster, Hereditary, The Happy Prince, and more…

Halloween Poster

Here is the new poster for the upcoming Halloween. Forty years since the original Halloween film, and twenty since Jamie Lee Curtis reprised her famous role in Halloween H20, Michael Myers is back once more. Curtis is joined by Judy Greer and Will Patton, and the film is directed by David Gordon Green (Your Highness, Stronger). With John Carpenter among the Executive Producer, Halloween hits the big screen on 19th October 2018.

Hereditary Trailer

Above is the new trailer for Hereditary. The upcoming horror is about a family who reveal something sinister about their ancestry when the matriarch of the clan passes away. Hereditary stars Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne, and is the feature debut from writer-director Ari Aster. The film is set for release on 15th June 2018.

The Happy Prince Trailer

The Happy Prince is written, directed, and stars Rupert Everett. The film is his directorial debut. Everett stars as Oscar Wilde, portraying the writer in his final years. The film also stars Colin Firth and Emily Watson. The Happy Prince will be released in UK cinemas on 15th June 2018.

Life of the Party Trailer

Here is the latest trailer for Life of the Party. The comedy stars Melissa McCarthy as a newly divorced mum who decides to go back to college. The film is directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone, and penned by the couple. Also starring Gillian Jacobs and Maya Rudolph, Life of the Party will be released in UK cinemas on 11th May 2018.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Trailer

Above is the last trailer for the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The sequel sees Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprise their roles from 2015’s Jurassic World. Jeff Goldblum also reprises his role from the franchise. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom launches onto UK screens on 6th June 2018.

Film Review: Your Highness

The trailer for Your Highness makes the film look unappealing. Some trailers can be wildly misleading, but sadly this is not the case with David Gordon Green’s film.

Prince Thadeous is in the shadow of his brave and accomplished brother Fabious, heir to the throne. When Fabious’ bride is kidnapped by an evil warlock, Fabious embarks on a quest to rescue. Following their father orders, Thadeous reluctantly agrees to accompany him…

Ultimately, Your Highness fails because the script is so poor. The film hits all the wrong notes; plodding along while the audience desperately hopes that it will pick up. At very best, a few of the jokes are mildly amusing, yet these keep being repeated until any initial amusement has shrivelled up and died.

There is nothing wrong with a bit of crude humour now and again. It can be hilarious if done right. The problem with Your Highness is that it relies on staid humour. The jokes are not very funny in the first place, and grow tired quickly with the frequent repetition. There seems to be a lack of ideas from writers Danny McBride and Ben Best. Running with very limited jokes only works if the recurring jokes gets funnier, or are at least funny to begin with.

Your Highness may have been effective if it was a straightforward spoof of the sword and sorcery genre. There is ample material that the film could have referenced and derided, but instead the film merely replicates some situations from previous films in the genre. These influences are not made light of, but simply incorporated into the narrative. Your Highness is a standard sword and sorcery movie, but with swearing and lewdness.

The film’s production values are good. Locations appear appropriate given the setting, and costumes work well to produce the quasi-Medieval look. Special effects are also decent. The action scenes work reasonably well, but are at odds with the tone of the movie.

Your Highness boasts a great cast; it is a bit of a mystery as to why they all signed on to this project. Charles Dance plays it straight as King Tallious, and Rasmus Hardiker generates most of the amusement. Main cast members Danny McBride, James Franco and Natalie Portman are hammy. This seemingly is the intention, but grates after a while.

Your Highness may be funnier depending on inebriation levels; for going into the movie sober takes a man (or woman) braver than Franco’s Fabious.