The increasingly buzzed-about next Halloween movie has had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the first reviews have been hitting the net.
Filmmaker David Gordon Green, whose varied credits include Pineapple Express, George Washington and Stronger, directs and co-writes (with funny guy Danny McBride) a sequel that ignores every film that came after John Carpenter’s original. Providing some confidence in the picture is the fact that we have Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode, Carpenter on board as EP, creative consultant and co-composer, and Jason Blum producing via Blumhouse.
And it looks like we can breathe a sigh of relief: the reviews are coming in, and they’re great. For the most part, the critics in attendance at TIFF were very pleased with the slasher sequel, with many praising the film’s great balance of fan service, thrills, humour and strong performances. There were a few that weren’t too happy, unimpressed with the film’s lack of creativity and/or its imbalances, but for the most part, it’s looking very good.
Here’s a look at some of the praise:
“It’s everything in a Halloween film that inspires us to return, again and again, but the reversal, reimagining and reinterpretation of these elements is what truly thrills in this new iteration. “
“Halloween is a love letter to the original picture and entertaining on its own terms. Thrilling, atmospheric, and brutally violent, Green delivers exactly what fans want from the series and then some.”
“David Gordon Green has infused his Halloween with a dark wit and a gleeful self-awareness, and Jamie Lee Curtis brings a fierce conviction and wounded humanity to her iconic scream queen role. […] The tension is thick, the kills are brutal, the jokes are funny, and the performances are memorable across the board.
“… delivering both fan service and honest-to-god moviemaking of the sort rarely seen in horror spinoffs. Carpenter should be pleased, and so should genre buffs — for once, this is a pic their less-geeky girl/boyfriends should enjoy.”
“Green has pulled off what he set out to do, tying up the mythology that Carpenter and company established, while delivering plenty of fresh suspense — and grisly-creative kills — for younger audiences who are buying into the Halloween brand without any real investment in Michael and Laurie’s unfinished business.”
“We finally have a new Halloween movie that moves the franchise forward and respects its legacy. […] A near perfect blend of craft, character growth and nostalgia.
“Halloween is a worthy entry in the franchise. The plotting doesn’t quite stick the landing, especially the one development that is so flat-out bad I docked an extra half point off, but the core cast is good to great, as is the violence and the gore.”
“Making his initial foray into the genre, the chameleonesque [director David Gordon] Green has made a slavish, sharply executed bit of fan service elevated by Jamie Lee Curtis’ transformation into a badass grandmother back to finish the job.”
And some of the unimpressed…
“… the story is basically exactly like every other “Halloween” movie – people being killed by Myers or running from him. There are some fun moments […] But there are too many things in this movie that feel drab and unoriginal (and coming from a horror produced by Jason Blum, that’s disappointing). The movie does have a strong ending, but it hardly salvages it.”
“In this alternate timeline, only the 1978 original is canon. That’s not an inadvisable approach, though what they come up with is a wearisome hodgepodge that consistently undercuts deficiently executed terror with tons of ill-fitting humor.”
“… in forgetting what came before, Green and McBride have positioned Halloween 2018 as somehow better, bolder and more necessary than those sequels and the scariest thing about it is that it really isn’t.”
Halloween opens in the US on 19 October and arrives Down Under on 21 October.