Scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her most famous role as Laurie Strode in the 10th sequel to Halloween(1978), which succeeds in its effort to create retroactive continuity ignoring the other 9 sequels.
Released: 19 Oct 2018
Runtime: 106 min
Director: David Gordon Green
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney
Writer(s): Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, John Carpenter (characters), Debra Hill (characters)
Plot: Laurie Strode confronts her long-time foe Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.
IMDB rating: 6.8
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: DTS:X, Spanish 5.1 DTS, French 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Run Time: 1 Hr. 45 Min.
Disc Type: UHD
Release Date: 01/15/2019
The Production: 3.5/5
The Halloween film sequels have never had consistent continuity among them, opting instead to branch in different directions from the original premise. Halloween(2018) continues this trend with its “back to the basics” approach that pretends the other sequels never happened, and proceeds on the premise that psychopathic killer Michael Myers (Nick Castle) was arrested immediately following his attacks on Laurie Strode(Jamie Lee Curtis) in the 1978 film.
On the 40th anniversary of the events in 1978, Laurie Strode is awaiting her opportunity to turn the tables on her attacker. Laurie has spent the last 40 years suffering from PTSD and building her home into a fortress in preparation for the day that the killer returns to hunt her.
The conceit of the film is that Laurie and the killer are the yin and yang of two adversaries forever destined to meet in conflict. Myers is built up as a supernatural force here, and this film ignores the continuities of other sequels that had given him a back story with more humanity, and vulnerability, than as an ethereal manifestation of evil.
Sheriff’s deputy Frank Hawkins(Will Patton) is the police officer who arrested the killer in this continuity that flows from the original film. Laurie has a daughter, Karen(Judy Greer), son-in-law Ray(Toby Huss), and granddaughter Allyson(Andi Matichak), all of whom are destined to come into contact with the killer. The actor who played Michael Myers, Nick Castle, also returns in a limited role, with most of the scenes having the killer behind the mask played by James Jude Courtney.
The screenplay was written by Danny McBride(Eastbound & Down), Jeff Fradley(Vice Principals), and director David Gordon Green(Pineapple Express), all of whom have collaborated previously on comedy films and television series. The screenwriters are all long-time fans of the original film, and it shows in the final product. Although the film delves into levity and irony in a few moments, the story is played straight in a manner that succeeds in evoking the mood of terror in the original film. This recreation of the best elements of the original is enhance by the return of John Carpenter’s urgent theme song, with Carpenter himself providing the new score in collaboration with his son, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies. Carpenter is also an executive producer of Halloween(2018) and acted in an advisory capacity to the new producers. The result is a return to form for the film franchise as Halloween(2018) succeeds in delivering the mood and suspense of the first film.
3D Rating: NA
Halloween(2018) appears on UHD in its original 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Halloween in 4K provides exquisite fine detail and terrific shadow detail in a presentation that leans obviously towards dark settings in its themes of suspense and horror. The tones and colors tend to be more muted than vibrant as an artistic choice, but the polychromatic range of hues demonstrates much of what UHD has to offer in enhanced video presentation.
English audio on the 4K disc is optionally in DTS:X or Dolby Digital 2.0. The DTX:X English audio delivers some excellent directional audio that may have the viewer looking back over their shoulder at the slightest creak and shudder. The real highlight of the audio is the music score by John Carpenter, which deliberately follows the action rather than telegraphing it in advance in many other horror films. French and Spanish audio are also available in DTS Digital Surround 5.1.
Special Features: 3/5
This package includes a 4K UHD disc and a Blu-ray disc. Special features on the UHD disc include all of the following:
Deleted/Extended Scenes(12:35): Selectable individually or with a “Play All” function.
Extended Shooting Range/Deleted Suicide Thoughts(2:30)
Shower Mask Visit(1:33)
Jog to a Hanging Dog(1:10)
Allyson and Friends at School(2:19)
Cameron and Cops Don’t Mix(2:14)
Deluxe Banh Mi Cops(1:54)
Sartain and Hawkins Ride Along(0:59)
Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween(6:05): Co-writers David Gordon Green, Jeff Fradley, and Danny McBride appear with stars of the film to discuss the making of the film.
The Original Scream Queen(2:32): Jamie Lee Curtis is highlighted in this brief interview with Curtis and director David Gordon Green.
The Sound of Fear(3:19): John Carpenter talks about returning 40 years later to create a new score with variations on his original composition of the theme music.
Journey of the Mask(2:33): Makeup effects designer Christopher Nelson and one of the men behind the mask, James Jude Courtney, talk about the design of the original mask and how it was updated for the new film.
The Legacy of Halloween(4:33): Star Jamie Lee Curtis, original director/writer/composer John Carpenter, director David Gordon Green, and producer Jason Blum discuss the influence and effect of the original film in a featurette promoting the release of Halloween(1978) on 4K UHD.
Also included is a paper insert with validation code for Movies Anywhere to watch the film on mobile devices.
Halloween(2018) is a return to form for the horror franchise and succeeds in its conceit that ignores the other 9 sequels. The video and audio presentation on 4K UHD are not lacking, but the special features are minimal, other than the selection of deleted scenes. The theatrical success of this entry all but guarantees a sequel in the near future to this 40 year old film franchise.