Halloween (2018) 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
I cannot properly express just how much I love the music to HALLOWEEN. John Carpenter not only cowrote and directed the original film but he also composed this masterpiece. A staple for the holiday, which to be perfectly honest is the driving force that makes me want to watch the film year in and year out and will always have me curious about a sequel. If you are into slasher films, the new HALLOWEEN is a nostalgic, bloody, call-back to a genre made famous by its original.
It has been 40 years since the original HALLOWEEN (1978) was released in theaters. The John Carpenter classic horror film featuring a very young Jamie Lee Curtis as the teenage babysitter Laurie Strode and the murdering insane convict escapee with iconic mask, has been sequelized and duplicated several times over. In fact, it was 20 years after that when Curtis returned to the role in H20 (1998), ignoring the previous sequels. And now another 20 years from then when she returned to another sequel that is ignoring that one and all the sequels before and after it. A fact that screenwriters, Danny McBride, Jeff Fradley, and David Gordon Green, who also directed the film, are not above poking a little fun at. In fact, they poke a lot of fun while paying a healthy amount of homage to the original.
Rob Zombie took a crack at rebooting the series eleven years ago. And now the new HALLOWEEN (2018) becomes the eleventh film within the franchise, the tenth featuring the knife wielding Michael Myers, the fifth featuring Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, and the third with simply the name HALLOWEEN. So it can be a bit confusing for even the casual fan to keep track of. To alleviate confusion, I’m going to continue adding the year when I say the title, so you know which film I’m speaking about.
HALLOWEEN (2018) delivers an interesting and dare I say, rather exciting introduction into what has happened to our characters, before tapering off into a more generic slasher style. Introducing a couple of investigative reporters visiting the infamous Michael Myers in his insane asylum before he is transferred to a more secure location, the imagery and reintroduction to the mask deliver the start of something that has potential to be more than a straight up slasher flick. According to Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) or as Laurie says at one point, “the new Loomis,” Michael has not spoken a word since his murder spree forty years ago.
The idea that the victim and killer are intertwined in some way plays a little within the film, as Laurie, now a grandmother still wants nothing more than to kill her perpetrator. Years of training for that moment have caused a rift between her and her own daughter (Judy Greer), but also has made Laurie a sort of Sarah Conner of grandmothers. Laurie’s granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), is still very sympathetic to her grandmother’s paranoia and is a good avenue to lead the audience into the traditional horror trope where bad teenagers get scared and killed in unusual fashion. While this ultimately isn’t anything terribly new to the genre, there are some fun scenes to be had, specifically the visual use of a flood light. Choosing the three generations of women as the heroes is a nice touch for some serious family girl power.
But for HALLOWEEN (2018), it’s not really about the story. Sure it’s nice that we have some connection and backstory to what is happening in order to create some credibility within the HALLOWEEN series. And this one probably does it better than any of its predecessors. Nevertheless, it’s about the thrills and kills when it comes to the slasher gore picture. I’m not sure HALLOWEEN (2018) creates any truly tense or scary moments, but it does make for some fun viewing during this time of year. On a side note, I love how every home in the movie is decked out in so many Halloween decorations like some alternate horror loving Clark Griswold with like thirty jack-o-lanterns covering their porch.
Where your loyalty lies within the slasher genre, will ultimately decide if you like this one or not. One should not go in trying to compare it to the original HALLOWEEN (1978) as the mystique of the boogeyman or events can never be recaptured like the first. However, fans of the series will appreciate all the nods and call backs while younger audience might just discover a new way to enjoy an old horror film. Green blends the current uptake of a high bloody body count, sometimes rushing the action to a detriment, with some of the old school vibes. Even the opening credit font brings back some strong nostalgia. And what I believe might be the most important character to the film, the terrifying music, is back with subtle adjustments spruced up by Daniel A. Davies and John Carpenter’s son, Cody Carpenter.
HALLOWEEN (2018) doesn’t really offer anything entirely new for the slasher enthusiast, but it does manage the minimum requirements to enjoy for this sort of genre. If you’re looking for some possible giggle-inducing jumps or groan-worthy kills, HALLOWEEN (2018) is a fun group outing for the Halloween holiday season.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: This isn’t a bad transfer by any means, but it’s very average and falls right in line with some other upscaled 2K masters we’ve seen lately. Colors are slightly deeper and details are more crisp, but overall this is a standard 4K video transfer.
Audio: The audio track on the other hand is slightly disappointing given we get a DTS:X track that is never used to its full potential. This is a horror movie that’s ripe for surround channel use and it just never sounds as good as it should have.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no 4K exclusive special features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which has the following special features:
Deleted/Extended Scenes (12:35): Eight deleted scenes in total, one of which is extended.
Featurettes (18:55): Five short featurettes make up the rest of the special features, four of which are more nostalgic in nature. The lone six minute making-of feature is too short to cover much.