Stars: 4.5/5

Released almost 40 years to the date after the 1978 masterpiece, 2018’s "Halloween" is the sequel this franchise has been waiting for.

Ignoring the rest of the franchise, "Halloween" serves as a direct sequel to only the original, making much of the franchise’s lore null and void. However, this benefits the movie as it is not bogged down by the complicated storylines of nine other movies, many of which became too convoluted to keep track of. However, the movie does include subtle references to these now retconned movies, such as showing masks for "Halloween III: Season of the Witch” and a public restroom scene similar to one from "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.” 

Another benefit of the movie is how much of the original cast returns. Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle return as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, and original director John Carpenter returns as an executive producer. Much of the tone of the original returns, due to the actors bringing the same qualities that made the original so memorable.

The crew even managed to use a mask similar to the original mask, an aspect that excites many fans, because the masks used in previous sequels have differed incredibly from the original, even including a CGI mask at one point. The same palpable tension resonates throughout the movie, distinguishing it from the jump scare-filled modern horror movie.

The movie does deviate from the original in some aspects –– the 1978 "Halloween" was a slow-burning, atmospheric film that relied on tension and anticipation as opposed to the violence and gore present in most slasher films. The 2018 "Halloween," while still creating an atmosphere of dread, ups the violence and body count of the original.

Much more of the violence is shown on screen, much more graphically. The movie also ups the small body count of the original in favor of much more extravagant and brutal deaths in the style of more modern horror movies.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a "Halloween" movie be without the iconic score. Carpenter, along with his son Cody and Daniel Davies, returns to helm to iconic score he created 40 years ago. The score itself provides much of the tension in the film, as it builds a sense of dread, much like the original. Not since “Jaws” has a movies score worked so well at conveying the atmosphere of a movie.

The tone helps establish the presence of Michael, while also conveying the predator and prey relationship that Michael and Laurie switch between, in an attempt to finally kill one another. The movie furthers this switch between predator and prey with Michael and Laurie by recreating many aspects of the original, such as falling off a balcony and disappearing, only replacing these actions of Michael in the original with Laurie in the new film

While the film is not without its faults, such as some obviously stupid decisions in an attempt to forward the plot, it is obvious that a lot of love and care was put into making it. Everyone involved cared about this franchise and wanted its success to live up to the original masterpiece that inspired the entire slasher subgenre.

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