How To Perfect The Re-Sequel

I’ll be honest, I’m a wimp when it comes to horror films. I don’t like being jumped scared, I find it embarrassing and as a film technique I find it cheap. There are some horror films I thoroughly enjoy but not for being surprised but for the feeling of dread that can be forced upon me. Recent films like Apostle (go watch now) and The Babadook create an intense atmosphere while also building tension entirely throughout and that’s something I would rather than being surprised by loud noises. That being said, I understand how and why it’s a thing and where it came from, but I think we’ve evolved from that style of horror. So, now that we have a second sequel for a movie that came out 60 years ago, which defines canon; will it rest on its weighty laurels or can the old adapt?

The thing I want to address is that I haven’t seen a single Halloween movie. I’ve seen many parodies and many videos which summarise the events and explain the plot. But I want to mention that even though I hadn’t seen one; the story, the character and the events were already in my brain. I feel that this movie is one of those many retro movies that are engrained within our pop culture zeitgeist. I knew the tropes, I knew the music and I knew the history. So, when the movie started I didn’t feel like I was lost and it almost felt like I was well informed (even though I wasn’t). Which brings me to another thing that this movie does well and that’s even if you’re an expert in slasher films or a newbie, you can enjoy the film in both ways. I asked a friend of mine, who literally has tattoos of the big three (Freddy, Jason and Michael) on his body and loves these films, can’t wait to see it. This was something I was slightly concerned with, as this film does change the standard and even though it’s definitely an improvement, I was worried It may lose fans of the originals.

On the topic of the actual movie, it still keeps the slasher film tone, with Michael Myers escaping and going on a rampage but now, in a welcome twist Jamie Lee Curtis’ character decides to fight back. It’s a great concept and works well for a modern take and changes up a stagnant style of movie. Again, to reference The Babadook; there are some emotional beats throughout that may hit home a little and it’s a refreshing reprieve from crazy murder. SPEAKING OF! The violence was in full force and was subtle and scary when needed and then brutal and intense in other moments. I never felt there was a point where I felt it was too much or too little and as weird as it may sound, I liked the choices the movie made. ALSO! While on the topic of great choices, the music was very much on point. The theme from Halloween was in full force and it was as unnerving as ever, but also cleverly mixed within the modern score and I feel it had the same affect as the newer Star Wars (nostalgia meets a modern take). There are also nods to previous films and I feel like they add levity to a film that may need a little humour to slice through the tension.

Everything else within the film was great. The pacing, the cinematography, the acting and small batches of humorous dialogue (shout out to the kid being babysat and the Bahn Mi cops) were all much better than expected. Which I guess is my main take away; for a guy who hasn’t seen heaps of old horror or necessarily wanted to, this movie was a genuine, pleasant surprise. There were a few jump scares but also an almost unrelenting sense of dread and I loved it. I don’t think it needs a sequel, but that is no way {{represented}} by my enjoyment of this film. It was great and I will always recommend this film to whoever shows interest. It’s killer.

Score: 4.5/5

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