HALLOWEEN 2018 BLU RAY REVIEW (UNIVERSAL)

Halloween is a 2018 slasher film co-written, produced, & directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, The Sitter, Snow Angels, Joe, & Vice Principals). It was co-written & produced by Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals, Your Highness, & The Foot Fist Way). Dimension Films lost the production rights to Halloween so it reverted back to Miramax. Last time Universal did distribution for the series was in 1982 with Halloween III: Season of the Witch. It was produced & composed by John Carpenter (Halloween franchise, Body Bags, The Fog, & Vampires). It’s the 11th installment in the iconic horror franchise & a direct sequel to the original 1978 film. It also produced by Jason Blum (The Purge franchise, Insidious franchise, Get Out, Split/Glass, Happy Death Day, & Upgrade), Malek Akkad (Halloween franchise, The Hatred, The Violent Kind, & Free Fall), & David Thwaites (Black Swan, All the King’s Men, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny , & Bad Santa 2). It went through several different developments including Halloween 3D from 2011 to 2015 until this version was put together by Blumhouse Productions. It grossed $253.7 million worldwide at the box office making it the biggest in the series & number one all time slasher in the theaters. A sequel has already been planned for this!!!!

 

Four decades after The Babysitter Murders, true-crime podcasters Aaron Korey (played by: Jefferson Hall from Vikings, Taboo. Sherlock Holmes, & Star Wars: The Force Awakens) & Dana Haines (played by: Rhian Rees from Confession of a Child of the Century, The Lears, & Rehearsal) arrive at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium to visit Michael Myers (played by: Nick Castle from Halloween, Dark Star, & Escape from New York) before his transfer. They interview Michael’s psychiatrist Dr. Ranbir Sartain (played by: Haluk Bilginer from Buffalo Soldiers, The International, Ishtar, & Ben-Hur), a former student of Dr. Samuel Loomis. They visit & interview Laurie Strode (played by: Jamie Lee Curtis from the Halloween franchise, Terror Train, Prom Night, & Trading Places) next, she only does it for the money. She’s now living in isolation after developing agoraphobia & her house is heavily guarded. The following night, Michael’s transport crashes & he manages to escape. He goes back to his old ways & starts terrorizing Haddonfield, Illinois again.

 

Laurie warns her estranged daughter Karen (played by: Judy Greer from Jurassic World, Ant-Man/Ant-Man and the Wasp, War for the Planet of the Apes, & Carrie) & her son-in-law Ray (played by: Toby Huss from King of the Hill, Reno 911!, Carnivàle, & Outcast) about the familiar psychopath stalking the streets. Her granddaughter Allyson (played by: Andi Matichak from Replicate, Miles, & Evol) is away at a Halloween school dance with her boyfriend Cameron (played by: Dylan Arnold from The Purge Tv Series, Nashville, & Mudbound) & friend Oscar (played by: Drew Scheid from Boy Erased, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, & Stranger Things). She is supposed to meet up with her best friend Vicky (played by: Virginia Gardner from Runaways, Monster Party, & Tell Me How I Die) & Dave (played by: Miles Robbins from Blockers, My Friend Dahmer, & The X-Files) later on. She has no clue who’s out there & leaves the party going near her grandmother’s worst nightmare! Deputy Frank Hawkins (played by: Will Patton from The Punisher, Swamp Thing Tv Series, After Hours, & Romeo is Bleeding) is trying to find her before it’s too late & stop Michael Myers (played by: James Jude Courtney from The Hit List, The Killing Grounds, & Devil in the Flesh) from ruining his town once more. As their paths cross, this sets up a deadly final confrontation between the cursed family & the Boogeyman!!!!

 

Halloween 2018 is definitely better than the last two Rob Zombie films but it still has it’s issues. It goes back to it’s roots & ditches the white trash vibe. Jamie Lee Curtis gives one of her best performances returning as the classic scream queen Laurie Strode in this. She has a solid supporting cast with Judy Greer, Toby Huss, Will Patton, & Haluk Bilginer. I know they were trying for “unknown” actors for the main teenagers but they should have just went with the most talented because all of their performances were pretty bad. I will say I hated the Aaron Korey character & the Julian kid didn’t fit this film. All of his scenes he tried way too hard to be funny & it honestly killed the tone of the feature at the time & it didn’t work at all. Considering the creative team involved, that was my biggest fear about this production & luckily it was mainly just that role. One thing that really surprised me about this was all the off screen kills. I don’t understand why David Gordon Green decided to go that direction but it hurt the overall quality of the Halloween. That’s one of main selling points & attractions of a slasher film so it makes no sense to do that when you have an R rating. Don’t get me wrong, it showed a few deaths here & they were brutal! It didn’t shy away from the aftermath of the murders & it had some nice special effects but they should have showed more. It had one scene that seriously made me say “WHAT THE FUCK?” when I originally seen it in the theaters & I still had a similar reaction when I revisited it. It was a pointless twist that was so ridiculous that would be considered “jumping the shark” & it’s so awful that I have to laugh at every time I see it now. I loved the Halloween 3 costumes from the trick or treaters & the P.J. Soles cameo. My favorite part about the whole production was John Carpenter returning to do the score & it was amazing. I still think it’s silly that they ignored & acted like every other sequel didn’t exist including 2 which takes place directly after the original. Besides those few flaws, Halloween 2018 is taking the franchise back to right direction after all these years. It was one of my favorites from 2018 & I hope the sequel fixes all the previous issues. It was beyond entertaining & a very fun experience, it has plenty of replay value so it’s worth adding to your collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!

 

Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks great on blu ray, I can only imagine what the 4K release looks like! It has a familiar atmosphere & all the locations look top notch here. The colors really pop out & it’s already one of the best looking releases in 2019. It has 4 different audio options which include English: DTS:X, English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Spanish: DTS 5.1, & French (Canada): DTS 5.1 on the disc. The dialogue is very clean & all the suspense is elevated especially because of the classic John Carpenter music that just brings everything to a whole new level! It’s the true highlight of this release, it roars through the home set up & it feels like I am back in the theaters. It also has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles.

 

Let’s discuss the special features from Universal on this release! Almost 13 minutes of 7 different “Deleted/Extended Scenes” cut from the film. It has more character development & some scenes that I was surprised that got removed from the final version. “Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween” is a little over 6 minutes. It has interviews with director David Gordon Green, producer/composer John Carpenter, producer Jason Blum, producer Malek Akkad, co-writer/producer Danny McBride, actors Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Toby Huss, James Jude Courtney, Andi Matichak, Virginia Gardner, & others. Malek Akkad says David Gordon Green & Danny McBride pitch really sold him over all the others. Jamie Lee Curtis talks about being instantly interested after reading the script. They chat about their experience on the film & their appreciation for the original. They bring up certain scenes from the production. “The Original Scream Queen” is a little over 2 minutes. It has an interview with actress Jamie Lee Curtis plus various members of the cast & crew. They pay tribute to the legendary scream queen & show their appreciation for her work. “The Sound of Fear” is a little over 3 minutes. It has interviews with composers John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies, & others. They talk about the iconic theme & music for Halloween. John Carpenter jokes about the improvements over the years & getting more help. Cody Carpenter says he was asked so much as a kid to play the theme because of his dad. It shows them creating the score for certain scenes & it takes you behind the scenes. “Journey of the Mask” is a little over 2 minutes. It has interviews with the same cast & crew from the other extras on here plus special effects artist Christopher Nelson. They talk about how the original mask was created & how iconic it is. They chat about how everything changes when the mask is put on. Christopher Nelson goes over his experience working on the new one for this feature. “The Legacy of Halloween” is a little over 4minutes. It’s a conversation between Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter, David Gordon Green, & Jason Blum. Jason Blum talks about David Gordon Green always turning him down until he offered this. They all chat about being impressed by David Gordon Green & Danny McBride’s vision for this sequel. They talk about working on it & how it brought everything back. It comes with a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. If you are a fan of the Halloween franchise, Michael Myers, or horror, you need to pick this up ASAP! It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!