Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

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domino harvey
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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#51 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:33 pm

Controversial opinion: He is the single funniest guest star in the entire series run of NewsRadio as Jack Frost, "security consultant to the stars"

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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#52 Post by MongooseCmr » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:15 pm

Judy Greer is really bad too. Everything before Meyers puts his mask back on read like improv to me, but improv with no characterization set up beyond “sarcastic teens” and “annoyed at your parents.” I’m not sure what Greens approach with actors is but everyone but the three at the center of the babysitter murders (easily the best and most worthwhile scene) seemed completely lost.

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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#53 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:32 pm

The babysitter, her charge, and her boyfriend are indeed the most charming people in the film, and the time spent with them is the only time the tone feels remotely enjoyable and/or frightening

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Mr Sausage
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Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#54 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:18 pm

The film this most resembles is Halloween II: a number of pretty good standalone moments, a decent job aping some of the feel and style of the original, a level of craft higher than the average slasher, a few promising conceits--and then no idea how to put it all into a satisfying or interesting whole. And like Halloween II, it's too busy. The original movie was a series of baroque elaborations on very simple set ups. Its sequel ignored that simplicity and overloaded itself not only with three mostly unconnected plot strands to cut between, but further complications like celtic mythology and secret parentage that end up giving Michael a total of 3(!) separate motivations. This is something the other sequels would go on to magnify, adding bloodlines, black-clad assassins, secret cults, spirit transference, until everything collapsed into incoherence and had to be rebooted. It's no wonder the Friday the 13th series regularly outperformed Halloween: it embraced its low-rent exploitation formula and resisted all complications and pretensions.

Green's film has the spirit of the first sequel for sure, with Michael mostly wandering in the background killing random people in their houses while everyone else scrambles about trying to figure out where he's gone. In the mean time, the movie piles on plot complications: Laurie Strode's PTSD, her troubles with her daughter, her granddaughter's troubles with her own parents, her granddaughter's troubles with her boyfriend (which gets tons of screen time with no payoff), the new sherrif's troubles tracking down Michael, Michael's doctor's secret motivations regarding Michael, and a pair of podcasters who could've set up some interesting scenes of characters (big and small) reflecting on how the events of the original have affected them and the town, but turn out to be there only to provide Michael with a way to reclaim his mask. The movie seems to feel that the way to create the impression of a living, breathing world is to include many separate characters and then give the audience a lot of information about them.

This is all way too much for a slasher movie and breaks everything up so that momentum can't build. Michael's stalk-and-slash doesn't ratchet up, it's used to punctuate other scenes, usually plot and character info dumps. It's all rapid inflation/deflation, which is exhausting and frustrating rather than exciting. The central set-piece, Michael in the house with the babysitter, briefly showed us a better movie: Michael walking amongst oblivious trick-or-treaters, wreaking havoc in and around various houses while Halloween the holiday allows him to hide in the open. Cut between that and Laurie/Sheriff Hawkens doing the Loomis/Sherriff Brackett stuff to increase momentum, and you've got a perfect template for more baroque elaborations on the original's set ups. Sadly, we get instead a herky-jerky mess of unfulfilled promise with a weak final act and unsatisfying ending. I was legitimately startled when the film cut to credits. The only surprise in the whole movie is a 'wait, that's it?' moment.

I didn't dislike the movie; it's probably the best Halloween sequel, certainly better than the remake, and far, far superior to the recent Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street remakes. But considering the talent behind the camera, I don't understand why the writing was so poor and the direction so unconcerned with style. The film just didn't relish its opportunities for suspense and tension. It had good visual ideas, but couldn't string them along into a sequence because it had so much plot to get back to. Yeah, disappointing.

EDIT: there is one part of this that didn't disappoint at all: Carpenter's score (done with his son and Daniel Davies). Some terrific synth work with a couple of new cues that felt at home.

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Finch
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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#55 Post by Finch » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:48 am

I'm in the "this was kind of okay" camp too.

Halloween 2018 is only 106 minutes long and it still feels way too busy, especially next to the 1978 original which is only 15 minutes shorter. The British journalists that are acting as our way into the new film very quickly got on my nerves and I reckon the film could easily have gotten on without them and the new Doctor, and nobody would have missed any of them.

I liked the idea that Laurie passed her trauma on to her daughter who in turn passes it on to hers but to me it just felt like an idea that should have been developed more, and less on the nose, too. I'd have gladly swapped the journos and the Doctor subplots for more time between the three Strode generations. In my opinion, this film was two or three drafts away from what could been a stronger final draft. Apart from the dialogue, I also felt the casting lets the film down in places. Jane Greer was awful. The lassie playing Allyson on the other hand was rather good. The bits where the film puts Laurie in spots that Michael used to occupy in the 78 film were eyerollers for me.

Also, I didn't find the film scary. It has strong moments of suspense but nothing compares to the jolts of the original. I like an extended tracking shot that follows Michael and as part of that, a murder that takes place just outside the frame. The strongest section of the film is Allyson at the party and her babysitter friend watching over a wisecrack black kid at the kid's home. The film intercuts between the two locations and it just flows and feels right in a way that the film doesn't accomplish outside of the aforementioned tracking shot.

The last 15 minutes are pretty solid but again, it's just that. On the basis of this film, I don't think David Gordon Green has a natural feeling for horror. This thing feels like it's ticking off all the checkboxes and little else. Problem is it's competent at best and eliciting a shrug at worst.

The only other sequel or riff on the original I have seen is Rob Zombie's Halloween II from 2009 in the longer Director's Cut version. That film has its own sort of problems (mostly the dialogue) but they are not as crippling and it haunts me in ways this new Halloween never will.

However one thing is legitimately aces and that's John Carpenter's score that he wrote with his kids. The old master still has got it and if I got any chills watching Green's film they were down to Carpenter's music. Two of those tracks in particular are for the ages.

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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#56 Post by Daneurism » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:11 pm

Interesting that someone upthread said that Green goes for tension in this one as opposed to jump scares, and it's true there aren't really many jump scares, but the boldest, underlined thought I had leaving the theatre after this was that Green couldn't film a tense sequence to save his life. Every murder or chase scene is so limp.

Huge disappointment. I respect that Green wants to try his hand at every type of film, but imo, he's only been adept with his small, character driven films.

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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#57 Post by dda1996a » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:34 pm

Well he's long said he hated seeing his films play to empty seats, and this is his biggest hit, so chances kf Geroge Washington 2 or Prince Avalanche is getting slimmer and slimmer

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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#58 Post by bearcuborg » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:57 pm

Daneurism wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:11 pm
I respect that Green wants to try his hand at every type of film, but imo, he's only been adept with his small, character driven films.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the early stuff too-but Pineapple Express is a hugely successful movie on every level.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#59 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:35 pm

It's probably his best film from every possible angle. It looks absolutely fantastic for a comedy, too. I like George Washington a ton, but Pineapple Express is the better movie. It was released during a deluge of the Apatow brand of feature film comedies, but among all the films during that comedy boom, it will likely have the strongest legs long-term (even moreso than something more initially successful like The Hangover)

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PfR73
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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#60 Post by PfR73 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:02 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:33 pm
Controversial opinion: He is the single funniest guest star in the entire series run of NewsRadio as Jack Frost, "security consultant to the stars"
Uncontroversial opinion: He's The Wiz, and nobody beats him.

phantomforce
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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#61 Post by phantomforce » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:53 am

The best thing about this Halloween against every other one minus the first and original second is that this was done in a timely manner and is fitting to current events. Obviously, everything about it fits parallel with the first and is done exceptionally well, however I dont think it would have been as well received if it were made before Robs remakes or even before H20. I know there are a lot of Die Hard H20 fans who think Hween should only be H1, 2 and H20 and I can respect that, but this was just so clever and effortlessly handled. I'm more than happy to forget about the others and move this one up next to 1.

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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#62 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:37 am

Pitchfork's mostly favorable review of the soundtrack album, aptly pointing out, "But this time, the synths have been cleaned up and dread is occasionally outweighed by winking nostalgia," which is a good way of describing the film itself too

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#63 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:59 pm

I don't have a ton to add to this conversation, as I'm mostly on the side of those who thought this was mediocre at best, with the script being the main weakness. Mr. Sausage more or less covers all of my main disappointments, but I will say that there was one moment in which Green's direction and Carpenter's score came together to approach something like the simple terror of being stalked by mindless evil that the original film evokes so well, and which made the whole film worth it for me.

I've always loved the scene in the 1978 film when Laurie, after discovering the bodies of her friends in the other house, flees to a neighbor's house (who refuses to let her in) and then back to the home where she had been babysitting; the moment when she realizes she doesn't have the key and we can see Michael walking unhurriedly but determinedly across the street toward her makes my spine tingle with an instinctual flight impulse every time I see it.

In the 2018 iteration,
SpoilerShow
Allyson stalks away from her schlubby friend's misguided advances, then comes running back at the sound of his panicked screams as Michael closes in on him. She reaches the yard where she left him and triggers the motion sensor lights, only to see her friend stabbed and impaled on the fence. She lets loose an effectively primal howl, immediately followed by the most menacing and muscular piece of Carpenter's score as she runs upon seeing Michael. Green cuts to a long shot of some houses bathed in the glow of a sickly orange-yellow streetlight, and Allyson runs to them, screaming and pounding on the door for help while the synths throb intensely. That moment effectively echoes the original film but is amplified by the score to have an inevitable, mythic weight to it, as if the return of Haddonfield's resident evil was always coming and it's younger generations are finally being made aware of the reality of the community's deep scars (and Laurie's in particular).
If, as Finch and others have pointed out, there was more of this simple yet meaningful horror and less of the ultimately useless podcaster/psychiatrist/boyfriend subplots, this would have been better than merely the best of a bad pile of sequels and remakes.

connor
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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#64 Post by connor » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:25 am

Thoroughly mediocre. The trailer had me excited that Green was going for Carpenter's 'scope mise en scène and slow, simmering pace. Neither applies to the finished product. The pacing is herky-jerky and follows standard slasher movie beats. Far, far too much:
SpoilerShow
of Michael is shown. He's not really The Shape here. Why do we need to see him actually put the mask *on* in broad daylight for the first time? Why not just have him open the trunk, see the mask, and cut away? In the original, we don't see him rob the hardware store to collect the knives, rope and mask. We just see the cop and hear the store's alarm going off.
And that awful, awful:
SpoilerShow
zoom/close-up of JLC at the very end with "Happy Halloween, Michael." How was that any better than the Halloween sequels from 20 years ago?
The best parts are the McBride/Green banter and southern humor and Toby Huss.

Anyone else notice that Strode's guns were all hilariously antiquated? A Winchester, lever-action rifle? How John Ford of her. I suppose an AR-15 has darker connotations in this country that they understandably want us to skip right past. Not a criticism of the film so much as a sad reminder of how bad things are in the USA right now--even in our escapist entertainment, we now have to jump back to 1880s props just to forget about the very real massacres by very real mad men cropping up every few months.

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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#65 Post by Robespierre » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:45 pm

Ya, your gun rights are a joke and nobody cares to do anything about it.

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Big Ben
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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#66 Post by Big Ben » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:31 pm

Laurie actually states why she has things like revolvers. They don't jam and you can dampen the recoil. They're popular with survivalist types here in Montana for that very reason. You haven't lived until you've seen a guy in public with a revolver attached to his hip order a sandwich.

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Finch
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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#67 Post by Finch » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:31 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:59 pm
the moment when she realizes she doesn't have the key and we can see Michael walking unhurriedly but determinedly across the street toward her makes my spine tingle with an instinctual flight impulse every time I see it.
For me it's the moment directly preceding it where she falls down the stairs after Michael's stabbed her in the shoulder and he comes down the stairs and she's scrambling to get up in time. I swear, this is perhaps the only film that literally makes me holler at the screen "get up, get up, run!" every. single. time. I watch it.

But to get back to the topic at hand: inevitably there's more sequel talk after the terrific BO numbers but frankly, like the Alien films, this has really run its course. What more can be said?

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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#68 Post by MrHongKong » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:54 am

The production values are above average for the genre, but the logical fallacies just kept piling up, to the point where they were pulling me out the film over and over again. The lady has 40 years to prepare for Michael Meyers, and THIS was her plan? I could come up with a far better plan in 5 minutes, easily minimizing risks to the protagonists by 99% percent.

What is the point of a film like this? Meaningless passing of time? To make money?

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tenia
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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#69 Post by tenia » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:51 am

Turned out I watched Halloween II (1981) and this one over a short period of time, and it's fascinating to see how this newer movie ends up trying to sell us something smart and build upon know-elements in a meta kind of way only to end up re-doing the same old tired routine already performed 35 years ago.
All the stuff about Laurie's paranoia, her booby-trapped house, training her daughter etc ends up having so little effect on the overall course of the movie and its characters' behaviour that it's hard not to think there wasn't a better movie to do with all this. For instance, a movie that would actively use this, and not turn it into something that pops up once when the writers are stuck in a dead end and need an artificial idea to get out of there. Here instead, Laurie keeps searching Michael in dark rooms, her booby trapped house offers so little extra usefulness compared to the 78 one, etc etc.

At 105 minutes, it's also a movie that piles tons of storylines for no interest generation whatsoever, since it makes the 1st half of the movie drags a lot in its exposition. To me, I felt like the movie was finally kicking in after 40 minutes, which is an awful amount of time (and then, as I wrote above, it just felt like yet another rehash, especially Michael's neighbour-y home invasions).

The score is nice, the cinematography OK, and some (but just a few) characters are not too poorly written, but as a whole, it's just disappointing to see the gap between what the movie thinks it's doing, what it could have done, and the on-screen result. I think maybe a Home Alone x Halloween cross-over might, for instance, especially since the movie spent a non-negligible amount of time in its first half selling this possibility, except it never uses it in the end.

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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#70 Post by nitin » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:51 am

It was above average for about an hr, and then just cumulatively got dumber and dumber. I agree with your criticism re the Laurie character and arc, it was very underdeveloped save for plot contrivances.

dda1996a
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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#71 Post by dda1996a » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:37 pm

There are a few decent set pieces, but it reeks of horror cliches, and there is just no sense in how Myers keeps transporting into places that should be random for him. And yes the last act sucks.

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Re: Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)

#72 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:01 pm


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