Michael Myers and Laurie Strode faced off once again as the Halloween franchise returned to the big screen in the Fall of last year, but now the horror/slasher is making its way into your home. Come inside to check out my review of Halloween’s home entertainment release!
Despite several sequels and a couple reboot attempts already (even ones bringing Jamie Lee Curtis back), there was still something to look forward to with the new Halloween from David Gordon Green. Sadly, I wasn’t able to check it out in theaters when it arrived in time for the titular holiday, so when it arrived in blu-ray form on my doorstep I was eager to see how they managed to change up the formula.
I’m not normally a big fan of horror films, but as the years have gone on, especially with my horror movie loving girlfriend, I’ve found myself looking forward to specific ones more and more. Halloween is one of the few horror franchises I’ve seen just about all of, so I was curious to see if this latest reboot could actually revitalize things.
The setup of for this one pretty much wipes the slate clean and ignores all of the lore built up from the previous films. Instead, this acts as a direct sequel to the original Halloween. Instead of being the supernatural immortal killer from the previous movies, Myers has been incarcerated in a mental facility for the past 40 years where he’s remained silent the entire time.
Laurie Strode, however, has been in her own kind of prison. Unable to escape the events of that Halloween night, Laurie has dedicated her life to preparing for his possible return. Training herself up and devoting her time to building a fortress like house for the day she could finally take Myers down...Even at the detriment to her family relationships (specifically her daughter and granddaughter).
Despite eschewing the familial connections that the previous Halloween sequels relied on, the connection between Laurie and Michael is clear. They can’t escape one another and neither will be satisfied until they’ve had their final confrontation. This provides an interesting backdrop to the overall film, while still allowing it to mostly do its own thing.
While Myers isn’t so much a supernatural force of nature this time around, he’s no less terrifying. In fact, the filmmakers seemed to do more to “humanize” Myers in the film, showing that he has definitely aged. While this may sound like a bad thing, it made me that much more invested in his progress as he racks up the kills...Of which there are plenty! I think there are more bodies in the first half of the movie than the entire first film.
There’s an abundance of “holy shit” moments throughout the film. There are some gruesome kills, but how he goes about them is often just as shocking as seeing the result. Hell, sometimes you don’t see the actual kill happen, but the aftermath is enough to send shivers up your spine (e.g. the dropping the teeth over the bathroom stall).
All the acting is solid (although there’s NEVER enough Judy Greer) and does a great job of throwing you right back into the original Halloween universe without feeling like it’s missed a beat. Even if you’ve watched/enjoyed the previous Halloween movies, this new addition is still a lot of fun and I enjoyed seeing it come together in an action-packed, and unexpected, conclusion.
Sight and Sound
The blu-ray transfer for Halloween is excellent. It was shot digitally which means the transfer process is relatively smooth with very little compression going on. The result is a crisp and clear picture that highlights every detail. Skin tones are solid, while the darks are deep, giving you plenty of clarity even in the darker sequences.
The sound is similarly well handled. One of the most important things to any horror film is the use of sound. That’s where so much of your tension and scares can come from and poor presentation on that part can throw off the tone. Thankfully, there’s no issue that I noticed on the surround sound. It was immersive and clear while still giving the right priority to dialog. All in all, the technical aspects of the release are on point.
The Bonus Features
Halloween comes with a handful of bonus features included on the disc (along with a DVD and digital copy):
Deleted/Extended Scenes: Extended Shooting Range, Shower Mask Visit, Jog to a Hanging Dog, Allyson and Friends at School, Cameron and Cops Don't Mix, Deluxe Banh Mi Cops, Sartain and Hawkins Ride Along.
Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween
The Original Scream Queen
The Sound of Fear
Journey of the Mask
The Legacy of Halloween
I think fans will be most interested in the deleted scenes which add some more context to certain things. One scene in particular shows what happens to a specific character and why he suddenly just stopped appearing (despite seeming to have a larger role). While it’s neat, it’s easy to see why these were all ultimately cut.
The making of/behind the scenes featurettes offer some fun insight into how this reboot came to be, but are pretty short. At three-ish minutes each they don’t feel comprehensive and there’s not much chance you’ll be watching them more than once.