Discussing "Halloween"

halloween-david-gordon-green.jpg

*As much as Ken Jones and Greg Ehrhardt wanted to break down Johnny English strikes again, “Guess The Box Office” is taking a week off to give a review of the smash box office hit “Halloween”*

Greg:  I saw it on Friday Night in a packed theatre, and, spoiler alert, as a die-hard Halloween fan, I liked it!!! Rather than do a traditional review and risk treading on resident critic Ken Jones’ territory (he’s fiercer than Avon from the Wire if you come close to his territory), let’s answer some common questions I’ve heard from most people as they head into the viewing. In honor of this being the 10th movie featuring Michael Myers sequel, lets answer 10 questions I’ve heard from the readers:

1)      Is it scary??

a.       There are three legit scary scenes/set pieces in the movie (which is three more than all Halloween sequels after the 4th one combined). There’s a particularly clever and tense scene that uses a light motion detector as the gimmick that almost steals the movie. Like most of the Halloween movies, there aren’t those scenes that make you chew your shirt, but some that will make you not look at the gas station bathrooms the same again.

2)      Is Halloween just a good horror movie or actually a good movie overall?

a.       Halloween is surprisingly thoughtful actually! One interesting thing the movie did was really attach you to the characters that Michael Myers kills. He’s not killing nameless/faceless bimbos and jocks that make you cheer for him. Each character has a story, and we care about the story, but Michael Myers sure as heck doesn’t. That puts you back in the sensitized state when watching a horror movie. This movie definitely tries to rise above the horror genre a bit, but just a bit. Its still through and through a horror flick.

3)      Are there callbacks to the original Halloween movie?

a.       Yes, and they are used very cleverly, but very judiciously. This is very much its own movie apart from the sequels

4)      If I like blood guts and gore, will I be happy?

a.       You probably will walk away disappointed. This is a definite R movie, with no nudity, but, the gore is pretty limited. They had a story to tell, and nothing was going to obfuscate it. (Well except for that bathroom scene)

5)      Where does this rank amongst the Halloween franchise?

a.       Its somewhere between 2nd and 4th best Halloween, depending on your mileage with Halloween II and IV. I’m personally a huge fan of Halloween II, which had more legitimate scares than any subsequent movies, so this goes #3 for me.

6)      Is it confusing how it pretends none of the sequels ever happened?

a.       No, they play it off very well and seamlessly within the script.

7)      Does Laurie Strode still bring it?

a.       Not only does she bring it, but her daughter and granddaughter bring it too. This was surprisingly a feminist horror movie, without giving too much away.

8) If I’ve never seen any Halloween movie, will this movie make any sense at all?

a. Yes and no. You definitely don’t need to see it to understand Laurie Strode’s story, because all that matters is she’s a survivor of a serial killer. With Michael Myers’ though: the movie doesn’t make as much sense unless you come into it knowing what a menace and terror he was heading into this. I would recommend watching the original, but perhaps just the last 30 minutes of it if crunched for time.

9) What was the best and worst parts of the movie?

a. Serial Killer movies, by and large, made butchering of innocents fun, and this included the last few Halloween movies. This movie definitely does not make it fun, it makes it real (and horrifying). There is no mistake Michael Myers is evil. That’s a testament to the script and the directing

b. The worst part is there aren’t any real surprises to the script except for one very weird twist at the beginning of the 3rd act that wasn’t even necessary. Even though we won’t spoil the movie, there really isn’t much to spoil about the movie. You can guess what happens with probably 90% accuracy.

10) So what’s your overall rating? Fresh? Rotten?

a. Its fresh for sure; professionally directed, the movie never leaves you checking your watch, and it’s a slick, lean movie. I wish it were a bit scarier and had a couple more surprises. 3 out of 4 stars

Come back next week, when Ken Jones and Greg Ehrhardt return to talk Bohemian Rhapsody and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

You can follow Ken Jones on Twitter @KenJones81 and Greg Ehrhardt on Twitter @Grege333. Like and follow OnStage Blog: OnScreen on Facebook.