Horror films are full of tropes and clichés, things that we know are strange and frustrating and yet keep happening. This film continues the trend in the most infuriating of ways, that is if you are one of the few who will be drawn into it at all. This will not be a positive review. It will be full of spoilers, if that can possibly be done in a film so boring in its obviousness from start to finish.
Going to see this film was a decision made as a result of being bored with your standard night out, simply going to a bar and getting drunk is boring and you end up surrounded by annoying, sweaty, screechy people. The cinema was an attempt to shake up the standard timeline. Perhaps we should have waited for a better film. But the initial reviews were very positive and the Rob Zombie Halloween films were entertaining and interesting. This wasn’t.
The story, such as it is, and the outcome were clear from the trailer. This was to be a revenge film. Jamie Lee Curtis’s character was to get revenge on the killer character for what she was put through in the original. As such there was no surprise to anything as you go in expecting revenge to be done. There is no tension in this idea anymore.
The strong female character has become a trope in the last couple of years and not in a positive way. This was something that was a mainstay of sci fi films in the 80s and, though the quality of the films may not have been as high, the female characters seemed to be handled in a way that didn’t detract from the story. Ripley in the alien franchise, for example, was handled very well, but her safety wasn’t guaranteed as in the original script she was killed off. That is the issue here. The idea that the strong female lead would lose is something that has become so unacceptable that it takes all of the tension out of the scene
If we look back at the other films that have gotten to such levels, the Rambo series, almost anything starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, these were enjoyable films but there was never anything in the way of tension. We knew they would survive, prevail and kill a lot of people in the process. That was the only thing to sell the film on, the spectacle. Here we have the same certainty in the character but without any of the spectacle.
We sit through the same scenes over and over again, only the main characters put up any kind of fight against the villain and only they succeed in getting any kind of defence. Everyone else is overcome easily with very little in the way of building up any kind of feeling that they are anything other than fodder. Miraculously though the main characters, perhaps as some sort of genetic super power from Jamie Lee Curtis somehow become instantly more effective against what seems to be an immortal, unspeaking, murder machine.
Jamie Lee Curtis has been preparing for Michael Myers to escape for years. She has built up a fortress in her home designed to help her kill the serial murderer, yet she seems woefully unprepared for any kind of action despite the 40 years of training. There are spotlights on the house that light up the surrounding area, these are only used after someone has been killed in front of her house. There are allegedly lights in her house, which she never uses. There are metal security shutters for every room in the house that she closes behind her after she has slowly checked every empty room. Perhaps if she closed these first when she knew he wasn’t in the corridor then she could have starved him out. But then she didn’t bother to bar the windows or anything so I can’t help but wonder what she had been doing for all of that time, except avoiding the Halloween franchise like everyone else should be doing at this point.
Even what could have been the most tense scenes in the film, with a babysitter and a young child alone in a house with Michael inside were ruined by the reveal being in the trailers so nothing that happened before a moment we had already been exposed to repeatedly, on every YouTube video, was worthless. Also, having the black character be the comic relief seems like a very outdated plot device at this point and is glaring in how unnecessary and out of place it is in this film. That being said, something had to keep the audience’s attention.
There is a distinction in terrible films. There are those that take themselves seriously and there are those that know they are crap. This, unfortunately, was the former. As such the people we watched the film with, a crowded cinema, were laughing at the film rather than with it. This never got to ‘so bad it’s good territory’ as it was just frustrating and lacked any kind of suspense. Any kind of reaction to what was going on on the screen was met with laughter from the viewers.
I do not recommend this film even as a guilty pleasure. It has been done over and over, in much more creative ways, in much more enjoyable and less frustrating ways. This film simply showed that the film makers are trying to cash in on the nostalgia of returning characters and little else. As a result there wasn’t even satisfaction in the ending except that you could leave the cinema. I left surprised at how late it was, to which my friend pointed out that we had only been in for 90 minutes. The resounding response from the people walking out around us was that it felt like a fuck-load longer.
Save your money, watch any of the others in the series instead, you will be much more entertained.