2018 ‘Halloween’ slashes its way to top of October charts

On Oct. 31, 2014, I woke up from an after school nap in my living room to the first few minutes of the 1978 movie “Halloween.” My dad was handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, and I groaned about having to deal with a horror movie, a genre I have never truly liked. But that Halloween night, I decided to take a stab and watched a horror movie with my dad.

From that night on, “Halloween,” and only the 1978 version, has held a special place in my heart and is one of the only horror movies I genuinely enjoy. So, when I found out another “Halloween” movie was being made and coming out in 2018, I knew I had to see it.

And I was not disappointed.

The 2018 “Halloween” is the direct sequel to the 1978 “Halloween,” according to Rotten Tomatoes. The movie boasts a $77.5 million weekend box office haul and has the second biggest October movie opening, falling short to “Venom,” which came out earlier this month. “Halloween” also had the biggest opening with a female lead, the biggest opening with a female lead over the age of 55, and the biggest “Halloween” franchise opening ever.

This “Halloween” film follows Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, and her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the infamous masked killer, who Curtis’s character barely escaped during his killing spree four decades before. The movie follows Laurie and her somewhat estranged family — including her daughter Karen Strode, played by Judy Greer, and her granddaughter Allyson Strode, played by Andi Matichak — as they scramble to avoid being killed when Myers inevitably escapes from prison around Halloween.

The film focuses on themes that you never truly see in horror movies, which is the post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma and grief of characters who survive serial killers. Laurie, who is clearly suffering from such stress, has become paranoid over Myers and has awaited his inevitable escape so she can finally kill him. It is an engaging focus of the film — something I did not anticipate for the movie.

Now, we have all heard or seen the typical horror movie stereotypes and tropes. The main female characters are usually portrayed as stupid and end up being killed in extremely cringe-worthy performances. And there is always a “final girl” in a horror movie, who outlasts everyone else through some fortuitous means. Surprisingly, “Halloween” avoids almost all of the general tropes and is a refreshing take on the genre.

In “Halloween,” some characters die because they make bad life decisions, but they are mainly the male characters of the movie. I counted, and there are only two male characters who walk away alive from the movie, and they are not even a major part of the plot. I would like to give a shout out to the one kid, Julian, who survives.

Julian, who is probably traumatized by watching his babysitter being killed by Myers, is a hilarious addition to the movie. When Myers first appears in Julian’s home, popping out of Julian’s bedroom closet, Myers attacks the babysitter and Julian runs out with a big “hell naw.” Speeding past the babysitter’s boyfriend downstairs, he yells “you go up there, you gonna die,” and miraculously escapes Myers that night. You will go far in life, kid.

The Strode ladies, on the other hand, are kickass with guns ablazing as Myers tries to murder them. The grandmother and her booby-trapped house, the mother wielding a shotgun in a Christmas sweater and the daughter with her newly minted knife-slashing skills are the key players to bringing Myers down, and I am here for it. If you want a horror film with strong women who do not die, women “Halloween” is for you.

The grandmother’s house was built ready for an apocalypse, or a Myers slashing spree in this case, with a hidden bunker and an advanced security system, including trap doors. We also see the reappearance of the paranoia and trauma Laurie, the grandmother, had after Myers’ initial killing spree, as the house shows how she had trained intensively to shoot and kill Myers.

Trap doors and a bunker are not part of a normal family house. And the house allows the viewers to see how Laurie’s daughter, Karen, grew up in this paranoid household, learning to shoot guns and prepare for a murderer she never met, until she was removed by Child Protective Services when she was 12. This movie provides a good amount of backstory without taking away from the main storyline and keeping our main female leads the tough women they are.

I walked into “Halloween” hoping for a real Halloween movie, reminiscent of the one I watched for the first time four years ago. Curtis and the director, David Gordon Green, did not disappoint me, and instead made a great sequel to John Carpenter’s classic horror film. So, do yourself a favor and run your way to theaters to see this classic horror franchise revived for this Halloween season.