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By James Whittington, Monday 25th February 2019 Halloween 4K HD review Universal
Probably one of the most anticipated movies of 2018, Halloween had a lot to live up to. The early signs were good; Jamie Lee Curtis was back as Laurie Strode, John Carpenter was around as Creative Consultant and composer and more importantly it would be set 40 years after the very first movie ended. Yes folks, gone are the memories of Hospital murders, psychic nieces and awful reality TV events! This would be a true sequel and fans loved the idea.
Forty years after the events of 1978's Halloween, Laurie Strode (Curtis) now lives in a heavily guarded home on the edge of Haddonfield, where she's spent decades preparing for Michael's potential return. After being locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when a bus transfer goes terribly wrong, leading to chaos in the same town he preyed on decades earlier. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the deranged killer returns for her and her family - but this time, she's ready for him.
Director David Gordon Green (who also co-wrote the movie) delicately takes the themes and feeling of the original and carefully polishes them up into an up-to-date continuation of the Michael Myers legend. He manages to make the conflict between Myers and Strode very personal, we're observing a woman's psychological battle with her life as well as the dark shadow that has haunted most of her adult existence.
The dynamic between Laurie, her daughter and granddaughter is a brittle one but these strongly written characters are fully realised and add the inner tension which makes this far more than a slasher movie. Jamie Lee Curtis is superb in this movie, her take of a woman, ground-down by her past and forever in fear for the safety of her family and herself is there in every shot. She is mesmerising to watch and holds the movie together. She's supported by a very strong cast including Judy Greer as Laurie's daughter Karen and Andi Matichak as granddaughter Allyson. All have flashes of Laurie's character in them which means you need to watch more than once to fully appreciate these charctertisations.
It's the little touches that will get the fans excited such as the Steadicam shots, how The Shape's mask has aged and even seeing Strode's large hat on a wall in her home first seen in her bedroom in 1978. Having Carpenter on board to help create the score adds much to the film, and his musical kisses to the past will have your neck hairs standing on end.
The small but perfectly formed selection of extras includes Deleted Scenes, featurettes; "Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween", "The Original Scream Queen", "The Sound of Fear", "Journey of the Mask" and "The Legacy of Halloween". A commentary would have been most welcome but with a lot of studio releases recently it's not got one.
The transfer on this 4K disc is quite something. One only has to watch the night street sequences or the incident at the wrought iron fence to appreciate the detail that's gone into this movie as well as the rather cool effects. The surround sound mix is consistently moving around, making the experience even more sinister.
As a sequel, Halloween delivers everything you could want and is the perfect example of how to do this sort of thing right. The fact that it will no doubt lead to more is bitter-sweet, its fine the way it is now, let's not tarnish the legacy like so many franchises have been submitted to and remember it this way.
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