ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Halloween (2018) - 4K HD Review
By James Whittington, Monday 25th February 2019
Halloween 4K coverHalloween
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.


Related show tags: 4 STARS
MORE REVIEWS
The Beyond - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 13th January 2020
The Beyond
Shameless
Certificate 18

There are some movies that horror fans have multiple copies of, for me it's The Evil Dead, Halloween and Zombie Flesh Eaters. I have loads of editions in my loft on tape, laserdisc, DVDs, and now lovely Blu-rays and, where I can, 4K editions. Lucio Fulci's The Beyond (1981) is one movie that could also take up a shelf for all the different editions and versions I own as for some reason I'm drawn to it whenever I see a new release, even if it's just for a new cover!

This time around though Shameless have something rather cool and a bit different for fans of this Fulci classic but more on this later. For those new to this title, The Beyond i...

SHARE: READ MORE
Vault of Horror presents The Gates of Hell Trilogy (Coloured Vinyl)
Posted on Thursday 19th December 2019
Gates of Hell Front cover with stickerVault of Horror presents The Gates of Hell Trilogy
Demon Records

Following the success of the first two Vault of Horror vinyl releases, Demon Records have pulled out all the stops to deliver another sublime piece of audio that should form part of everyone's Christmas list this year.

Lucio Fulci's Gates of Hell trilogy of movies delivered some of the most controversial pieces of horror cinema at a time when horror was entering the "video nasties" period and the genre, as a whole, was frowned upon. Fulci grabbed this chance to push the envelope further with movies which celebrated the limits horror could go to and by doing so opened the doors - ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Anna and the Apocalypse - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 9th December 2019
Anna and the Apocalypse Blu-ray Second Sight Films Certificate 15

Musical horror movies aren't a new thing. In fact, there's been far more than you first think such as Stage Fright (2014), Cannibal: The Musical (1993) and Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) and all became smallish cult hits. The problem with most is that sometimes the storyline suffers from trying to force as many songs in as possible. There's no such issue with Anna and the Apocalypse.

This wonderfully wacky piece of seasonal cinema has all that you'd want and more from a rom-zom-sing-a-long-com!

It's Christmas, is under threat from a zombie apocalypse, forcing Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends to fight, slas...

SHARE: READ MORE
Judy and Punch - Film review
Posted on Wednesday 20th November 2019
Judy and Punch
Picturehouse Entertainment
Certificate 15
Release 22nd November

If you're tired of sequels, predictable plots and unimaginative situations then writer/director Mirrah Foulkes has something really special for you! By turning the traditional story of Punch and Judy totally on its head, she has delivered a directorial debut that is bold, brash and bloody good fun.

In the outlandish town of Seaside, located nowhere near the coast, puppeteers Judy (Mia Wasikowska) and Punch (Damon Herriman) are trying to resurrect their marionette show. The show is a hit due to Judy's superior puppeteering, but Punch's driving ambition and penchant for a drink lead to an ill-fat...

SHARE: READ MORE
Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture
Posted on Friday 18th October 2019
Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture
Georges Boukoff, Anthony d'Amario and Ed Rig
The Omega Productions Records

Pascal Laugier's Ghostland (known in the UK as Incident in a Ghostland) was one of the highlights of FrightFest 2018 and proved once and for all that this director was a master of the sinister and murky.

Produced ten years after Martyrs, the movie was more considered in its tension building and was in its strange way a contained a classic fairy tale structure.

The movie concerns the aftermath of a brutal home invasion experienced by Beth along with mother and sister Vera. Forward a few years and Beth is now a horror novelist and has found solace in her w...

SHARE: READ MORE
Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition)
Posted on Thursday 17th October 2019

Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition)
Sacred Bones
Double Vinyl

Halloween 2018 was a box-office hit and gave the franchise a much-needed tension injection. It saw the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and that of original director John Carpenter though he wasn't in the driving seat for this one. Instead he, alongside his son and godson, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies created the score and delivered an atmospheric piece which retained whispers to the past without drowning in them.

The soundtrack album was a hit as much as the movie was debuting at #12 on the Billboard Albums chart and #2 on the vinyl chart, o...

SHARE: READ MORE
Asylum - Blu-ray review
Posted on Saturday 13th July 2019
Asylum
Second Sight Films
Certificate 15

When you read that a film has the writer Robert Bloch (Psycho) and been directed by Roy Ward Baker your interest will be pricked. When you also learn it's from Amicus the you know it's a "must have" purchase. This is exactly what Asylum is, a cracker of an anthology movie which has been given the special HD treatment thanks to those lovely people at Second Sight Films.

Asylum boasts an all-star cast including Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Robert Powell, Patrick Magee, Barry Morse and Charlotte Rampling each who play this bizarre but entertaining movie perfectly straight. This was the fifth portmanteau film from Amicus and is a fine and beaut...

SHARE: READ MORE
The House that Dripped Blood - Blu-ray review
Posted on Saturday 13th July 2019
The House that Dripped Blood
Second Sight Films
Certificate 15

Amicus was famous for its anthology movies, and The House that Dripped Blood was one of their most famous ones. It contains a few good scares, as well as more than its fair share of in-jokes and homages to horror cinema's past. Written by Psycho author Robert Block and directed by newcomer Peter Duffell, the film boasts the usual Amicus star line-up coupled with some great set designs and an over enthusiastic score. Oh, a spoiler here, there's no blood!

Scotland Yard's Inspector Holloway (John Bennett) investigates a mysterious mansion with a ghoulish history and a chilling fate for its occupants in four tales...

SHARE: READ MORE
Black Moon Rising - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 22nd April 2019
Black Moon Rising CoverBlack Moon Rising
Arrow Video
Cetificate 15

Most Sci-Fi thrillers from the 80s often suffered from lack of budget and lack of imagination as they tried to bring visions of tomorrow to an audience weaned on a diet of Star Wars and other such fodder. Black Moon Rising was different, it kept its hopes high but kept itself in the here and now and viewing some thirty plus years after its initial release only fashion and the odd dodgy piece of SFX lets its age be known.

Tommy Lee Jones stars as Sam Quint, a master thief working for the government who hides a computer disc loaded with evidence of corporate crime in a prototype supercar, the Black Moon...

SHARE: READ MORE
Scared Stiff - Blu-ray review
Posted on Thursday 11th April 2019
Scared Stiff
Arrow Video
Certificate TBA

Arrow Video continue to trawl the vaults of 80 horror fodder and have dug up a title that's taken too long to come to Blu-ray, Richard Friedman's Scared Stiff. Starring Mary Page Keller and Andrew Stevens the movie follows the classic 80s formula of slow-burn, some gore, more slow-burn and cracking final reel, it's a classic well worth getting re-acquainted with.

Keller plays Kate Christopher, a singer who moves into an old colonial mansion with her son and psychologist boyfriend David (Stevens). But when they make a strange and gruesome discovery in the boarded-up attic, it soon becomes clear that the mansion carries wi...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2
Posted on Monday 8th April 2019
The Green Inferno - Cannibal Holocaust 2 3D Packshot SlipcaseThe Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2
88 Films
Cetificate 15

Cannibal Holocaust is probably one of the most debated horror movies of all time. A blend of exploitation, extreme gut-munching and violence (and some real animal torture) its notoriety is still talked about. It was inevitable a sequel is some shape or form, official or not, would follow and did so but not in the way fans thought it would. In The Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2, gone are the hardcore splatter and sensationalist shocks, instead we have a movie that almost satirises what has gone before, seemingly in a ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Vault of Horror: The Italian Connection Vol.2
Posted on Monday 8th April 2019
Vault of Horror: The Italian Connection Vol.2Vault of Horror Vol 2 Demon Records

Here we go again with another slice of superb sounds with an Italian flavour from Demon Records and let's just say its just as strong as the movies they're culled from.

Starting off with the hazy chill of Savana from Savana Violenta (The Violent World) by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, we get the chance to experience some of the most wonderful pieces without the graphic images that accompanied them. Make Love on the Wing from Zombie Holocaust is as 70s Euro lounge as you can get, and both these tracks create images of sunsets and calm waters.

It's not long before Fabio Frizzi turns up with the disco...

SHARE: READ MORE
Reviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012
PICK OF THE WEEK
Escape Room
ESCAPE ROOM
Monday 27th January
9.00 PM
John Carpenter's Vampires
JOHN CARPENTER'S VAMPIRES
Saturday 1st February
9.00 PM
Hostel: Part II
HOSTEL: PART II
Sunday 2nd February
10.50 PM