A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.
Circa 1968, several strangers, most with a secret to bury, meet by chance at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one night, everyone will show their true colors - before everything goes to hell.
After the filming was completed in February 2018 and first 135 minutes long cut of the film was put together, it was test screened to an audience sometime in April. Following the one or more test screenings, it was decided to re-shot some parts of the film and most of all change the ending, mostly due to reactions of audience on the original ending. New ending was filmed in June, and this is the one which ended up in the final film.
According to the leaked script and test audience reports, original ending had very different and much shorter version of the final confrontation between Michael and Laurie. After she wounds him by shooting some of his fingers off and goes around the house trying to find him, they eventually end up outside the house where Laurie tries to shoot him but realizes she's out of bullets so she takes her own knife and gets into knife fight with Michael during which she cuts him in the arm the same way he cut her forty years ago, but he also manages to stab her in the chest, and as he's about to stab her again, Karen shoots him in the back with crossbow arrow, heavily wounding him. Then while she and Allyson are carrying wounded Laurie away while she's begging them to go back and kill him, wounded Michael goes into the woods and then ends up at the clearing near Laurie's house where her mannequins are and sits down against a tree, heavily breathing and as it's implied by the script, possibly even finally slowly dying.
Trailers for the film, specially the earlier ones, and behind the scenes footage show some of the deleted and alternate scenes from the film, like Dana's shower scene where Aaron scares her by wearing Michael's mask, but they also show several parts of original ending, like Michael and Laurie's knife fight.
Some of the other deleted scenes include Allyson finding a dead butchered dog hanging upside down on a tree, alternate death scenes for Aaron and Dana, Laurie and Karen talking in Haddonfield Community Center, Allyson comforting Laurie after restaurant scene, extended scene of Laurie on her gun range, Allyson sitting on the school bench and talking with Cameron and Oscar, police arriving to the school dance and arresting Cameron. Some other scenes were also added during re-shoots, like Laurie giving Allyson the money she got from Aaron and Dana, and flashback scene where Karen tells Allyson about her childhood and growing up with Laurie training her to be ready for Michael's return. See more »
When Martin is interviewing Laurie at her house, during a closeup shot his words and mouth are entirely out of sync, suggesting the line was changed during post-production. See more »
There's a reason we're supposed to be afraid of this night.
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At the end of the closing credits, Michael Myers' distinctive breathing can be heard. See more »
A flawed but welcome return to form for the franchise, and for slashers in general.
After Resurrection and the Rob Zombie films, it's an understatement to say that Halloween (2018) was a pleasant surprise. Laurie Strode was given the T2 Sarah Connor treatment and is now a formidable badass, having waited forty years for Michael Myers to escape prison so that she can kill him. This is the showdown we've been clamoring for.
If there's one thing Halloween (2018) gets right, it's the protagonist. Laurie Strode is treated with respect here, unlike in other sequels (I'm looking at you, Resurrection). She's been training for forty years, preparing, praying for Michael to break out of prison so she can kill him. Her daughter had to learn how to fight at a very young age, and eventually Laurie was deemed unfit to be a parent. Because of this, they have a strained relationship, and it's believable. There's even a satisfying payoff at the end. Horror filmmakers take note: a little character development goes a long way.
There's also Laurie's granddaughter, and this is where the flaws start to creep in. The teenagers and their drama was the weakest aspect of the movie. Sadly, most of the second act is devoted to these characters that we really don't know or care about. There's Laurie's granddaughter, her boyfriend, the comic relief guy, her ditzy friend, and her friend's boyfriend. That's the extent of their characters. Naturally, they're only there as fodder for Michael (except the boyfriend who mysteriously disappears from the movie), but the fact is that we're wasting time watching these characters interact when there's a much more compelling story on the sidelines.
Comedy is used fairly appropriately in the film, the little boy being the clear standout. But there are a handful of farcical bits that are either ill-timed or simply not funny, or a combination of both. This prevents the movie from developing an overall atmosphere. This isn't so much a problem in the third act, thankfully, but the finale would've been more effective if a bleak atmosphere had been established earlier in the film. A few more wide shots of the streets of Haddonfield in the fall weather; more shots of Michael standing in the background eerily out of focus; limiting the comic relief to one, maybe two characters max; any of these could've been helped.
That's not to say that the direction is poor. Far from it. This is the closest the franchise has felt like a Carpenter movie since the original. Gordon Green does a good job of keeping Michael in the shadows - even unmasked, it's difficult to make out his face. You really get the sense that he is, purely and simply, evil. Background action is also prevalent and well done (as in, there's not a music sting whenever Michael comes into frame). Again, a breath of fresh air after the Zombie films which had the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
This is an excellent sequel to Halloween and a thoroughly enjoyable, well crafted slasher movie on its own. It's wonderful to see the Boogeyman on the big screen again, and now he has finally met his match. Is it a perfect movie? Absolutely not. But Halloween (2018) is something to be celebrated if only for one thing: it proves that slashers can still be scary.
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