Reel Reviews: Earthly and lunar fears

By on October 24, 2018


There was no doubt “Halloween” would nab the top spot at the box office on its opening weekend. Horror films are the industry dandy these days. The question was whether the supposed finale to the slasher flick series first spawned in 1978 would be any good. Well …

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is back, but so is her arch nemesis Michael Myers, the psychopathic killer who haunts small towns and feeds on the blood (metaphorically) of teenage babysitters. Strode, now with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer, “Jurassic World”), is bent on putting an end to Michael’s reign of terror once and for all after he escapes from a prison transport bus and begins to terrorize Haddonfield, Ill.

The beauty of this new “Halloween” is how it can stand on its own. Yes, it is great to have the back story from eight additional films in the franchise (not counting the two Rob Zombie directed reimaginings) to fall back on, but writers David Gordon Green (who also directed) and Danny McBride (yes, that Danny McBride of “Pineapple Express” and “Eastbound & Down”) have made it easy for new viewers to latch on to the simple plot by force feeding fans a watered down recollection of events through different characters. They even reprised Officer Hawkins (Will Patton) who is eager to let us know he was around for the first murder.

“Halloween” is better than I thought it would be. Over the years I had grown numb to this franchise (I’ve always been a bigger Jason Voorhees fan) and lost interest in sequel after sequel, but this newest movie is fresh, witty, gory, and fun. There are not a lot of moments to make you jump out of your seat, but I was definitely on the edge of my seat through most of this movie.

So, to answer the first question, yes, “Halloween” is good. With Blumhouse (the folks who brought us “The Purge” and “Paranormal Activity”) and Miramax at the helm this iconic franchise was given its just attention and respect. Now, the second question is: Is Michael Myers really dead? That really depends on if distributor Universal needs more cash.

Pssst… I didn’t see a body.

Michael Myers is back! “Halloween 2018,” the ninth film in the Halloween franchise has heroine Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), facing off with the masked menace. Reviewer Michael Upton calls it “fresh, witty, gory, and fun.”

‘First Man’

Despite a respectable fifth place at the box office for its week two performance, “First Man” is tanking, having recouped only half of its budget. The movie stars Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy as Neil and Janet Armstrong and follows the family to the moon.

While astronaut Neil is engrossed by his work/obsession, Janet struggles to live with the terror of impending doom and raising two wild boys after the death of their daughter. “First Man” is a depiction of family drama set in the world of the space race whose real-life outcome is putting a man — Armstrong — on the moon. It’s historical. It’s moderately well filmed. It’s a movie.

People aren’t going to see “First Man” because we’ve all seen this movie before. Except for two great performances — Gosling and Foy — this movie offers little to nothing new for space program buffs, drama junkies, or those looking to enjoy a solidly “great” film. “First Man” did show me Buzz Aldrin (Corey Stoll, “Midnight in Paris”) was kind of a jerk, which I did not know, and need to investigate before I believe.

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