After highly anticipating “Halloween” (2018) since it was first announced and having now finally seen the sequel to John Carpenter’s masterpiece I honestly found it to be underwhelming, but was in some aspects saved by the superb performance by Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, now no longer the innocent teen of the original but now a grandmother whose life has been destroyed by Michael Myers and the events of Halloween night 40 years ago.

The film started very promisingly with a superb opening scene that hinted at quite a different sequel to the very generic sequels in many franchises nowadays, but unfortunately it did not build on this early promise. Although to be fair it is probably among one the better “Halloween” sequels.

Some aspects of the film worked far better than others, one of those being Laurie Strode, Jamie Lee Curtis so obviously relished returning to the role that launched her career 40 years ago. When she was the focus of the film it was at its very best, but she was not on screen nearly as much as the publicity and the trailers suggested, giving the impression it was going to be slightly more of a character study of Laurie Strode. Jamie Lee Curtis’ limited screen time was one of the biggest problems with the film. The film-makers had a chance to produce a film that dealt intelligently and thoughtfully with the effects of PTSD, but in the end it was only touched upon, and hinted at the film Halloween 2018 could have been, instead it is little more than a ghost train ride and popcorn film, which is fine for those wanting that style of horror film.

Most of the characters were one dimensional, pretty much the usual generic slasher film fodder, with some of the cast just being totally wasted in thankless roles, such as Will Patton. There were some really interesting sub-plots set up but they just ended up going nowhere. Another major problem was that the film lacked any real tension or scares. As a true sequel to to John Carpenter’s “Halloween” it was far too bloody and gory, whereas in his original film this was implied and many times used the audience’s imagination. At times it felt like some “cool kills” were thought up and then the storyline and characters were worked around to fit in with them.

The film was overlong and really needed 20 minutes cut out of it and all the generic slasher film characters who would not be missed. By making Laurie the total focus and containing it more it maybe could have been amazing, the sequel John Carpenter’s masterpiece deserved. What we have in the end is a mostly enjoyable and an above average Halloween sequel and very generic slasher film with a great performance by Jamie Lee Curtis that deserved a far better film.

Karl Franks