A Nightmare from Friday to Halloween - Halloween (2018)
The three most prominent American horror franchises (Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street) have influenced American cinema even beyond the horror genre. As of 2021, there are exactly 31 movies across all three franchises, and I am going to attempt to watch all of them, for this Halloween, one per day.
I didn’t know if it would really be illuminating to go through the entire franchise before revisiting David Gordon Green’s version, but I think it has been in interesting ways. It ignores all movies except for the very first one, and it makes Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) the focus of the action, much more than even a movie like Rob Zombie’s Halloween II was. It even has some almost throwaway lines about how rumors that Michael Myers is Laurie Strode’s brother was BS. I think all of the Halloween movies have been at least somewhat resistant to du jour cinematic trends informing them, but that this tendency broke down over time (think the MTV-ification of Halloween: Resurrection). Here, I think the impact is much more dramatic because of the wake of the #MeToo movement in that the story becomes much more about women bonding together to fight an anonymous but terrifying, male threat. I can see some terrible film bros calling this the “woke” Halloween movie, but it’s certainly different from what had come before in the franchise and the moment when Laurie and her daughter and granddaughter feels earned and natural rather than some fake, forced “girl power” moment. Plus, Green has a really strong command of the cleanness yet creativity of action and he uses environments well, like the open graveyard, or the house that Laurie has booby-trapped to the nines. So many other entries in this franchise are guilty of pretty terrible action set pieces and poor direction overall, so it’s refreshing to see a really good director take the reins.