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HALLOWEEN (2018) Photo: Ryan Green Universal
Film Journeys

Halloween Special 2018

By on November 11, 2018

This month we are going on a spooky Halloween special for Film Journeys because, you know, it’s Halloween! 

HALLOWEEN (2018) Photo: Ryan Green Universal © Blumhouse Productions

HALLOWEEN (2018) Photo: Ryan Green Universal © Blumhouse Productions

FILM 1: HALLOWEEN (2018)

Our first film for this #FilmJourney is, rather aptly, HALLOWEEN (2018). This new film is out on general release in UK cinemas right now and is doing great business; including breaking box office records such as biggest horror opening with a female lead, biggest movie opening with a female lead over 55, second biggest horror movie opening ever and second biggest October opening ever. 

The story is set 40 years after events of the very first Halloween film from 1978, and with the release of the movie also happening 40 years on its all very nicely timed. 

Serial killer Michael Myers escapes the facility where he has been held for 40 years and sets out on a path of death and destruction that leads him to Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Stroud. Once the teenager she is now a life-weary, hardened grandmother who has spent her entire life waiting for his return, and boy is she ready!

The movie provides everything you want from this kind of horror film, namely jump scares in all the right places. It does a good job of fitting in little nods to the myriad of sequels that have come before, (although this new timeline removes those from the story), and, at times, has a great Seventies cinema feel to it. The film belongs to Jamie Lee Curtis however, her performance as Laurie the protector is strong, still fitting of the character we were introduced to 40 years ago and, as the movie progresses, we learn she has reason to be exactly the way she is. 

Without giving too much away, the movie also features a great performance from Andi Matichak, (who plays the granddaughter Alison), very much feeling like the film is preparing to hand the franchise over to a new generation, (despite news that a sequel has been confirmed and Jamie Lee Curtis has expressed interest in appearing).

Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig in DREAM HOUSE (2011) © Cliffjack Motion Pictures

Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig in DREAM HOUSE (2011) © Cliffjack Motion Pictures

FILM 2: DREAM HOUSE (2011)

Our second film today is DREAM HOUSE (2011). A family move from New York into a quaint New England town only to discover that their new home comes with a dark past. The usual unfolds, things start to happen, the family now seem to be the target of whatever forces are at work.

As the couple, played by Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, learn more about the house, their neighbours and what took place, a surprise plot twist makes everything fall into place. 

THE HAUNTING (1963) © Argyle Enterprises

THE HAUNTING (1963) © Argyle Enterprises

FILM 3: HILL HOUSE (film & Netflix)

Our third selection for our Halloween special today is a both a film and a Netflix series.

The original black and white movie THE HAUNTING (1963) is written from the perspective of a young woman called Nell and the setup is very different. Where the series follows the lives of a family moving into Hill House, the original movie follows a group of participants in a para-psychological experiment in the same location.

Like in the series the Nell we see in the movie is a quiet and tragic character, who struggles to be seen. We obviously can’t give anything away, which makes it difficult to go into detail because seeing the TV show does by no means give you any insight into where the story takes Nell in the movie, and vice versa. Where the series uses special effects very effectively the movie relies entirely on lighting, angles and sound to get create a bone-chilling atmosphere and that’s exactly what it does. If you are susceptible to psychological horror this movie, despite its innocent looks, might give you a few sleepless nights.

The series THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (2018) is a tight, very effective psychological thriller with elements of horror. The differences from the movie are numerous, but the writers have done an excellent job at aligning storylines and plot points with different characters translating the feel of the original black and white movie for a modern audience. In doing so they have retained what was so disturbing about the film, pleasing those who have seen it but also offering up something both new and familiar – which is a great accomplishment.

The series covers some very deep and potentially triggering subjects and is effective at drawing you into the characters lives and emotions so we suggest this as a ‘must-watch’, but add a word of caution that if you’re not in the best of places personally, it might be one to revisit at a later time.

Honourable mentions:

– Scrooged

– Zombieland

– Ghostbusters

– What Lies Beneath

– The original Halloween from 1978

– The Road

– John Carpenters The Thing

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