RATINGS




[Choose your film or view the full report below]


HALLOWEEN (1978)

Matt: 'Halloween' was low-budget filmmaking at its best. This was the classic that started it all, and it set the standard for modern horror as we know it. John Carpenter built his reputation on this film, while Debra Hill (RIP) deserves kudos for her role on the production side. From the opening scenes where we get Michael's point-of-view kill of his sister Judith, you know you are in for one hell of a ride. The plot, while simple, was set up that way to give an accurate representation of middle America at the time. Sure, the clothes and some of the dialogue are a little dated, but everything else still holds up well. How they snagged an actor the caliber of Donald Pleasence still boggles my mind, even though he stated in the past he did it for his family. The DVD reveals that a large chunk of the production budget went to secure Donald, but it was well worth it. As well known as he was for all his other work, it is perhaps this film that gave him his identity, and what he will always be remembered for. It's a shame he passed following the sixth film, because I know he would still be involved today. The other actors did a very good job as well, including Jamie Lee Curtis, who made her debut as the 'Scream Queen' in this film, Nancy Loomis and P.J. Soles. And how about Nick Castle as The Shape? Just incredible. In addition to his directing duties, Carpenter also delivered the score, which is essentially a character all by itself. You don't believe me? Try watching this film on mute. It's just not the same. His creepy, genuinely scary compositions give a genuine 'Halloween' feel, and helps transform Pasadena, California (where they filmed) into the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. This is one score I can listen to over and over and never get tired of. It's that good. Toss in a little Blue Oyster Cult, and some music from John Carpenter's old band (listen while Annie and Laurie are smoking weed and driving), and the music becomes an essential element of the movie. If you don't like this film or consider it the masterpiece it truly is, then you are not a real horror fan. This is still one of the most successful independent horror movie of all-time, and it is easy to see why. I still get chills if I watch it in the dark. 10 out of 10.

A.J.: This movie is one of the best horror movies, if not the best horror movie of all time. If you wanted to make a good horror movie, this is the one to take notes off of. I mean just look at how successful 'Scream' was. Every aspect of this movie is great. 'Nuff said. 10 out of 10.


HALLOWEEN II (1981)

Matt: How do you top of one of the most influential and successful independent films of all-time? Make another! That's precisely what Moustapha Akkad had in mind following the success of the groundbreaking original. However, this time, Carpenter and Debra Hill only returned as producers, with Rick Rosenthal taking over the director's chair. Despite that, this film showcases a lot of the elements that made the original so successful, while furthering the storyline between Michael and Laurie.

'Halloween II' picks up right where the original left off, and you can't go wrong when you do that with a sequel. I really got the feel that it was the same night as the original, even though it was filmed years later. Carpenter and Hill achieved this through painstaking effort (and a much higher budget). Returning were the first film's two key cogs, Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis, along with some new cast members, including Lance Guest and Leo Rossi. However, one element they did not manage to re-create was Michael himself. Nick Castle was not available to return as The Shape, so the role went to stuntman Dick Warlock. Dick did as good a job as could have been expected from a stuntman, but a lot of his motions seemed contrived and forced. Throughout certain key moments in the film, you can tell it's a stuntman behind the mask (like when Michael is descending to the basement), and it really brought down the overall quality of the film. If Nick Castle had reprised his role as Michael, I might have given it a higher rating.

The main problem I had with Laurie was that she barely spoke until the end of the film. Was that done intentionally? I am still not sure to this day, but when you got a powerful actor like Jamie Lee Curtis in a role like that, you want to turn her loose and let her act. I don't feel they did enough of that this time around, reducing her to a catatonic vegetable for most of the film. Donald Pleasence was again iconic as Dr. Loomis, but they should have left Sheriff Brackett on the case and not replace him with Officer Hunt. It would have been much more effective if Brackett was with Loomis going after Michael, given everything that happened in the original and the personal emotional stake Brackett had in the case. And what happened to Michael's mask? It looks very different from the infamous pale-faced Shatner mask used in the first film. It looks much more sleek and thin and stuck to Dick Warlock's face than the original did on Nick Castle's face, and while it was a scary mask, it was not up the caliber of the original (and none since have been, either).

The hospital setting was very well thought out and provided a really creepy backdrop for the continuation of the 'Halloween' story, and ultimately, its climax. However, my question is-- what happened to all the other patients? Surely the hospital was not that empty, especially on a night like Halloween. For a hospital that size, there should have been a lot more staff on-hand, and the patients just don't disappear. And what about the children's ward? What happened to all the babies when the hospital burnt up? Too many holes in the plot left me questioning almost every scene at the hospital.

John Carpenter did provide the score once again, and it was almost as great as his from the original. He teamed with Alan Howarth this time, and gave a more symphonic, echoey score (maybe to reflect the fact they were essentially entombed in the hospital?) It was very well done, and this is another score I can still listen to and never get tired of. You can hear it and instantly know what film it is from. As for the other music, who can argue with The Chordettes' "Mr. Sandman" at the end? It was definitely not an expected choice, but very well placed. Every time I hear that song now, I think of this film. It was that effective, and was even praised by critics at the time.

Overall, despite its flaws, this is still the best 'Halloween' sequel of them all, far better than any that have come out since. 8 out of 10.

A.J.: The only reason this movie got such a high rating was because it picked up right where Part 1 left off. The hospital was a good setting, but Laurie Strode should have at least spoke a complete sentence. If this movie would have started out on a fresh new Halloween night, it would have sucked, but since it continued off of Part 1 it is an alright movie. 8 out of 10.


HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982)

Matt: Ahh, yes, 'Halloween III', the polarizing film that ended John Carpenter's association with the franchise for many years. After the success of the first two films, Carpenter and Co. grew tired of the Michael Myers storyline and felt it was time to take the franchise in a new direction. However, this was FAR different than anyone expected and taught Carpenter, his crew, and Trancas International that the public just can't get enough Michael Myers, and wouldn't accept anything less. It was rumored that if this film succeeded, they would have produced different stand-alone films related to the lore of 'Halloween' and not Michael Myers. Alas, the film tanked and had the lowest box office total of any 'Halloween' film to date. Luckily, Moustapha Akkad had the good sense to bring Michael back for Part 4, and the rest is history.

As for the film itself, it wasn't half bad and has gained quite a cult following over the years. The storyline was pretty good, even if it didn't fit the 'Halloween' universe Carpenter so eloquently created in the first two films. The acting was surprisingly good, as Tom Atkins and Dan O'Herlihy brought forth strong performances as Challis and Cochran, respectively. We even get cameo appearances of Dick Warlock (The Assassin), Nancy Loomis (Challis' wife), as well as Jamie Lee Curtis, who is the voice of Santa Mira announcing the curfew. This was a nice touch, but its far from what it should have been.

Carpenter once again teamed with Alan Howarth to deliver a fantastic score. It is very different from the first two, yet still maintains a creep factor within itself. My personal favorites are "Drive To Santa Mira" and "Chariots Of Pumpkins", which seem to make my Halloween playlist every year. And who can forget the now infamous Silver Shamrock jingle? Once it gets stuck in your head, it's there for days.

The first time I saw this film, I didn't know the story didn't include Michael, so I kept waiting for him to show up. The next thing I knew, the credits were rolling, and still no Michael. Needless to say, I was very annoyed. But, as time has gone on, I've grown to appreciate the film for what it truly is, a frightening standalone that brings the terror in a very different way. 6 out of 10.

A.J.: Do I even need to waste my time writing a damn review for this piece of wanna-be Halloween garbage? Yeah, okay, that's what I thought. 1 out of 10.


HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS (1988)

Matt: Damn, it was good to see Michael Myers slicing up the screen again. After the failure of 'Halloween III', I think the producers knew they had to bring Michael back, and this was a good way to do it. The first big thing they did was return the setting to Haddonfield, and even though they filmed in Utah instead of Pasadena, the setting really works. Needless to say, they ended up filming the fifth film there too, so it was a rare bit of continuity.

Donald Pleasence returned as Loomis, and brought so much credibility back to the franchise. I am guessing Nick Castle joined John Carpenter in dis-associating themselves with the franchise, because the role of Michael again went to a stuntman, George P. Wilbur (although Castle would later return to the role in 2018). Wilbur played a scary Michael, but like Dick Warlock before him, there were still some awkward moments where you could tell it was a stuntman behind the mask, and that hurt his overall portrayal. A newcomer to the franchise was Danielle Harris, who starred as Jamie, Michael's niece. She became as important to the franchise in its middle installments as Jamie Lee Curtis was in the first two. Supporting roles of note include Ellie Cornell as Rachel and Beau Starr as Sheriff Meeker, the new law and order of Haddonfield.

With Carpenter out of the picture, the scoring duties went to his frequent collaborator Alan Howarth, and while he brings forth a unique, scary sound, it's just not up to par with the previous entries (including 'Halloween III'). He does not make enough use of the 'Halloween' theme, as well as other key scores that Carpenter perfected in the past. The end result was something very different with a touch of 'Halloween' thrown in, instead of a very different 'Halloween' score, and that took away from the overall quality of the film. There was also no music of note added in support of the film, and and that hurt it as well.

And again, what was up with Michael's mask? There were times that it appeared to be totally different in subsequent shots, even different colors (note the blond hair when Michael attacked Loomis at the school). I guess I should have seen this coming all along. There was a rumor that the original mask simply fell apart after sitting in someone's closet for so many years, but still. Is it really that difficult to duplicate the mask from the original?

In the end, there are just too many holes in the plot for me to rate this really high. What really sticks with me even to this day is that they basically bury the fact that Jamie is Laurie's daughter, and never even bother to reveal who her father is. Laurie is basically an afterthought until H20, when the plots of 4, 5 and 6 become worthless. So, to me, that really hurt the franchise, and thus, a lower rating. 6.5 out of 10.

A.J.: I loved this movie. It was one of the first Halloween's that I bought to own and I just love watching it over and over. The only thing that kept it from getting a 10 is how they kept you in the dark about Laurie Strode and her daughter who just appeared as if a stork dropped her off at the door. Plus, it totally ruins H20, but I'll get to that later. 9 out of 10.


HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1989)

Matt: 'Halloween 5' had the potential to be a very good sequel, but the producers fell short in many ways. The story should have picked up right where the fourth film ended, not a year later. This would have given it the same continuity as the first two films, especially given the fact that they were filmed so closely together. In addition to that, they continued to screw up the look of Michael's mask. Why couldn't they just get another pale-faced Shatner mask and be done with it? Is it that difficult?

The storyline does continue on with Michael after his niece Jamie, who the returning Danielle Harris played very well. She channeled her inner Jamie Lee Curtis and was able to convey so much emotion without speaking much while in a state of catatonia (much like Curtis in 'Halloween II'). Donald Pleasence also returned as Dr. Loomis, but this time seemed to be more of a supporting character than the vital persona he played in the previous entries. Donald Shanks, cast as the new Michael Myers, did a less than admirable job. He lumbered around town at times, and he was not able to exude the grace of Nick Castle or even George Wilbur for that matter, which is probably why they went back to him for the sixth film. The kill scenes are definitely worth mentioning, as they were some of the best and most creative in the series. I like the direction they took in getting Michael away from his classic butcher knife and using more of what was readily available around him, particularly at the Tower Farm. That whole barn backdrop provided some of the most memorable and scary 'Halloween' scenes.

The supporting cast was not nearly as strong this time around, and why they killed off Rachel (Ellie Cornell) so fast is beyond me. She was a key character in the fourth film, and would have been just as important in this one protecting Jamie. Certainly better than Tina (Wendy Kaplan), who became more annoying as the film went on. How could she not tell that was not her boyfriend driving that car with the goofy mask on? Typical 80s airhead that almost deservedly gets hacked up, and whose death was almost cheered for. Sheriff Meeker (Beau Starr) was the lone bright spot, portraying the Sheriff very effectively. The way Meeker was in this film was exactly how they should have had Brackett in 'Halloween II'. He was out for vengeance after his daughter's death, and that brought the best out of Starr and the character.

Alan Howarth again returns as the music man of the film, producing equally bad results. He duplicates what he did in the fourth film, which wasn't much. He again does not make enough use of the 'Halloween' theme until the end, as well as the other key scores that Carpenter perfected in the past. Instead, he recycled a lot of his own score from 'Halloween 4', with some similar-sounding keys tossed in for good (bad) measure. There were also some additional songs thrown in that were absolutely horrible, but I do give them credit for trying to supplement Howarth's score in some way (or maybe to make us forget how bad it was?) Either way, neither the score nor its supporting music do any justice to the film whatsoever.

Overall, it wasn't a bad film, but I was very disappointed with the ending, first with Michael put in jail (what the hell was that about?), then later with the Man In Black ending that set up the Curse of Thorn storyline in the sixth film. 5 out of 10.

A.J.: At first, I really hated this movie, but I learned to love it after a while and accept it as a true Halloween classic. Of course, there's the fact that it continued where Part 4 left off, but the events didn't happen on the same Halloween, so the movie proved it could stand on its own and earn a 7 from me. 7 out of 10


HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1995)

Matt: The first time I saw 'Halloween 6', it scared the crap out of me. The producers delivered with a lot of the right elements that make a 'Halloween' film a success, and get Michael back to being a gruesome, emotionless killing machine. George Wilbur returns as Michael and delivers a totally different performance than he did in the fourth film. The mask was at least passable in this film, and Wilbur was very scary in this one up until the last act. From that point on, there was really nothing he, nor anyone else in the cast, could do about it. The script was so well done until that last act that it could have gone down as one of the greatest sequels of all-time. Instead, it has practically fallen off the face of the earth, and is even rarely played on TV anymore.

Donald Pleasence delivers his swan song as Loomis, as he unfortunately passed away following filming. He was again as great as always, but his role was very limited. This time around, the plot focuses on a grown-up Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd) in his quest to discover the true secrets of Michael Myers. His trail leads him back to the Myers House, which is currently occupied by members of the Strode family, relatives of Laurie. So you could almost predict what was going to happen there. Other supporting cast worth noting are Marianne Hagan as Kara Strode, Bradford English and Kim Darby as John and Debra Strode, and Mitchell Ryan as the diabolical Dr. Wynn, who is revealed to have been part of the conspiracy that allowed Michael to escape Smith's Grove in the first place. It is also worth nothing that the role of Barry Simms (played by Leo Geter of 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' fame) was originally offered to shock jock Howard Stern, but he turned it down because he was putting his own movie, 'Private Parts' together at the same time. Geter did a good job playing the role, but watching it now, you can clearly see it was written with Stern in mind. My, what a different movie THAT would have been.

Alan Howarth returns for his third film behind the music, equalling John Carpenter's input to that point. However, the similarities end there. I still listen to Carpenter's scores today. Howarth's, meanwhile, remain in a box somewhere, and this film is no different. While he does deserve credit for bringing back some of the classic Carpenter tracks in his music, the new instruments he introduced just do not work. Using a guitar on the classic 'Halloween' theme? Give me a break. And what about that Japanese-sounding score titled 'Empty Stomach'. At that point, I shut off the CD. A good thing about the music though is the inclusion of Brother Cane's 'And Fools Shine On' as the supporting title track. It seems to fit the story pretty well and does not detract from the storyline or slow down the film whatsoever.

Despite the great elements included in the film, the indecisiveness in the final cut and the cult angle totally killed this movie. The producers were faced with the daunting task of explaining Michael's madness-- and they failed miserably. They couldn't even agree with each other on what direction to go. Note to the producers-- Michael's madness needs no explanation. That's what makes him scary!. RIP Donald Pleasence. 5 out of 10.

A.J.: This one scared the hell out of me, and it would of gotten a 10 if it wasn't for the damn cult angle and the end that left me very pissed off. I guess they had to kill off Dr. Loomis somehow. 8 out of 10.


HALLOWEEN 666: THE ORIGIN OF MICHAEL MYERS (1995)

Matt: Similar to 'Halloween 6', this was the Producer's Cut of the movie, complete with a different ending, different soundtrack, and about 45 minutes of different footage. The producers delivered with a lot of the right elements that make a 'Halloween' film a success, and get Michael back to being a gruesome, emotionless killing machine. George Wilbur returns as Michael and delivers a totally different performance than he did in the fourth film. The mask was at least passable in this film, and Wilbur was very scary in this one up until the last act. From that point on, there was really nothing he, nor anyone else in the cast, could do about it. The script was so well done until that last act that it could have gone down as one of the great sequels of all-time. Instead, it has practically fallen off the face of the earth, and is even rarely played on TV anymore.

Donald Pleasence delivers his swan song as Loomis, as he unfortunately passed away following filming. He was again as great as always, but his role was very limited. This time around, the plot focuses on a grown-up Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd) in his quest to discover the true secrets of Michael Myers. His trail leads him back to the Myers House, which is currently occupied by members of the Strode family, relatives of Laurie. So you could almost predict what was going to happen there. Other supporting cast worth noting are Marianne Hagan as Kara Strode, Bradford English and Kim Darby as John and Debra Strode, and Mitchell Ryan as the diabolical Dr. Wynn, who is revealed to have been part of the conspiracy that allowed Michael to escape Smith's Grove in the first place. It is also worth nothing that the role of Barry Simms (played by Leo Geter of 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' fame) was originally offered to shock jock Howard Stern, but he turned it down because he was putting his own movie, 'Private Parts' together at the same time. Geter did a good job playing the role, but watching it now, you can clearly see it was written with Stern in mind. My, what a different movie THAT would have been.

Alan Howarth returns for his third film behind the music, equalling John Carpenter's input to that point. Howarth does deserve credit for bringing back some of the classic Carpenter tracks in this version of the soundtrack, which is far superior to the mechanical sounds we were ultimately given in the theatrical release. And since the producers forced him to make those changes to the score, it falls more on them than Howarth for its failure.

Despite the great elements included in the film, the indecisiveness in the final cut and the cult angle totally killed this movie. The producers were faced with the daunting task of explaining Michael's madness-- and they failed miserably. They couldn't even agree with each other on what direction to go. Note to the producers-- Michael's madness needs no explanation. That's what makes him scary!. RIP Donald Pleasence. 4 out of 10.

A.J.: The only reason I gave this one a six is because I thought it could use another 6 in the title. For those of you out there that never saw or heard of this movie until now, trust me. Don't lose sleep over it. It's nothing great. It's just confusing and stupid as hell. The whole movie is just dealing with the entire cult angle. It sucks, so just stick with the original Halloween 6. 6 out of 10.


HALLOWEEN H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER (1998)

Matt: I was excited when the ads ran for this film, showcasing the return of Jamie Lee Curtis. I thought it would breathe life back into a stale series-- and it did-- but not for long. 'H20' had a decent plot, with Michael still chasing Laurie after 20 years, but one simple fact remained-- It was NOT in Haddonfield! Haddonfield was vital to the success of the others, and really took away from this film. Because of that, it lost my interest really quick. And what the hell happened to Jamie and the whole Thorn storyline? Did they really just erase Parts 4-6? They could have at least thrown something in to tie up those loose ends, but they didn't, and the end result is a big question mark.

Jamie Lee Curtis, of course, gave a solid performance like only she can, and it genuinely gave me chills when she opted to go back and kill Michael instead of escaping to safety, yelling for her brother. The tide totally turned, and for probably the only time in history, Michael became the hunted, not the hunter. The supporting cast was so-so, with respectable performances by Josh Hartnett and Michelle Williams. They were at least believable in their roles. LL Cool J, meanwhile, did not belong. I was not buying him as a security guard. Much like you'll read in my review of 'Resurrection', it was clearly evident they placed a rapper in their movie to attract the teen audience when I really don't think they needed to do it. LL's character was one I definitely would have killed off.

Now, onto Michael. He was the one character they almost totally ruined. Chris Durand didn't have the size, and just couldn't grasp the character that well. He should have done research on some of his predecessors like Nick Castle and Dick Warlock, because his portrayal did not scare me at all. Durand, who also doubled as Ghostface in the 'Scream' films, was totally out of place, and the mask itself was a disaster! Again, was it really that hard to duplicate the original pale-faced Shatner mask, because they have never really perfected it since the original film.

John Ottman's score was so bad for the film, it wasn't even released with the 'H20' branding. Ottman took a simple score and made it too orchestraic. Horror films do not need a grand, epic-style score. Keep it simple and scary. As construed, it was dull and formulaic of its time. They even had to recycle some of Marco Beltrami's score from 'Scream 2' in order to make the scary scenes stand out. The promotion of the film did feature the debut of rock-band Creed with their song 'What's This Life For', which was also used in the credits. Not the greatest tune, but it fit the movie well. This was the first of two 'Halloween' films to fall into the rut of the teen slasher era of the late 1990s/early millennium, and it really took away from the finished product big-time. Still, despite its flaws, Jamie Lee Curtis brought this one home and I give it a very respectable 5.5 out of 10.

A.J.: Good movie, horrible acting. Was it just me or did it seem that Michael Myers looked like a 15-year-old? I loved the story plot and how it duplicates scenes from Parts 1 and 2, but every time I saw Michael, I couldn't help but laugh. And why just why did they have to screw up so bad with the Jamie and Laurie bullshit??!! 7 out of 10.


HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION (2002)

Matt: The first time I saw this movie, I liked it. Now, it's pretty much unwatchable. I think I was just happy to see Michael on the big screen again, much like the initial reaction I had when 'Jason X' came out around the same time. This movie had potential and did contain some good elements of a 'Halloween' film. It was set in Haddonfield, Brad Loree was refreshingly scary as Michael (including the mask), and Jamie Lee Curtis made a respectable cameo performance.

The main thing that ruined this movie for me was the piss-poor acting of Busta Rhymes. It was so obvious that he did NOT take his role seriously. He was simply there cashing a check, a run-of-the-mill rapper thrown into the role to attract the teen audience (just like LL Cool J in 'H20'). It was apparent at times to be nothing more than a big joke to him, never more evident than when he actually fights Michael and starts his kung-fu tirade. If you replace Busta with a better-known and better-trained actor, this film would have gotten higher marks.

The supporting cast was actually decent, and included strong performances by Bianca Kajlich and Katee Sackhoff. The whole cameras-in-the-house and live Internet feed was edgy for its time, but now seems ridiculously outdated. Director Rick Rosenthal returns to the 'Halloween' director's chair for the first time since 'Halloween II', and he does an admiral job, just not as well as he did in his previous installment. Danny Lux delivers a refreshingly scary musical score after the symphonic debacle of John Ottman in 'H20', including a nice rendition of the main 'Halloween' theme. There was no real supporting music or soundtrack (thank god they removed Busta Rhymes' song from the credits in the final edit), but it didn't need any. The score was sufficient for the story being told.

Resurrection was 'Halloween' once again stuck in the middle of teen slasher rut of the late '90s/early millennium. And just think, there were originally rumors of 'Halloween 9', carrying on this storyline. 3 out of 10.

A.J.: In a day and age where horror sequels put to shame their predecessors, I really feel that Halloween: Resurrection earned its right to be called a Halloween film. The killings were classic and Michael actually looked like Michael. I am also relieved that they took time out to explain what actually happened at the end of H20 and not just pick up as if it never happened. Busta Rhymes' antics and jokes may have gone a little too far, but it was still good comic relief. 8 out of 10.


HALLOWEEN (2007)

Matt: Wow, where do I begin? From the opening cords of KISS' 'God Of Thunder', I knew this was going to be a totally different experience. Rob delivers a white-trash backstory of Michael Myers that just wasn't necessary. Part of what makes Michael scary is that he came from a typical, middle-class family with a good upbringing. Michael doesn't need a reason to do what he does. This approach gave him a humanity that just takes away from the mystique of his legend. Despite that, I was reeled in enough to at least see the story through. But then, after Michael escapes, Zombie TOTALLY lost me! It looks like Rob got about halfway and suddenly realized, holy shit, I still don't have any re-make material in there, so let's fly through it the rest of the way. It was like he tried to insert a straight re-make of the entire original film into the second half of the movie, and it just doesn't work.

The character development in this film (outside of Michael and Dr. Loomis) leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe that was what Rob intended, because after all, he said he wanted to make Michael Myers the main character. I would have liked to have seen more development of the Annie and Lynda characters, because they just were not that layered at all. I had less sympathy for them as characters when the attacks finally did happen. Still, the performances by Tyler Mane and Sheri Moon-Zombie were top notch with what they were given, and Malcolm McDowell played the role as Rob had it written-- and I can respect that.

There were far too many needless cameos in this film, and it dragged down the final product. It would have been a much stronger film with less characters and more development, as I stated earlier. The musical score in this film was not that great, either. It sounded like a recycled 'Devil's Rejects' score, with only bits of Carpenter's original genius included. Rob should have thrown that score out entirely and stuck with versions of Carpenter's chilling classics. After all, it was Carpenter's music that added the suspense and terror to the original film. Without that element in this one, it essentially lacked a main character.

The actual soundtrack itself was odd, but then again, that's expected in a Rob Zombie film. The first time I saw Michael sitting on the front steps as a kid in the theater and Nazareth's 'Love Hurts' came on, I laughed. Clearly not what Rob intended. It seemed like Rob just went through his music collection and found a compilation of songs to fit his narrative. Throwing in Blue Oyster Cult's 'Don't Fear The Reaper' was a nice touch, but the music in general did not work. In the end, if Rob would have stuck to his guns and did a total re-make, who knows what direction this movie would have gone? And WHY all the different versions? WHY?! There are way too many questions to garner a higher rating. 5 out of 10.

A.J.: This is probably the hardest review I ever had to write, partly because of all the hype leading up to the movie, but mainly because there are so many versions of this movie that are all very different from one another, it is hard to come to a consensus of a fair rating that will do the movie justice. So with that being said I decided to rate the Unrated Director's Cut DVD, because that is what most everyone has and will ultimately be the way this movie is remembered in the future.

I loved Rob's new vision in Halloween, and going back to Michael's childhood was nothing short of brilliant. However, once the movie jumped to the present time, I thought everything was crammed together and key elements of the plot were lost. Overall, the acting was great with the exceptions of Lynda and Sheriff Brackett. This movie does not compare with John Carpenter's original Halloween, but then again it was never supposed to. 8 out of 10.


HALLOWEEN II (2009)

Matt: Rob Zombie delivers the gruesome gore in this film, unleashing a brutal sequel (in more ways than one) on the 'Halloween' universe. There was a lot Rob did right with this film (tributes to previous films in the series, showcasing the transformation of Laurie Strode, etc.), and a lot he did wrong (what happened to the Loomis and Annie characters?). Apart from that, Tyler Mane once again tears it up as Michael, and Scout Taylor-Compton brought forth a Laurie the likes of which we've never seen-- and may never again.

The supporting cast was as good as could be expected, and the cameos weren't as obvious this time around. Brad Dourif was also much better in this film. He was very convincing as Sheriff Brackett and there was absolutely no evidence of Chucky in his voice this time around (a plus!). What dragged this down was the "hobo" appearance Michael had throughout the film, complete with a full beard and half a mask, as well as no explanation of what he did for the two years since the events of the first film. I am also not a believer in "white horse" storyline, which Rob later admitted was something he made up. There was no need to have his wife in this film, or a younger version of Michael. It takes away from the performances Sheri and Daeg Faerch gave in the previous film, particularly when Daeg was replaced by Chase Wright-Vanek. And what is up with the constant use of the F-word? It just seemed like he put it in there so many times with no purpose or reason. It seemed a little excessive, even for a Rob Zombie film (case in point after the crash of the coroner's van).

The musical score by Tyler Bates was pretty much par for the course with what you've come to expect in a Rob Zombie film, and Rob once again dove into his music archive to put together a greatest hits collection and pass it off as a soundtrack. The Carpenter scores were sorely lacking in this, which would have given it more of a 'Halloween' identity.

On a positive note, Rob didn't use any remake material at all in this and truly made it his own. Good or bad (mostly bad), you have to respect the man's vision. 4 out of 10.

A.J.: What more can I say than that this movie blew my mind. I was hooked on this movie from the opening scene, to long after the credits finished rolling. This was the first horror movie that I left the theater in complete amazement, and I believe any true fan of Halloween and/or of Rob Zombie will also leave feeling the same way. Like all movies thought it did have its bad parts. The one that stuck out to me the most was the entire Dr. Loomis storyline. Rob never quite had a grip on the Loomis character from the first movie, and he practically ruined the character in this movie. His scenes were really unnecessary and slowed down the pace of the movie.

Rob also went a bit overboard with the visions of Deborah Myers and young Michael Myers, but the way he used them to illustrate to the viewers whats inside of Michael's head is brilliant, and it adds a whole new dimension to the film and the character of Michael Myers himself. The good parts of this movie outweigh the bad by a wide margin. Scout's performance of the transformation of Laurie Strode is nothing short of Oscar worthy. Yes, you read that right, Oscar worthy! Tyler Mane was once again stellar as The Shape, and a pleasant surprise had to be the performance of Brad Dourif. He really delievered as Sheriff Brackett, which really helped this movie a lot because Sheriff Brackett plays a much larger role.

Last but not least, the way this movie ends is absolutely outstanding. I almost jumped out of my seat in the theater and started cheering, and I will even go as far out on a limb to say this may very well be the best ending of ANY Halloween movie ever! This is without a doubt a must see movie. I give it a 8.5 out of 10.


HALLOWEEN (2018)

Matt: When I heard there was going to be a movie called 'Halloween' released for the third time, I was very leery. The producers had already tried to re-boot the franchise once, with mixed results. However, a major difference that gave me optimism with this one is that they weren't re-booting the original film; rather, they were erasing the sketchy narrative and starting over AFTER the events of the original classic. And I must say, they delivered in a big way. David Gordon Green and his crew decided to keep things simple and go back to the formula of just what makes 'Halloween' scary.

First and foremost was the return of key cogs John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Nick Castle. Bringing back a new, eerie soundtrack composed by Carpenter (who also helped produce the film) and his son Cody was a key ingredient that really helped make this film a success. Bringing back Curtis was a no-brainer, and getting Nick Castle back behind the mask for some of the scenes was a nice touch. The story was simple, with Michael escaping after 40 years to finish what he started. No cult angle, no rappers, just Michael and Laurie at the core of the constant struggle that has claimed her adult life. The acting was top notch, including memorable performances by Curtis, James Jude Courtney (the new Michael Myers) and Andi Matichak (Laurie's granddaughter Allyson). The standard teenage fare was to be expected, but it did not take away from the film at all. The supporting, yet important, roles of Aaron (Jefferson Hall) and Dana (Rhian Rees) were very well done, and were the glue that held the first two-thirds of the movie together.

Director Green also went to painstaking lengths to throw in tributes to the other 'Halloween' films, even though this film basically wipes out all that happened after Michael was shot off the balcony in the original film. My favorites included the scary pumpkin resurrection used for the opening credits, Allyson looking out the window at school and seeing Laurie standing there, and the 3 Silver Shamrock trick or treaters. All nice touches by the producers, and made me smile and realize that these guys "get it".

On the negative side, the Dr. Sartain swerve was totally unnecessary, as there were a million other ways Michael could have found his way to Laurie's house. It really brought the film to a screeching halt for a time, but they managed to recover nicely after he was out of the picture. In addition to that, the fact that Laurie was no longer referenced as Michael's sister really took away from it as well. I get why they did it, but they could have just as easily picked up after the events of 'Halloween II', and left that part of the story intact. Other than that, I found Michael was not as intimidating in the scenes before he got his mask back. Fortunately, a lot of that action was off screen, and I found the quick cuts and the way they avoided showing his face to be very stylistic. It really helped bridge the gap of time between the time he escapes to the time he retrieves his mask.

Overall, a very solid entry in the franchise. I am really looking forward to the next two parts of the planned trilogy. 8 out of 10.



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