Tag Archives: Halloween

Halloween Movies Ranked

Halloween ranked

The long running Halloween franchise has just reached its 12th instalment with Halloween Kills. The series had humble beginnings with the low budget John Carpenter directed original film, focusing on a silent killer escaping from a mental institution returning to his hometown to kill once again. It was a massive hit upon its release, but also had a tremendous effect on the horror genre on the whole, leading to countless imitators.

It would also lead to the creation of one of the biggest horror franchises, with a series full of sequels, reboots and remakes. With the release of Halloween Kills, I wanted to rank these movies from worst to best.

12. Halloween: Resurrection

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Halloween: Resurrection is generally known universally as the worst Halloween movie, and for very good reason. Halloween H20: 20 Years Ago brought back the Halloween series with a reboot of sorts, but it seemed to have been in vain given what Resurrection did right afterwards. The bad signs already started when the film kills off the lead character of Laurie Strode right at the beginning, and it just felt like a lazy way of dealing with that loose end and so they could have Michael Myers killing random teenagers in the main plot. The film’s problems don’t end with that opening, with the rest of the movie being a 70 minute reality TV movie that felt like a parody without being a parody. The story choices are misguided at best, and having the plot be a reality show set inside the Myers house where college students are sent in and Michael Myers kills them just didn’t make for a particularly good plot. It feels incredibly dated, it has aged poorly especially with the found footage camera gimmicks, as well as the typical horror tropes and cliches. The characters are really dumb and impossible to care about, even the bad dialogue is worse than usual for the series. By the end you are rooting for Michael Myers, which would be fine if that was the intent of the movie but it’s very much not the case.

One good thing about Halloween Resurrection is that it is entertaining at least. There are ridiculous moments, including Busta Rhymes in a Michael Myers costume and mask verbally tearing into the real Myers to his face, and Busta Rhymes defeating Michael Myers with kung fu and some electricity to the crotch. There are even some surprisingly decent technical aspects, with the production design of the main house being appropriately worn down and gritty, it’s generally well shot, and the attempts of suspense at least work better than Halloween H20. Even the score here is among the better Halloween scores in the series. Unfortunately, these few alright aspects aren’t enough to make up for the rest of the movie, and the completely silly choices aren’t enough to make it a “so bad it’s good” movie. These ridiculous moments are sprinkled throughout, but for the most part it’s a dull, occasionally annoying and just all-around bad horror movie. Even as someone who generally enjoys these movies, I can really only recommend this movie to Halloween completionists and very curious people.

My review of Halloween: Resurrection

11. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

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Halloween: Resurrection may be worse than Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, but at least Resurrection had some entertainment factor to it, on the whole I dislike watching 5 more. Its previous movie Halloween 4 wasn’t that good but it ended well with some potential for the sequel. Halloween 5 however doesn’t take advantage of that potential, and it’s also bad by its own standards. The cliff-hanger of 4 is retconned in some ludicrous way and instead introduces some weird psychic connection between Michael Myers and lead character Jamie Lloyd, a connection which isn’t really explained at all. Not only that, Halloween 5 is pretty much just a worse version of the previous movie, and is just a generic slasher movie. The story isn’t interesting at all, not helped by the rather slow pace. The characters mostly range from dull to obnoxious, and unfortunately the film focuses way too much attention on the annoying horror movie characters that are already positioned to be killed off, getting twice the screentime that they would normally receive. The direction of the movie wasn’t that good either, the kill scenes are fine but not memorable, it’s not very scary, and the attempts at being atmospheric don’t work.

There are only a few parts I liked, and even some of those aspects are flawed. The acting is good from the leads, Danielle Harris is once again good as Jamie Lloyd but in this movie is reduced to being mute, having convulsions, and having visions about Michael Myers. Donald Pleasence is good as always but his character of Dr. Loomis in this movie is a raving madman most of the time he’s on screen, and he’s hard to like. Aside from that, there is a scene involving a laundry chute in the last act, which is genuinely good and tense, and was the highlight of the whole film. Sadly the small bright spots can’t make up for the rest of the movie. By the end, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers just feels like a 90-minute long trailer for Halloween 6. Definitely one of the worst movies in the series and the one that I would least like to revisit, and that’s saying a lot.

My review of Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

10. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (Producer’s Cut)

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Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers is often regarded as one of the worst movies in the series, and while it’s certainly on the lower end of the franchise, I don’t dislike it nearly as much as some other people do. I watched the Producer’s Cut, and while I heard this and the Theatrical Cut differ, I don’t think I would like one much more than the other. It clearly went through issues during filming, with reshoots, rewrites and changes, and with no one on the same page. Those certainly comes across in the final movie, it really does feel like a mess throughout. This is the movie that culminates everything that was set up throughout Halloween 5 with the hints of the Cult of Thorn that play a major part in this 6th movie. The plot starts out somewhat interesting as it’s a bit different than what we are expecting, but it’s a mess by the end. There are plenty of exposition dumps and the more you think about the overall story, the less it makes sense. It’s a very weird movie from the use of runes and telepathy, to the fact that there’s a cult with a connection to Michael Myers, and more. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite get into so weird it’s entertaining territory, nor was it able to be weird enough to sustain my interest all the way to the end like Rob Zombie’s Halloween II was for me. While I wouldn’t say it was boring, I wasn’t that invested.

Not that there aren’t some good elements in the movie. For one, despite Michael Myers being reworked into a killing instrument by the cult (at least in this cut of the movie), I liked his portrayal here, especially when compared to some the previous movies. He feels like such a massive threat and presence whenever he’s on screen, and even when he’s not. Donald Pleasence returns as Dr. Loomis for the last time. His performance was good and the worn down portrayal of the character actually works quite well, although it does make it a little bittersweet. Some of the direction is pretty good, once again Michael Myers is shown to be a menacing threat, there are some bloody and memorable kills with great special effects, and the score was quite effective. With all that being said, I still understand why The Curse of Michael Myers is known as one of the worst Halloween movies. While it’s at least better than The Revenge of Michael Myers, all the build-up for the following movie was seemingly pointless given the resulting movie is just mediocre at best. You can see why the Halloween franchise retconned this movie and decided to reboot.

My review of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

9. Halloween 4: The Return of Micchael Myers

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Halloween 4 was intended to return Michael Myers to the big screen after Halloween 3 tried to do something new and the audience really not liking that approach. It ended up being better than expected but wasn’t exactly that good. Much of it was a mixed bag, with a bland story, and rather bland direction. It’s not bad but it felt rather on autopilot. The kills at times can be gloriously over the top and silly but most of the time they weren’t particularly memorable. Outside of a couple scenes, the tension and atmosphere just weren’t there. The plot is pretty predictable, and the third act is mostly underwhelming. Even Michael Myers is not intimidating at all here. Bad costume and mask aside, he just doesn’t have that menace that he had in some of his other movie appearances. Even the attempts at returning Michael Myers back into the storyline after the end of Halloween II was pretty clunky, especially with the explanations of how he and Dr Loomis are still alive. Honestly though the most disappointing aspect of Halloween 4 was all the wasted potential. While it was interesting seeing a Myers that is returning to kill again and seeing how the town reacts to it, the story is mostly going through the motions. There was a chance for them to change things up with the formula, even for Michael Myers. However, the first thing that Myers does when he escapes is to go back and gets the exact same costume and mask he worse in the first two films, and that if anything should signify that no change would be happening with him for a while.

Generally, it’s just an okay slasher movie but not a bad one at that. It wasn’t very engaging, but I was willing to watch the story play out. The lead character of Jamie Lloyd is introduced in this movie, she’s played well by Danielle Harris, giving a different sort of dynamic against Myers as she’s a child not an adult like Laurie Strode in the original film. Donald Pleasance is always nice to see back as Dr Loomis, especially in the film’s final moments. Speaking of which, the ending is great and one of the best parts of the movie, leaving it open for a great lead on for the sequel which Halloween 5 absolutely did not take advantage of. Overall, Halloween 4 was not the glorious return to form that it was intended to be, but it could’ve been a lot worse all things considering.

My review of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

8. Halloween (2007)

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The Rob Zombie Halloween movies have gathered a mixed response from critics and audiences alike. I don’t dislike them, but I don’t think his first Halloween movie was that good. It’s got some good stuff but also things that don’t work for me. It is a film of two halves, the first being the Michael Myers origin story, and the second half basically the remake of the original Halloween. I don’t have an issue with the idea of an origin story for Michael Myers, but the origin story wasn’t that good. He’s basically just a kid who grew up in a broken home, with a cartoonishly horrible childhood. In this segment there are some moments of nuance, and it was interesting seeing Zombie’s take on it, but much of that is just overshadowed by so many poorly done moments and writing. The second half is just a remake of the original film. While it’s much less messy and more focused than the first half, it is literally just Rob Zombie remaking Halloween 1 with some slight changes to the plot. It doesn’t fit in with the serial killer origin story that the first half consisted of. I think the worst part about the movie is that it feels like Rob Zombie is very restricted here. The origin stuff is very mixed and messy, and the remake stuff is okay but not that interesting and more on repeat. The actual horror and tension are not there, and Zombie pays homage to the original a little too much with the way moments are played out.

With that said I don’t dislike the movie. Even if it was pretty much a repeat of the original, I enjoyed the remake half of the movie. There were some scenes that genuinely worked, and again some of the Michael Myers origin stuff is played more nuanced than I expected. Although the acting is a mixed bag, some of the performances from actors like Malcolm McDowell and Brad Dourif are quite good. Rob Zombie’s style is very much present throughout and while it does hinder the movie in some ways, it at least makes it distinct as his movie. I love how he made Michael Myers an absolute force to be reckoned with, with aggressive and loud attacks and brutal kills (even if it makes some moments unintentionally funny). Overall though, Rob Zombie’s Halloween really is a mixed bag. For those who watched the original it might be interesting to check out but that’s it. While it’s not without its issues, I enjoyed his follow up more (but more on that later).

My review of Halloween (2007)

7. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

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Halloween H20 is another Halloween movie that ignores some of the previous movies, in this case only acknowledging the first two and being a direct sequel to Halloween II set 20 years later, forgetting the movies from 4-6. As far as the Halloween movies go, it’s not quite as successful. Despite some interesting aspects of the story, it’s dragged down by the very slow pacing where we are just watching characters interacting in an unengaging way. Setting the scene in the first act is one thing but the second act is like that too, in fact it’s a whole hour into the movie before Michael Myers even begins killing. The annoying influence of Scream is felt throughout, with all the references to other horror movies making it feel out of place, and the movie feels so 90s that it actually dates the movie. The plot feels loose, which isn’t inherently a bad thing, but it doesn’t seem to serve a purpose and the movie meanders for at least the first half. Even the direction isn’t exactly the best, looking more like an episode of Dawson’s Creek instead of a horror movie or a Halloween movie. It never takes advantage of the setting and never feels claustrophobic or tense throughout. Putting aside the 4 very different versions of the same mask that he wears across the movie, Michael Myers doesn’t feel scary at all, and all the kills are forgettable. Even the score does not fit the movie at all, distractingly so.

Despite what I just said, I don’t dislike H20, in fact I think it’s okay, and I liked some of the decisions. While I feel like it doesn’t take advantage of the setting enough, the new location and setting at a school does give it a distinct feel from the other Halloween movies (along with making sense plotwise). Ultimately there are two main things that raise the film to above average for me. First of all is Jamie Lee Curtis who returns as Laurie Strode, and she is great here. We see the effect that the events of the first two movies had on Laurie. It explores the PTSD she had from it and it was one of the strongest aspects of the film. The other standout was the entire third act, where the Michael Myers aspect is not only the most prominent and features direct fights between him and Laurie, but the movie also ends on a note that would’ve been a fitting end to conclude the whole series (until they changed it). Overall Halloween H20 is a mixed bag of a movie that should’ve been way better. I liked some of the changes, disliked some of the other changes. However Jamie Lee Curtis and the climax is what ultimately allows me to say with confidence that I liked the movie.

My review of Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

6. Halloween Kills

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The most recent entry in the Halloween franchise makes it at about the halfway point in the ranking. I can’t deny that I found it rather disappointing. After the ending of Halloween (2018), the conclusion was drawn out into two movies with Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends. Unfortunately Kills doesn’t do enough to really justify its existence, with not a lot actually happening. The Strode family are sidelined in favour of a plot about mob mentality which doesn’t exactly work. The attempt at social commentary is admirable but ultimately misguided. Even the emphasis on Michael Myers killing somehow loses its impact. None of these elements work together well, and we’re left with a very dull plot and it only entertains in parts. It just can’t decide whether it wants to be campy and silly with the jokes and bloody violence, or if it wants to be serious. Halloween Kills is a movie that’s on autopilot mode yet is full of baffling decisions. Even as a simple slasher movie it doesn’t succeed fully, it has the brutality and the gore but no atmosphere or suspense.

However I still do enjoy the movie and it still has some parts that I like. Although he’s comically unstoppable here, Michael Myers is strong here in one of his most ruthless portrayals. Some of the ideas are interesting like the possibility that Michael Myers is turning people into monsters with his presence (even if the movie doesn’t commit to it). While his direction isn’t as strong as in Halloween (2018), David Gordon Green’s direction is solid, visually gorgeous and with some good sequences, and John Carpenter’s score again impresses. Despite the issues with the movie, I am still interested to see how Halloween Ends concludes this storyline, and I hope they take the right lessons from Halloween Kills.

My review of Halloween Kills

5. Halloween II (1981)

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Halloween II is a natural continuation of what happened in the original Halloween, which really does feel like it was only made because the original was successful. It is a very by the numbers slasher flick that doesn’t work quite as well as the first movie. It is over the top, less serious and not as creepy or atmospheric. There are some leaps in logic in the plot, nothing too absurd but enough that makes it noticeably different from the first movie. Aside from Laurie and Loomis, all the characters are just bodies for Michael Myers to stab through, as if it turned into a Friday the 13th movie. Speaking of which, Halloween II ramped up the level of violence to being bloody and gory which was popular in the 80s, in contrast to the late 70s original which kept blood to a minimum. It just feels like an okay slasher movie.

However for what its worth, some of the entries in the series are basically just okay slasher flicks, and Halloween II is better than most of those. It does have some good aspects that I liked. For example, the setting of the hospital is a classic horror slasher setting which was quite a good place for Michael Myers to stalk. Despite some of the visible changes in direction with regard to the violence for instance, it does try to stay true to the John Carpenter original with the way it’s directed, even if it’s not on the same level. It is very well shot, with great tracking shots, colour and lighting. Some of the kills are memorable and towards the third act it does get entertaining and thrilling. On top of that, credit to Carpenter and co. for actually trying to conclude the Michael Myers story with the ending of the movie (before it was revived again). Overall the movie is not bad, it is relatively decent and once again it works as an immediate continuation of the previous movie. It’s a standard slasher with issues relating to the story, characters and direction. However it has some good moments and deserves some credit.

My review of Halloween II (1981)

4. Halloween III: Season of the Witch

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Halloween II killed off Michael Myers in its ending in an attempt to conclude that storyline, and John Carpenter and co. then wanted to move on with different stories. The idea was to turn the Halloween franchise into an anthology series, with each instalment being completely different and unrelated to the others. This attempt was started with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which really didn’t stick with people as audiences wanted Michael Myers back, so the anthology idea didn’t last beyond that. With all that being said, Season of the Witch has been receiving a bit of a cult following over the past decades and for good reason. I wouldn’t say that it’s one of the best horror movies (even for the 80s) by any means, but at the very least it was an entertaining watch.

Season of the Witch was different for the Halloween series, along with being unconnected to the Michael Myers movies, it plays more as a mystery thriller than a horror movie at times. The movie is also campy and has a B movie feel to it, with classic 80s horror tropes including robots that look like humans and Bond-like villains. The cheesiness and camp make the movie even more entertaining and it is rather creative. Despite the cheesiness, it still has a good amount of horror, suspense and dread throughout, as well as some particularly gory and grotesque scenes that are quite memorable. Even the score is distinctly unique from John Carpenter compared to his composed work on the Halloween series, still synth but one that’s much darker and slower and fitting the vibe of the movie. Despite some issues including some uneven pacing at times, it is quite good. If it was just titled Season of the Witch and was a standalone movie, it would’ve got a lot more love back when it released. Give it a chance, even if you haven’t seen any of the other Halloween movies, you can just jump right into it. However, if you’re wanting to see Michael Myers in this or only interested in the movies he appears in, you won’t be interested in this one.

My review of Halloween III: Season of the Witch

3. Halloween (2018)

Halloween 2018 was a direct sequel to Halloween, ignoring all the sequels and only acknowledging the original film as canon. Out of all the retcons and reboots (Halloween 4 and Halloween H20), Halloween 2018 was the most successful. It is set 40 years later after the original movie, while it does on paper seem very similar to Halloween H20 (especially with the focus on Laurie’s trauma from the events of the first film), it manages to feel fresh enough. There are definitely some issues with the movie. For one, while the added humour feels very out of place in the movie and doesn’t work. The movie does fall into some typical horror and slasher cliches, and it was annoying to see those occasionally appear. Plotwise, there is a subplot and reveal involving a doctor character which comes out of nowhere and doesn’t add anything to the movie and instead distracts quite a bit. Finally, Halloween 2018 didn’t scare me at all, and despite the attempts, the movie wasn’t that creepy or tense. I wouldn’t put that down as a major criticism considering that the original wasn’t that scary to me, but I still was expecting something more from this one.

On the whole though, I was quite satisfied with the movie. It was a straightforward story with Michael Myers returning to kill again but I liked how it played out. Jamie Lee Curtis is once again great as Laurie Strode, with this version being hardened, strong and capable, yet vulnerable. David Gordon Green’s direction was also top notch, with it being shot similar to the first movie, and having some particularly well handled sequences. Michael Myers feels once again like a force of nature, as if it was the original Michael Myers from the first film but just slightly more violent. Even the score is fantastic and I might even say on part with the score of the original. Halloween 2018 was a great follow up to the original movie, some aspects could’ve been handled better for sure but on the whole it turned out to be one of the best movies in the series.

My review of Halloween (2018)

2. Halloween II (2009)

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It took me a very long time to realise that Rob Zombie’s Halloween II was my favourite Halloween movie aside from the original. It is by far the most divisive movie in the entire franchise and it’s not hard to see why, it is an incredibly weird movie. This time the shackles are off, and Rob Zombie is doing his own movie without thinking too much about the original film from the 70s, which will work for some people and will really not work for others. It’s the least Halloween-like movie of the series, despite a hospital scene which turns out to be a nightmare sequence, it uses nothing from the original Halloween II. Some choices are weird and strange, such as having Michael Myers having visions about his mother and a white horse, which doesn’t quite mix with the grounded nature of the rest of the movie. It’s also quite an unpleasant movie, some of the over-the-top harsh dialogue is here from the first movie, and it’s an incredibly brutal and dark movie even by Halloween standards. So it’s not a very easy movie to get into.

With that said, I was incredibly intrigued throughout this movie, especially with many of the choices that were made, and that’s not something I can say about any of the other Halloween movies. As I said earlier, Zombie going all in with his vision will work for some, and I am one of those people. Halloween II is basically the aftermath of the previous Rob Zombie Halloween movie, following Laurie who is traumatised, Loomis capitalising on the events with a book, and Michael Myers having visions and wandering around. Much of the movie is just following these three characters doing their own things until the climax happened, and somehow this worked for me. I was surprisingly invested, more than I thought I would be. The movie is not subtle at all with its themes and can get a little pretentious (for lack of a better word), but some moments are surprisingly nuanced. Rob Zombie doesn’t hold back at all, and it feels even more his movie than the last one did. There is such a grainy and gritty look to it which pairs well with the bleak and nihilistic story, and the violence and gore is ramped up to new heights. In fact this bleakness and feeling of dread is what makes the movie stand out above all the others, making the scenes of violence hit even harder. If nothing else, Rob Zombie’s Halloween II is the most unique entry in the Halloween franchise with what it tries to do.

My review of Halloween II (2009)

1. Halloween (1978)

Unsurprisingly, the original classic is still my favourite of the series. It’s hard to talk about this movie because everything that can be said about this movie has already been said. It was revolutionary for cinema, especially for lower budget horror films, and its impact is immeasurable. In some ways it does contain many of the tropes and cliches, but to a degree many of those tropes and cliches exist because of this movie. So that, the occasionally bad dialogue and the simplicity makes it work in a throwback 70s way. Yet it’s still impressive in its simplicity, largely because of its marvellous execution.

The premise is simple, the killer is straightforward, the movie makes use of limited locations, and the film utilised them all incredibly well. John Carpenter’s direction is a big reason why it works as well as it does. Despite the lower budget, he does so much with it, and the smaller scale adds so much to the feel of the movie. The cinematography is masterful, especially with the use of wide shots. The score is simple yet absolutely iconic, and probably one of the most recognisable themes ever, especially in horror movies. All of these come together to form a fantastic and well built horror atmosphere. Another simple yet iconic aspect of the movie was the use of a William Shatner mask and jumpsuit for Michael Myers, and it was so effective that none of the sequels decided to every change that design and continually tried to replicate it. Speaking of Myers, Carpenter and co. manages to make him feel like a presence throughout the whole movie, even when he’s not on screen. Overall, the original Halloween still remains a timeless horror classic to this day.

My review of Halloween (1978)

What is your thoughts on the Halloween franchise? How would you rank them?

Halloween II (2009) Review

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Time: 108 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1]
Cast:
Malcolm McDowell as Samuel Loomis
Tyler Mane as Michael Myers
Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode
Sheri Moon Zombie as Deborah Myers
Brad Dourif as Sheriff Lee Brackett
Danielle Harris as Annie Brackett
Director: Rob Zombie

Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) is still at large and no less dangerous than ever. After failed reunion to reach his baby sister at their old home, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) is immediately taken to a hospital to be treated by the wounds that had been afflicted by her brother a few hours ago. However, Michael isn’t too far off and will continue his murdering Halloween rampage until he gets his sister all to himself.

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Rob Zombie’s remake Halloween back in 2007 was pretty divisive and it remains the case to this day, some love it, some hate it, but most are mixed on it. I myself am in the latter crowd, it no doubt has some issues, but I did like some of the things that Zombie at least tried to do. One of my problems with it is that although Rob Zombie was sort of making his remake of Halloween his own, in the second half of his movie he seemed rather constrained to largely recreating a lot of the original horror classic. As messy as the first half of that remake was, it would’ve been more interesting if Zombie just stayed consistent in doing his own thing. Well it seemed I got my wish with his sequel to that movie with Halloween 2 (not in any way related to Halloween 2 from 1981). Of all the entries in long running and iconic franchises, Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 is among the most interesting. A departure from the Halloween movies, it goes into some different places I wasn’t expecting, and despite its issues, I liked being along for the ride.

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I watched the director’s cut because I heard that it was better than the theatrical version, and I liked what I got, so if you’re going to watch this movie then the director’s cut is probably the version you should seek out. This is the most un-Halloween-like movie in the series, and I can say this with complete confidence despite at this point only having seen Halloween 1978, Halloween 2018, and the first Rob Zombie Halloween. If you didn’t like the idea of Rob Zombie’s take on Michael Myers, you’re probably going to have a lot of issues with this movie. You might enjoy the movie up to the time jump, which takes place in a hospital, but after that it goes in a completely different direction than a standard Halloween (2007) sequel. It really is the aftermath of the first Rob Zombie Halloween, with Laurie Strode dealing with the impact of the last film, Dr Loomis who is capitalizing on those events with a book, and Michael Myers continuing his long search for Laurie while having visions of his dead mother and a white horse. This is definitely Zombie’s own movie, and even if it doesn’t fully succeed, I can’t help but admire the dedication for going in this direction. I did mention earlier about Michael Myers having visions of a white horse, which is an indication that Halloween 2 is a rather strange movie with some very weird choices, and within the first third of the movie you can figure out whether its your thing or not. People have also called the symbolism and the white horse parts a little pretentious and while I can’t disagree, at least Zombie is trying to go for something different. My issue was more that the white horse and visions tonally doesn’t mix with how grounded they present Laurie’s trauma, especially considering that the first movie seemed to have Michael Myers more as a serial killer than a supernatural presence. Also with regards to the story, I was more invested than I thought I would be, but like the Michael Myers origin story in the first half of Halloween 2007, some of the dialogue written kind of deflates the significance of some dramatic scenes. For example, when Laurie makes a discovery about herself and has a big reaction to it, she just screams “FUCK” like 10 times while in a car, and it’s just rather hard to take seriously. To be fair though, Zombie’s handling of Laurie’s storyline was a little more nuanced than I thought it would be. It’s not really much of a slasher movie until the third act, you must know that going in. Slight spoiler but while Michael Myers is trying to find Laurie throughout, it’s a while before he even gets to her, for the most part he’s a hobo who occasionally kills people. It’s just following these characters doing their own thing until the climax. For whatever reason it worked for me.

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Tyler Mane returns to play adult Michael Myers, and he is great, of course in the scenes where he kills people he really is a force of nature, but his mere presence in a scene is intimidating and haunting. Brad Dourif as the sheriff gets more scenes than in the first movie, and he’s quite good, particularly great in the last act. Malcolm McDowell was in good in the first movie as Dr Loomis, and this time Loomis is more like what you’d expect from a character played by McDowell. His character has grown rather selfish and egotistical ever since he started profiting off Michael Myers’s murders, and while I’m not entirely on board with what they did with him, McDowell absolutely sells it and gives another solid performance.

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Once again you feel Rob Zombie’s presence all over this, and like the story, it’s even more his movie. It’s even more grim, more so than Halloween 2007. Visually it’s great, that grainy 16mm really added a lot and fit the tone and rest of the direction perfectly. The violence in Zombie’s first Halloween was pretty graphic but here it’s ramped up to being even more over the top, to the point of hilarity and absurdity at points. In the aforementioned hospital scene, the moment where Michael Myers gratuitously stabs a nurse played by future Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is just so overblown, that it had to be intentionally darkly comedic. Brian Tyler’s score is pretty good (albeit rather standard horror music), but it is weird how the first movie had issues of placing the main Halloween theme in inappropriate scenes, whereas here you don’t hear the main theme until the end. It’s mostly its own thing, and that certainly fits in with the rest of the movie.

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Halloween 2 is very much not for everyone, even more the case than the previous movie. It’s imperfect for sure, but much of Zombie’s direction, the different choice for the story, as well as some of the acting was enough to keep me on board throughout. The thing is that it’s not really a slasher movie, it’s an arthouse movie (or at least an attempt at one) using the characters from a Halloween movie, and so its stuck trying to be a slasher movie at certain points. I get the feeling that it would have been better if Zombie just made the film its own thing with his own characters and not being constrained at that, it’s not like you can make an argument that he’s elevating the source material or something. I will say that if you thought Rob Zombie didn’t go full out and was stuck with the recreation of the original movie, give this one a try (try to watch the director’s cut). However I can completely see why plenty of people strongly dislike this movie.

Halloween (2007) Review

Halloween

Halloween 2007

Time: 110 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1]
Cast:
Malcolm McDowell as Samuel Loomis
Sheri Moon Zombie as Deborah Myers
Tyler Mane as Michael Myers
Daeg Faerch as Michael Myers (age 10)
Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode
Brad Dourif as Sheriff Lee Brackett
Danielle Harris as Annie Brackett
William Forsythe as Ronnie
Director: Rob Zombie

After spending 17 years in a mental institution, Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) escapes and sets out to find his younger sister (Scout Taylor-Compton). He doesn’t spare anyone who tries to interfere with his mission.

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John Carpenter’s Halloween has been cemented as an absolute horror classic, and remaking such an influential movie is a big task for any director. However Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies have a notably divided reaction to them, and they’re not really for everyone. His first movie is a bit of a mixed bag but at the same time, there’s parts of it I like that’s worth praising.

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For the record, I haven’t watched the director’s cut, but from what I can tell it’s a little more violent and adding an unnecessary rape scene, so I don’t think I’m really missing much by skipping out on that version. Halloween 2007 is essentially made up of two different halves. The first half is about Michael Myers when he was younger and basically serves as an origin story. One of the major criticisms of the movie from a lot of people is that Michael Myers shouldn’t be explored as a character, and that he works much better as a mystery and almost supernatural presence. I’d counter that even if that’s true, this would at least be something different from the original instead of just recreating the movie and going through the same beats. Honestly my issue with it was personally more of the handling. Long story short, Michael Myers grew up in a broken home, and I’ll skip past the fact that this origin story is way overused for villains, since I’ve already got a lot of things to say. It is heavy handed how horrible his childhood is, and while blatancy isn’t inherently bad, some of the writing is just so over the top, especially with the dialogue. With that said, there are some nuanced scenes and some parts that were handled quite well, and it was interesting to see Zombie’s take.

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The second half is pretty much the events of the original film, which is both better and worse. On one hand it is more steady and less messy than the first half, and is just pretty much Rob Zombie doing his own take on the events of the original Halloween. The downside is that it is just that. While for sure there are some little plot changes made so that it’s not exactly the same, it’s just pretty much “Rob Zombie does Halloween”. Zombie is definitely paying homage to the original, so he’s not shamelessly copying the original, nor does he just recreate the whole movie, but even just paying homage has the potential to limit your movie, and that is the case here. It is quite jarring going from essentially Michael: Portrait of a Serial Killer, to what you’d expect from a Halloween remake. The early parts of that second half can be a little boring and uninteresting as you’re just waiting for Michael Myers to start stabbing people, specifically the people who you know are going to be killed from watching the movie. Once it picks up later on though it does work well. If I was someone who was scared of the original movie (which I’m not), I’d be less scared watching the remake, because while it is more graphic, we spent almost half the movie with the killer and less time with the victims and survivors, so the kill scenes aren’t nearly as impactful.

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The cast are also a bit of a mixed bag. Tyler Mane plays the grown up Michael Myers and while you don’t see his face, he does so well in the role. His mere presence is intimidating and he’s probably the most physically imposing version of the character that you could imagine. Donald Pleasance is hard to replace as Dr Loomis, but Malcolm McDowell was perfectly cast, and is quite good on his part. For the most part he pretty much just acts like Pleasance from the original but there are some moments where he stands out, especially in some of the earlier scenes before Michael Myers escapes. A lot of the rest of the cast is hit or miss, Brad Dourif does pretty well in his scenes as the sheriff character. As for Laurie, Scout Taylor-Compton I guess is alright but certainly suffers by not really feeling much of a main character like Jamie Lee Curtis’s version did in the original.

Halloween

Even though I’ve only seen the Halloween movies from Rob Zombie, I can tell that this is definitely a Rob Zombie movie. He lent his style to this take on the Halloween movies, and while I think that it’s more suited to something like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I’m not complaining that we got something distinct here. Perhaps the biggest contribution Rob Zombie has given to the Halloween movies is making Michael Myers an absolute force to be reckoned with, with his attacks being very aggressive and loud. It can be very over the top and even unintentionally funny at points, but I liked it all the same. As for horror, as I said before I wasn’t scared by the original Halloween, and the remake certainly is much less scary than that. Tyler Bates’s score is mostly its own thing, outside of when it uses certain themes from John Carpenter’s score. It’s not quite as effective as the original’s music, but very few movies could achieve that, so I’m alright with that. My issues with the score is whenever it inappropriately uses the main theme in the movie, for example when kid Michael Myers is just running, it just plays randomly and it doesn’t really fit. The Michael Myers mask and overall look is pretty much perfect, really grimy, creepy and scary.

Halloween (2007)
Directed by Rob Zombie
Shown: Tyler Mane, Scout Taylor-Compton

Halloween 2007 as I said before is a mixed bag. The new take is interesting, but Zombie doesn’t quite pull off the execution, and while he does an alright job at redoing Halloween 1978 with Michael Myers on the loose, it is the same stuff and not anything beyond decent. All that being said, Zombie did make these movies his own, when he’s not paying homage to Carpenter’s classic at least. If you want to see Rob Zombie go full… well… Rob Zombie with the Halloween movies, then his Halloween 2 would be the one to check out after this one. If you liked the original, I’d say the 2007 remake is at least worth watching, even just out of curiosity.

Halloween (2018) Review

Time: 106 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence, offensive language & horror
Cast:
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode
Judy Greer as Karen
Andi Matichak as Allyson
Will Patton as Frank Hawkins
Virginia Gardner as Vicky
Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney as Michael Myers/The Shape
Director: David Gordon Green

It’s been 40 years since Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) survived a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers (Nick Castle) on Halloween night. Locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when his bus transfer goes horribly wrong. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the masked madman returns to Haddonfield, Ill. – but this time, she’s ready for him.

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The original Halloween in 1978 has been cemented as one of the all time horror classics. When it comes to the sequels however, none of them really received a great amount of love, with most of them seeming to have mixed results at best. Even the remakes by Rob Zombie were really divisive. It’s been 16 years since the last film of the main series, and 9 years since Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 and now we are finally getting another Halloween movie. This time its not another remake, instead it’s a direct sequel to the original set 40 years ago (appropriately), not acknowledging any of the prior sequels. I really dug the first movie (it’s the only movie in the series I’ve seen), and with Jamie Lee Curtis returning and David Gordon Green (director of Stronger, Joe and Pineapple Express) directing this, things were looking rather good for the newest instalment. As the direct follow up to the original movie, Halloween 2018 succeeds really well. It doesn’t quite instil the amount of horror and creepiness that I would’ve liked but I nonetheless had a great time with it.

As previously mentioned, Halloween 2018 (I’m calling it that to separate it from the first movie otherwise its going to get really confusing) retcons all the Halloween movies except for the first movie. It also retconned the whole thing about Michael and Laurie being siblings from Halloween 2. Unless I mistook some aspects of things, it seemed like it might’ve retconned some things about the ending of the original film as well. On top of that they wanted to tell the story with Laurie Strode being traumatised, and how trauma stays with the victim and how it affects others (particularly her family). If there’s anything that Halloween 2018 has contributed that the other Halloween movies seemingly hadn’t, it’s that. That whole aspect was done really well. The writing of the movie was pretty good as well. One thing that it does get better than the original movie is the dialogue, the first movie could have some good dialogue and some really bad dialogue, but Halloween 2018 has some consistently good dialogue. There is also quite a noticeable amount of humour in it, and it’s not surprising considering that Danny McBride is one of the writers. None of it took away from the movie in terms of scares, and does make the experience more fun. This brings me to the next aspect, the scares, Halloween 2018 didn’t really scare me. Now the original Halloween didn’t scare me much but it still handled the tension pretty well. While there is some good tension in the third act of Halloween 2018, the rest of it wasn’t that creepy or that tense at all, I still had fun with it but I was hoping for more of that. Most horror movies don’t scare me so this wasn’t a huge bummer for me, I just wished there was more than what we got. The movie also has some clichés and tropes that follow on from the Halloween movies, for example some people do some really stupid things that put themselves in direct danger. With that said, it’s not an easy task making a newer Halloween movie, because if you remove a lot of the tropes and clichés that might be holding the movie back, you might remove the aspects that make the movies what they are. It wasn’t a huge problem for me, just a little annoying to see some of them re-emerging. Although at some points they do poke some fun at them. Halloween 2018 is an hour and 40 minutes long, which was overall the right length for the movie, it certainly helps that the pacing is good, considerably faster than the original movie.

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode is one of the best part of the movie, she’s fantastic here. 4 decades from the first movie, Laurie is traumatised and has basically prepared for Michael’s return since his killing spree on Halloween, something that has pushed her away from everyone, especially her daughter and granddaughter. She is convincing as a strong and capable person, yet is very vulnerable at the same time, it still feels like Michael Myers could easily kill her. The rest of the cast also works really well. Judy Geer and Andi Matichak play Laurie’s daughter and granddaughter respectively and they also did very well.

David Gordon Green’s direction is pretty great. The way a lot of the movie is shot is reminiscent of the way that the original Halloween was shot, the cinematography on a whole was great. There is also a tracking shot following Michael Myers in one part and it has to be one of the best directed sequences of the Halloween movies. There are even scenes and moments which are calling make to the original movie, and it never feels forced, you’re aware of it but its not like over-relying on nostalgia. The violence of Halloween 2018 is a lot more bloody and gory than the original movie. At times the violence is minimalistic and restrained, at other times it is fully brutal and on display. Think 80% of the graphic violence from Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies mixed with the silent but deadly Michael Myers from the original. He’s also gotten very creative with his kills, stand out kill involves Jack-O-Lanterns, that’s all I’ll say. Michael Myers is back and with a vengeance. As I said, the movie didn’t really convey a very creepy or unsettling vibe in the movie (although it does have some good tension in the third act), but it does make Myers really an intimidating force of nature. The score is once again done by John Carpenter and it is great, its very similar to the score of the original, yet updated and modernised enough and really adds a lot to the movie. Both films wouldn’t work as well without them. On a side note, Michael Myer’s mask is great here. Just on appearance alone, its up there with the original Halloween and the Rob Zombie Halloween movies as the masks that are good.

Halloween 2018 is a great follow up to the 1978 classic. As a horror movie its not as great as I would’ve liked, it isn’t very scary and falls into many of the clichés and tropes that the original movie and series was known for. But much of the aspects are praiseworthy, the cast is good (with Jamie Lee Curtis being particularly great), Michael Myers is a force of nature and it’s entertaining overall. I haven’t seen the other Halloween movies after the original but I can’t imagine that the sequels are better than this one. I feel like Halloween 2018 ended things perfectly for the Halloween series but I have a feeling that there’s going to be more of them. If that’s really what’s going to happen, I hope they at least add or do something to make each movie feel fresh and new.

Halloween (1978) Review

Time: 91 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1]
Cast:
Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode
Nick Castle as Michael Myers/The Shape
P. J. Soles as Lynda Van Der Klok
Nancy Kyes as Annie Brackett
Director: John Carpenter

On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six year old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith’s Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.

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With the latest Halloween movie coming out less than a month away, I decided to have another look back at John Carpenter’s horror classic, Halloween. Halloween was revolutionary for film, especially for the horror genre. Even with a smaller budget and a simple premise, they really caught lighting in a bottle with this.

Getting some of the worse elements of the movie out of the way, some of the dialogue can be really bad, especially when it comes to the teenage characters, it’s like someone is badly trying to imitate teenagers from the 70s. With that said it’s a minor issue. The film does also set all of these characters up to be one dimensional bags of blood to be stabbed by the masked killer, something that other slasher movies following it would be doing as well. Since it was the first to do it I guess I don’t have too much to complain about. A lot of the clichés and tropes that would happen would be because of this movie, for better or for worse. No, Halloween wasn’t the first slasher film to be made. It was however one of the first slasher movies to introduce the idea of a killer coming to a familiar location instead of going to a place where the killer is (like Psycho or Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Halloween is about an hour and 30 minutes long and that was the right length, it doesn’t drag and even in the scenes where nothing much is happening, Michael Myer’s presence will usually be felt during it. Halloween is quite a simple movie, with a limited amount of locations, a simple premise, a straightforward killer, yet all of it works, it’s simplicity is the key to its success. The portrayal of Michael Myers is really effective. The only bit of backstory that we get about him is from Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) who describes him as being pretty much pure evil and you completely buy it. Making it even more intimidating is how Myers seems absolutely unstoppable. He doesn’t run when chasing after people and when he kills he’s not over the top with it, he walks slow, he kills silently, the only sounds from him are his deep breaths. From what I understand the sequels and the remakes try to make an explanation for him, however while they might be able to explain why he acts how he does (which does take away from him as a character), nothing can really explain his immortality. I much prefer the pure evil explanation for him.

Donald Pleasence is fantastic as Sam Loomis, the doctor who is the only person who truly knows how dangerous Michael Myers is. True there’s not much to the character but it’s by far the best performance in this movie. Jamie Lee Curtis makes her debut acting performance here as Laurie Strode and she does pretty okay in her role, nothing great but nothing bad either. It’s worth keeping in mind that she essentially became the first “last survivor” character in a slasher film, so a lot of the tropes with that sort of characters started with her character. She’s at least better than most of the other actors. Most of the actors are pretty bad, especially the teenage characters.

John Carpenter’s direction was one of the main reasons why Halloween works so well. Halloween has a budget of about $300,000, which even then in the 70s was pretty low and yet he did so much with that budget. Sometimes you can feel some of the restraints with the regard to things like the sound design is not always the greatest but most of it is fine. Something about how small scale it feels really adds to this movie, you feel much more confined to what is going on. The cinematography is absolutely masterful, the use of wideshots was really effective, especially for building tension and suspense. Carpenter made Michael Myers a real presence throughout the movie, even when he isn’t killing anyone. In fact, him just standing somewhere in the background is really effective, way more effective than just him killing people. The kills are actually pretty tame for a slasher film but they are pretty effective. They aren’t overly bloody or gory and are usually somewhat in the shadows, fitting in with the rest of the movie and not being a typical bloodfest (which the movies would eventually become). The cinematography is only made better with the use of John Carpenter’s score, which is absolutely excellent. I don’t think Halloween would have been as iconic or effective without the score. Every time that main theme comes on, you are just wondering what’s going on, whether Michael Myers is there or what’s happening next, and only continues to build tension and really sets the mood. The design of Michael Myers is simple but effective. A William Shatner mask and a jumpsuit is all there is to his physical appearance and yet it remains one of the most iconic horror costume designs ever 40 years later. As for the scares, most of them didn’t affect me but that’s just me, I’m difficult to be scared. It does have some jump scares but all of them are effective, it’s not cheap at all and even the fake out jump scares are pretty effective.

Halloween is still a horror classic to this day and it’s easy to see why looking back at it. John Carpenter’s direction of this simple premise was really effective and led to a huge change for the horror genre (for better and for worse). It’s actually the only movie in the long series that I’ve watched but I can’t imagine any of the sequels being even close to living up to the original. The sequel coming this year will be ignoring all other sequels and it looks like it will at least somewhat close to being at the level of the original, which is saying a lot considering how great the original is. 40 years on, John Carpenter’s Halloween still remains a classic.

Top 25 Anticipated Movies of 2018

I’m currently catching up on the 2017 movies (and by that I mean impatiently waiting for some of them to actually release in New Zealand) and I thought I might as well do my list of movies that I’m most looking forward to. Of course I’m not aware of every single movie that’s coming out in 2018 but I’ve done some searching around in terms of films coming out this year, and this is my personal list.

25. Mary, Queen of Scots

I first heard about this movie with the two leads, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie being involved. It takes quite a bit for a period piece film to interest me and it seemed that Ronan and Robbie were enough to do that.

Mary Stuart’s (Saoirse Ronan) attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England (Margot Robbie), finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution.

I’ll admit, it’s just really the cast that interests me, particularly Saoirse Ronan (Mary, Queen of Scots) and Margot Robbie (Queen Elizabeth I) and also David Tennant and Guy Pearce. I don’t know much about Mary, Queen of Scots or Queen Elizabeth I and I’ve not seen anything from director Josie Rourke. It’s really just the cast that makes me has my interest, I have no doubt that they will be great in it. Whether the film on the whole will be great remains to be seen.

Mary, Queen of Scots is set for release on November 1st 2018

24. Ant Man and the Wasp

I personally liked Ant Man, I wouldn’t call it one of the best of the MCU but it was reasonably entertaining. I didn’t really know how excited I would be for a sequel but there’s enough things here to interest me.

In the aftermath of ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to re-balance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past.

Along with returning actors like Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena and Michael Douglas we also have some new actors involved with Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne and Walton Goggins. As for the plot, along with Evangeline Lilly’s character of Hope becoming The Wasp, the film will apparently involve the quantum realm, which was explored briefly in the first film. This allows for more crazy visuals and creativity and I’m completely on board for that. I’m not expecting anything immensely great from Ant Man and the Wasp but it should be something rather good.

Ant Man and the Wasp is set for release on July 5th 2018.

23. Mortal Engines

I first heard about Mortal Engines when I heard that it was going to be a fantasy film produced by Peter Jackson. Although I haven’t read the books that it is based on, the premise is enough to get me at least somewhat interested in it.

Many years after the “Sixty Minute War,” cities survive a now desolate Earth by moving around on giant wheels attacking and devouring smaller towns to replenish their resources.

We got a teaser trailer a little while ago, it looks pretty good but outside of the premise I don’t really know what to expect. The only actors involved that I recognise are Hugo Weaving and Stephen Lang. Because of Peter Jackson’s involvement however, I’m on board with this movie.

Mortal Engines is set for release on December 13th 2018.

22. Mary Magdalene

Normally I’m not interested in biblical stories, however both the cast’s involvement as well as the director got me interested in this movie. There’s a lot of talent involved and that makes me intrigued to see what this movie is like.

Set in the Holy Land in the first century C.E., a young woman (Rooney Mara) leaves her small fishing village and traditional family behind to join a radical new social movement. At its head is a charismatic leader, Jesus of Nazareth (Joaquin Phoenix), who promises that the world is changing. Mary is searching for a new way of living, and an authenticity that is denied her by the rigid hierarchies of the day. As the notoriety of the group spread and more are drawn to follow Jesus’ inspirational message, Mary’s spiritual journey places her at the heart of a story that will lead to the capital city of Jerusalem, where she must confront the reality of Jesus’ destiny and her own place within it.

Garth Davis had previously worked on Lion, so that already has me somewhat curious in checking out the Mary Magdalene movie. Also as I previously mentioned, the cast is excellent. We’ve got Rooney Mara as Mary Magdalene, Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter. All of these are very talented actors. As I said, the story didn’t initially interest me and the trailers have done really nothing to elevate my anticipation levels but to see all these talented people involved makes me interested in checking out this movie.

Mary Magdalene will be released in March 29th, 2018.

21. Solo: A Star Wars Story

It’s not usual for a Star Wars movie to be low on my anticipated films lists, it was already low on my anticipated films list because it feels quite unnecessary to do a Han Solo movie. My scepticism of the film was worsened as directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were replaced by Ron Howard halfway during filming (if you haven’t heard about all that drama look into it). However, I can’t deny that I’m still looking forward to it, it’s a Star Wars movie, I can’t help it.

The story is centered on a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), the roguish smuggler who later meets Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in the Mos Eisley Cantina.

Solo: A Star Wars Story does have some good actors involved like Alden Ehrenreich (as Han Solo), Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson and more. It is also written by Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan and Ron Howard can direct some good things. So there are good elements here for a good movie. The problem is that the whole movie just feels so unnecessary, I honestly have no idea how this film will turn out. But I can guarantee that I’m going to watch this on the day of its release.

Solo: A Star Wars story is set for release on May 24th 2018.

20. Isle of Dogs

I’ve admittedly only seen a few of Wes Anderson movies, that being the Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonlight Kingdom and Fantastic Mr Fox. However I really liked those movies, so I can imagine that I’ll really like his next film, Isle of Dogs.

In the future, an outbreak of canine flu leads the mayor of a Japanese city to banish all dogs to an island that’s a garbage dump. The outcasts must soon embark on an epic journey when a 12-year-old boy arrives on the island to find his beloved pet.

The voice cast is long and includes Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Billy Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Ken Watanabe, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel, Live Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton and F. Murray Abraham. On top of that, it’s a Wes Anderson movie and while I haven’t seen many of his films, I really dig his unique style and this will be his second animated/stop motion movie after Fantastic Mr Fox. With Isle of Dogs, I’m expecting another quirky and unique film from Wes Anderson that will probably be one of the highlights of 2018.

Isle of Dogs is set for release on May 19th 2018.

19. You Were Never Really Here

I have heard a lot of buzz about this movie. At the Cannes Film Festival it won best screenplay and best actor and those who have seen it have loved it. With that and the trailers, I have to say I’m quite intrigued with this movie.

A contract killer (Joaquin Phoenix) uncovers a conspiracy while trying to save a kidnapped teen from a life of prostitution.

Joaquin Phoenix is a phenomenal actor and he without a doubt has delivered an excellent performance here. Aside from that, all of my hype for this movie came from the trailers and all the hype I’ve heard about it. This film looks very stylised, visually stunning and brutal. I don’t know what to expect at all, even after watching the trailers but it must be something special to be already generating this amount of buzz.

You Were Never Really Here is set for release on April 6th 2018.

18. Halloween

I found it weird that we are getting a Halloween movie now 9 years after the last Halloween movie ( 15 years if we aren’t including the Rob Zombie films). However there’s a lot here that has me interested. First of all, it’s not a remake or reboot, second of all its going to be a direct sequel to the original Halloween that completely disregards the sequels. That in itself has me confident.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

One of the things that has me interested in Halloween 2018 is the director. David Gordon Green (who also wrote the screenplay alongside Danny McBride) is a pretty good director with Pineapple Express, Stronger but especially Joe, so I’m confident that he will do a great job with Halloween. Jamie Lee Curtis also returns to reprise her role as Laurie Strode, this version of Laurie has her confronting Myers 40 years later and so it’ll be interesting to see what direction they will take her character. Honestly, I’m not quite sure what to expect but everything so far looks great and as someone who liked the original film and hasn’t seen the sequels or remakes, I’m looking forward to it.

Halloween is set for release on October 18th 2018

17. Mowgli

In 2016, Disney had their own live action Jungle Book movie, which I liked quite a bit. 2 years later, Warner Brothers have their own take on Jungle Book coming with Andy Serkis directing, this time titled as Mowgli. It seems weird seeing another Jungle Book movie a mere 2 years after the last one but looking at the people involved and most of all how different the take on the story will be, I can’t help but be excited for it.

The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli (Rohan Chand), raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo (Andy Serkis) and a panther named Bagheera (Christian Bale), Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch). But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.

First of all there is a lot of talent involved. Andy Serkis directs and along with him, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hollander, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Jack Reynor and Eddie Marsan all do motion capture performances. However, the thing that’s most interesting to me at least is the different take its going to have. This version of The Jungle Book story is a more genuine adaptation of the classic novel, and is darker. On top of that it is shot with a mix of motion capture and live locations and knowing Serkis’s familiarity with motion capture, that aspect will undoubtedly be superb. I’m pretty sure that Mowgli is going to end up surprising a lot of people who are just expecting a retread of 2016’s Jungle Book.

Mowgli is set for release on October 18th 2018.

16. God Particle

This film was originally set for release in 2017. So below is pretty much my same thoughts.
Despite being titled God Particle, it is part of the Cloverfield trilogy which for whatever reason don’t really connect to each other but they actually might. However I’m not interested in the movie because of the connection, I’m interested because of the premise and the cast, also JJ Abrams is producing.

Astronauts must fight for their lives after making a terrifying discovery in outer space.

I have no idea how this movie will connect to Cloverfield or 10 Cloverfield Lane, however either way I’m sure this movie will be great on its own. I just hope the ‘terrifying discovery’ is a twist that pays off. This movie also stars Elizabeth Debicki, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Bruhl, David Oyelowo and many more talented actors. The director, Julius Onah, is someone who haven’t done many movies but then again that’s the case with 10 Cloverfield Lane’s director, so that doesn’t really concern me. It does concern me that God Particle was pushed from 2017 to February 2018, only to be pushed back a further 2 months but hopefully that doesn’t say anything about the movie itself. Overall God Particle is a movie I’m cautiously curious about, and I can only hope it pays off.

God Particle is set for release on April 20th 2018 (unless it gets pushed back again).

15. Mission Impossible 6

The Mission Impossible franchise has been great recently, with 4 and 5 being among the best in the series. Naturally with the same team returning for the sequel, I’m on board.

Christopher McQuarrie returns to direct and write Mission Impossible 6 and while I liked the tradition of each Mission Impossible film having a different director, I loved McQuarrie’s work on Rogue Nation and so I’m happy to see him return. Along with the returning cast with Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Michelle Monaghan, Alec Baldwin and Sean Harris, we also have Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett, who will no doubt prove to be good additions to the movie and franchise. I don’t know yet what the plot will be about but I don’t really need to know, if it’s anything like Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation, then I’m happy.

Mission Impossible 6 is set for release on August 2nd 2018

14. Deadpool 2

While I don’t love Deadpool as much as I did when I first saw it in the cinemas, I still really like it. Along with some notable X-Men characters being introduced for the sequel, John Wick director David Leitch is involved and that instantly increased my interest in the film. Hopefully it’ll try some new things while still feeling like a Deadpool film.

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.

Along with the returning cast of Ryan Reynolds (who is a perfect Deadpool), Morena Baccarin and Brianna Hildebrand, we have new actors and characters with Josh Brolin as Cable and Zazie Beetz as Domino, although I haven’t read comics involving them, they are a big deal, so it’s going to be interesting to see what parts they are going to play here. Instead of Tim Story who did the first Deadpool, the sequel is directed by David Leitch, who had co-directed John Wick and directed Atomic Blonde, so that makes me quite excited for this film. At the very least the action is going to be something special.

Deadpool 2 is set for release on May 31st 2018.

UPDATE:

Deadpool 2 is now set for release on May 18th 2018.

13. The Predator

I’ve only seen the original Predator, I haven’t seen Predator 2 or Predators but I heard that they weren’t all that great. 8 years after the last attempt at a solo Predator movie, Shane Black is here to direct The Predator. I gotta say, I’m intrigued to see Black has planned for the next Predator movie.

The cast alone is so great, with Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Tremblay, Yvonne Strahovski, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, Trevante Rhodes and more. I’m a big fan of Shane Black, who’s directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys, so I’m happy to see him take on the Predator franchise. On top of his credible work, he also starred in the original Predator, so that helps a lot. Whether this is a full on dark and brutal Predator film or a action comedy Predator film, I can’t wait to see what Black has in store for us.

The Predator is set for release on August 2nd 2018.

12. X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Although I gave it a lot of love upon its release, X-Men Apocalypse was a little disappointing (even though I still like it). It could’ve and should’ve been so much more. It’s follow up, Dark Phoenix has the potential to be something good. Admittedly I’m a little worried about some things but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for it.

Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.

We get the returning surviving cast from Apocalypse with James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner and more, and we also have Jessica Chastain as apparently the main antagonist of the film. I do have a few concerns, one of them is Simon Kinberg as the director. He has written and produced a lot of movies (including most of the X-Men movies) but this is his directional debut, so I have no idea how he’ll do at it. However, Kinberg himself has discussed some of the things that didn’t work in Apocalypse. He said that it became more about visual effects than emotion and character, and that with Dark Phoenix he wanted to focus more on the characters. This give me some hope for Dark Phoenix. Along with that, it’s an X-Men movie, I can’t help but be interested to see what happens here.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is set for release on November 1st 2018.

11. Thoroughbreds

I’ll be honest, I really only heard of this movie because Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke and Anton Yelchin (in one of his last film appearances) are in it, so that had me already interested. After looking at the plot and trailers as well however, it’s one of my most anticipated films of the whole year.

Two upper-class teenage girls (Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke) in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. Together, they hatch a plan to solve both of their problems — no matter what the cost.

As I said, the cast with Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, Anton Yelchin and Paul Sparks will no doubt give some great performances. I can’t describe why but something about the premise and the style shown in the trailers also has me very intrigued. This is director/writer Cory Finley’s first film but early reactions to Thoroughbreds have also been quite positive, so that has me pretty excited for it.

Thoroughbreds is set for release on March 9th 2018.

10. Sicario 2: Soldado

I was pondering for a while whether I was going to put this on the list. Sicario was one of the best films of 2015 but a sequel really wasn’t that necessary. However there’s enough talent involved with it that I’m willing to give it a chance.

The drug war on the US-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro (Benicio del Toro).

Along with the sequel being unnecessary, not only is Sicario lead Emily Blunt not returning, director Denis Villeneuve isn’t returning either and its Stefano Sollima who is in charge. I don’t know anything noteworthy that he’s done. From the original film, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin return, as well as writer Taylor Sheridan. Sheridan has written a number of great films and del Toro and Brolin were great in the original film (especially del Toro). The trailer also looked pretty good, a little more action oriented than Sicario but nonetheless interesting enough. Despite the sequel being unnecessary and having a terrible title (it should’ve been just called Soldado), I am still cautiously optimistic and am willing to give it a watch, I’m just not expecting it to be at the same level as the original.

Sicario 2: Soldado is set for release on June 28th 2018.

9. The New Mutants

Fox seems to be making a lot of unique comic book movies recently, an R rated comedy with Deadpool, a gritty western with Logan and now we get a horror with The New Mutants. This is unlike any other comic book movie that has come beforehand. I’m always interested in comic book movies and I’m even more interested in comic book movies that try new things, and New Mutants seems to be doing just that.

Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.

First of all it has some very talented actors with Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams and Charlie Heaton being a few notable stars. The director and writer is Josh Boone, who directed and wrote The Fault in Our Stars (I’ve never seen it but I heard its good), and apparently New Mutants is inspired by the works of Stephen King and John Hughes. With a smaller (but talented) cast and most of the film taking place in one location, it seems to be a much smaller film which is definitely welcome given some of the more larger than life comic book movies recently. The main point of interest however is that it will be the first horror based comic book movie and from the trailer, it seems to be going all in. Even if it just ends up being a teen horror movie with mutants, it’s something that hasn’t happened in the comic book movie genre, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.

The New Mutants is set for release on April 12th 2018.

UPDATE:
As of the 12th of January 2018, The New Mutants has been pushed back an astonishing 10 months to February 22nd 2019.
Apparently, after NEW MUTANTS tested well but not great, the studio decided to actually embrace the film’s horror elements and beef up the scares in the wake of the success of IT and GET OUT last year (I guess the movie didn’t have as much horror elements as much as the trailer suggested. I am definitely concerned seeing as this movie was pushed back 10 months for reshoots, it seems that they are going to be changing a lot. And it is disappointing that we are going to have to wait for pretty much a year before we get to see it. On the other hand, it could potentially lead to a more unique movie, with it being more horror based. Let’s just hope that these reshoots improve the movie and aren’t just a reactionary decision by the studio, Justice League has now made me concerned everytime a studio decides to do reshoots to change a movie.

The New Mutants is now set for release on February 22nd 2019

8. Venom

I’m surprised that this movie is even on this list. The initial idea many months ago sounded like it could have some problems. First of all, it’s Sony who’s creating this (and as evidence by the treatment of some of their franchises, it doesn’t always work out well), second of all Sony seem to be creating their own Spider-Man universe without Spider-Man. However at the same time there is so much things about it that has me intrigued.

It is the first supervillain movie (I’m not quite sure if Suicide Squad counts) and with the R rating (unless they make any changes) it will allow them to go full out dark, kinda like what Fox has been doing with some of their recent Marvel movies with Deadpool and Logan. With Tom Hardy as Venom and a cast that also includes Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate and Woody Harrelson, we’ve got a large amount of talented actors involved. The director, Ruben Fleischer has done Zombieland and Gangster Squad, so I don’t know how it will turn out. That goes for the whole movie honestly, it’s an unusual project and it can turn out many different ways but at the same time, out of all the comic book movies this year it’s probably the one that interests me the most.

Venom is set for release on October 4th 2018.

7. Backseat

Backseat is about Dick Cheney, the Vice President to George W. Bush. A whole film based around Dick Cheney already has a lot of potential but add on top of that the talented cast and director and it has the makings of a great film.

The story of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), as he goes from CEO of Halliburton to Vice President under George W. Bush, where he was a key supporter of the war in Iraq

Adam McKay proved himself to be not only a good director but a great director with The Big Short. Backseat also has a fantastic cast with Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush and Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney. Bale particularly seems like he’s going to give an impressive performance, especially in how unrecognisable he is as Dick Cheney just in terms of physical appearance. Although I admittedly don’t know a whole lot about Dick Cheney, from what I can tell Adam McKay got a lot of material to work with and he certainly has a lot of talent to work with. Backseat definitely seems like it could be one of the highlights of 2018 films.

Backseat is set for release in 2018.

6. Avengers: Infinity War

I must preface this with that I know that this movie could fail absolutely horribly. It has so many characters involved with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, the Guardians of the Galaxy and seemingly most of the main MCU characters. If it somehow works out well, it will be a remarkable achievement. However I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited, and the first trailer does look great.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos (Josh Brolin). On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.

Infinity War is directed by The Russo Brothers, who have already directed 2 MCU films: a surprisingly great film that’s the best of the MCU (The Winter Soldier) and a decent but disappointing movie (Civil War). Their involvement leaves me with mixed feelings, I don’t think they did well in handling multiple characters in Civil War and they are handling even more characters in Infinity War. With that said, there’s another Avengers movie coming out next year, the Infinity Gauntlet story is basically stretched over 2 movies, so it could work. Even though I have many worries, I can’t help but be excited, this is the 10th year for the MCU and Infinity War is ultimately the culmination of the multiple films in the series. I just hope The Russo Brothers can pull it off.

Avengers: Infinity War is set for release on April 25th 2018.

5. Black Panther

Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther was one of, if not the best part of Captain America Civil War, and it made me extremely excited to see what his solo film had in store for us. The trailers have only heightened my anticipation and with all the talent involved, I can’t see this movie not being something magnificent.

Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) springs into action when an old enemy (Michael B. Jordan) threatens the fate of his nation and the world.

Ryan Coogler has done some great work with Creed and Fruitvale Station, so naturally with him helming the movie, its in great hands. Along with Chadwick Boseman returning to the role of Black Panther we have a great supporting cast with Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis and more. Honestly this film has the potential to be the best MCU film yet, and I mean like Winter Soldier level. At the very least I’m pretty sure it’ll end up being one of the best in the series.

Black Panther is set for release on February 15th 2018.

4. First Man

With First Man featuring a great cast and be a story about Neil Armstrong gets me interests me. But having Damien Chazelle direct this film increases my anticipation level even higher, his involvement was pretty much all I needed for me to be on board for it.

A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

There is a great cast involved, with Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong and Claire Foy, Jon Bernthal, Jason Clarke, Corey Stoll, Cory Michael Smith, Kyle Chandler and Pablo Schrieber in supporting roles. This naturally had me interested but its Damien Chazelle’s involvement that really has me pumped. His direction of both Whiplash and La La Land, both excellent films, has me interested in every film he’s involved with. It is strange seeing Chazelle take on a non music film but I have no doubt that First Man will be nothing less than great. Nonetheless I’m excited to see what Chazelle and co. are going to do.

First Man is set for release on October 11th 2018.

3. Annihilation

This is the next film by director Alex Garland, who’s last film was Ex Machina. Some have called the original novel its based on unfilmable, and there was some clashes over distribution of the film due to the potentially odd aspects, leading to it set to be released on Netflix. This has only intrigued me more, movies that have had a divisive and challenging response on people tend to interest me. Add a talented cast on top of that, and you get one of the most anticipated films of the year.

A biologist (Natalie Portman) searches for her missing husband (Oscar Isaac) while on an expedition with a secret agency and discovers a dangerous creature lurking in the wilderness.

Even from the two trailers I don’t have a clear idea what Annihilation is outside of its main premise but the talent involved is good. It’s got some really great actors with Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Oscar Isaac and of course Alex Garland is a very talented director. I have no idea what to expect with Annihilation but I’m board with whatever it is.

Annihilation is set for release on February 22nd 2018.

2. Aquaman

Aquaman is the only DCEU film released in 2018, which in some ways is good as it allows WB to get everything sorted out and sort out everything (which they really need to do as shown with Justice League). I liked Jason Momoa’s Aquaman in Justice League and I’m interested in seeing his own film, with all the talent involved it looks like it could be something special.

Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and to be a hero to the world.

James Wan has done great films in the past and although most of them are horror, Furious 6 has shown that he can do action as well. Along with Jason Momoa and Amber Heard who return from Justice League we have some more talented actors with Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison and Dolph Lungren, and with that cast involved I’m looking forward to what film they are going to give us. My main concern like with any upcoming DCEU film, is that if it will receive studio interference, especially seeing as only 2 of the 5 films in the series didn’t have any kind of interference whatsoever. So as long as WB doesn’t try to mess with Wan’s vision, it should be something great.

Aquaman is set for release on December 20th 2018

1. Widows

Surprisingly, my most anticipated film of 2018 isn’t a comic book movie or a Star Wars movie. With a great director, writer and talented cast, Widows has so much potential. To be honest I’m not really sure what I’m expecting, but I think its going to be something incredible, given the people involved.

Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities take fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Simply put, the talent involved is what has me most interested. Steve McQueen has directed 12 Years a Slave and Shame, two truly great and impactful films. The screenplay is also written by Gillian Flynn, who wrote and adapted her book Gone Girl into a great film directed by David Fincher. Here, she’s adapting the TV series of the same name (that I’ve never seen). Add on top of that a large and talented cast: yhis cast includes Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Robert Duvall, Carrie Coon, Jacki Weaver and Jon Bernthal. With that director, that writer and that large and talented cast, I can’t see Widows being anything less than incredible.

Widows is set for release on November 15th 2018.

What are your most anticipated films of 2018? Comment below and let me know.