Review Detail

9.5 18 10
halloween_doctorscut_front
FanMix July 03, 2022 3077
(Updated: August 20, 2022)
Overall rating
 
8.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
For me, John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN is perfection. Not just as a horror genre movie but as piece of cinematic master craftsmanship.
Halloween II? Not so much. It is a fun cash-in sequel that amps up the blood and gore factor over depth or subtly.

Over the years, there have been many, many fan edits that have combined these two "Night He Came Home" chapters into one movie. They all had different strengths and weakness, but the greatest challenge they all faced was trying to make it "feel" or "play" like it was meant to be one single narrative movie. Most, I must admit, for me, do not succeed in this editing aspect.

However, the Doctor's Cut is perhaps the best one yet. And the reason this one succeeds better than many others, is the strong editing hand taken to H2, in particular the various Hospital plots. For this type of edit to be successful, the Halloween II portion needs to play like Act Three of a story and this the closest I have thus seen a fan edit achieve this. Though to be honest, I think even more could have been cut, since by this point of a movie, the narrative focus should be narrowing on Loomis, Michael and Laurie and not spending any unnecessary time on new sets of characters. But with that said, what JNisch has done with H2 portion is very tight and engaging. The actual transition scene from Halloween to H2 is nicely done, not lingering too long on Loomis and efficiently moving the story forward.

The "Don't Fear The Reaper" bookends I liked immensely. It immediately give this fan edit it's own distinct flavour and identity. If anything, I would have have liked to have seen more of this sprinkled throughout the edit, just to make it even more unique from other Halloween fan edits. Though I do think the opening sequence could have benefited from some mild sound foley work and you can hear the original soundtrack spill through when Judith cries out Michael's name (I wonder if Vocal Remover could have cleaned that up?). And while I loved the Black & White, I thought the contrast, blacks and white balance could have been adjusted slightly to eliminate the off grey teal colouring.

There is some mild video quality and colour grading variations between the different source materials but nothing too distracting. There are some fluctuations in audio levels, particularly where new music is added. But sound editing is a very special skill that takes time to master (I know I still struggle with it lol) and is also subjective based on the viewer. All the new title cards look good and are well placed. All the cut work is great. I did not notice any flash frames or poor jump cuts.

For me, there is one big continuity error in the film. The movie opens with the Myers' house murder, with a title card of 1963. It then cuts to the psychiatric hearing with a title card dated May 1978, only months before Michael's escape. This is a mistake. I believe the scene is supposed to be also in the 1960s. Definitely not 78. As Loomis clearly has a much darker dyed beard and hair, and we see Michael, and he is clearly no more than 10 or 12 years old. So from a creative editing perspective, I found this to be an odd choice.

Overall, this is a very good firstling project. While I was I engaged and entertained, I think I found myself wishing the editor has pushed the envelope a wee bit further to help differentiate this fan edit even more from the very large pack of pervious Halloween 1 and 2 projects. And while it still does not quite feel like "one movie", it comes very darn close.

There are some nice moments of fresh brilliance here, and I am very much looking forward to seeing what this editor will do next.

Thumbs Up. :)
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