A very good 2-in-1 edit. Starting and ending the movie with (Don't Fear) The Reaper was a great idea, but I think I would have preferred that Michael killing his sister had been muted behind the music also. No jarring cuts, but I did "stumble" when Laurie said she saw someone standing in Mr. Riddle's back yard and Annie saying she got stuck because neither scene was shown earlier. It seemed like it was over in no time even though the runtime is over 2 hours... so a very enjoyable watch!
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.
Im a huge fan of the original Halloween. This cut kicks it up as a complete night and keeps a smooth pace throughout the film. I got to see a sneak peek of this and was really wild about it. This last release made a nicely polished movie shine. Its a great add on for Halloween collector.
I really enjoyed this edit; I hadn't seen a fan edit of these two films before, so I was looking forward to seeing something different, to see each story presented in a unique way.
The opening sequence, with the "Don't Fear The Reaper" music is perfect, and really had me thinking that this was always like that in the original film! The subtle trims work perfectly; none of the trims stood out as "hang on, something is missing". All of the cuts and trims were seamless, especially the transition from the first film into the second film, which was flawless.
The audio overall sounds great. In my ratings, I slightly marked down the audio, as very early on in the film there is a noticeable shift in the volume of the audio. This is nothing terrible, and doesn't ruin the experience by any means.
The picture quality was fantastic, so much better than the old VHS and DVD versions I saw years ago!
The trims and cuts excise anything that originally slowed down each film, and preserves the suspenseful atmosphere of each film.
This edit is the one I'll be keeping and watching of these two films from now on.
This is a really enjoyable edit, and I recommend it to anyone whether they enjoy suspenseful films / horror films or not!
Halloween has always held a special place in my movie lover's heart. It was the first movie that really scared me. I saw others later that did, as well, like Alien and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original).
I never really got into the Friday The 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street movies (sorry ray). I was unable to suspend logical disbelief long enough to enjoy them.
There is something special about the idea that Michael could be superhuman just by the power of his own will. Several effervescent self help gurus have proclaimed that you can do almost anything if you put your mind to it. This very ideology puts Michael on a different level.
We get to see Michael's madness intimately and it looks a little different than a mindless serial slasher like Jason or Freddy. Michael seems to be called by a power greater than himself. That's extremely chilling.
JNisch travels a much different path than the editors before him with this edit. The idea of focusing on the dichotomy of Michael and his relationship with Dr. Loomis instead of Michael slash, slash, slashing his way to Laurie Strode is genius. There is a tumultuous even symbiotic relationship there. You can't help but think that Dr. Loomis almost admires the purity of Michael's single-minded murderous rampage. That is brought out magnificently by JNisch in this edit.
JNisch only excised what was necessary to drive his intended narrative. The segue from the first movie to the second was so well disguised that we had to watch it several times to determine where it was. And it works perfectly.
Using "Don't Fear The Reaper" in the beginning segment which is a black & white memory of Michael's first kill was downright unnerving. I kept restarting it so that we could feel the chill run up our backs and watch the hair on our arms stand up. It sets the perfect tone for what's to come. Right out the gate we experienced how intensely Dr. Loomis recognizes the evil that is Michael Myers.
The edit fired on all cylinders from that moment on literally leaving us breathless. By the time we got to the end and that very haunting cover of "Don't Fear The Reaper" by Keep Shelly in Athens, we felt like some sort of transcendent moment had taken place (and we were sober). This is our definitive replacement for the first two Halloween movies.
I've seen so many edits of the many iterations of Halloween. Most were very good. One was absolutely chilling. None were quite like this one. I have watched it over and over again trying to figure out why this one had such an effect on me. I may never know. I do know that this feeling is the very reason that I love fanedits and put so much time into helping faneditors.
It's not a perfect edit and it won't be for everyone. Those of you who are like us are in for a rare treat.
I will let others pick it apart technically. I've already done that numerous times. I loved it too much to even consider doing it again myself. I gave it an arbitrary 9 in both categories for that reason.