Halloween

Directed by David Gordon Green Publishing House: Universal Pictures Released: 10.19.18 Review by | October 18, 2018 at 7:30 PM
6
by Philip Jean-Pierre

Basically: After eleven films and one hundred and thirty-two deaths, Michael Myers is the Tom Brady of slashersis he ready for a comeback?

The Halloween franchise, based on the characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, has left an indelible mark on the horror genre and pop-culture at large. Now the OG of slasher films is back and poppa’s got a brand new bag. Before we begin our downward spiral into the madness of costumes, teen slaughter, and candy corn…this Halloween movie is an alternate sequel to the original Halloween (1978). In this version all the other sequels, including Halloween II, never took place. So, for the purists and those worried about continuity, never fear.  

Photo by Ryan Green - © Universal Pictures

The story goes back to its true roots to show what happened after the slaughter. At the end of the original Halloween (1978), Myers was captured and permanently institutionalized…and that should have been the end of it. Obviously, Laurie Strode (Jaime Lee Curtis) does not believe it’s permanent, even forty years after the killings. In this Halloween our “heroine” is now a traumatized woman with aggressive anxiety disorder and PTSD, still reeling from the horror wrought by Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney). Michael’s last victim has turned her home into a doomsday compound to protect her from the outside world, according to her family. Which means that Laurie Strode has not given out candy on Halloween for the last four decades (who is the real monster?).

Her trauma has contributed to a rift with her estranged daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). That trauma has also permanently separated Laurie from anything closely resembling sobriety or sanity—both of which, if you think about it honestly, are in the eye of the beholder. She knows the darkness is coming. Sadly the men in this movie, who choose not to believe quickly enough, end up being spackled across the lovely town of Haddonfield, Illinois.

Photo by Ryan Green - © Universal Pictures

After 100+ dead bodies, you would hope the franchise had run its course. With the glut of gore-ific movies like Saw, The Purge and Chucky, what more carnage can you create? Halloween finds a way to add to its own mythos and redefine the characters. Honoring its origins, the film also takes its role as a sequel to heart. It’s not just a crazy man in a shredded William Shatner mask running through town killing teens. For the sequel, it is a REALLY crazy man in a shredded William Shatner mask running through town killing teens…but this time the only person who can stop him is Laurie Strode.

Halloween does not fall on the same tropes of past and current horror movies where the female character is an accidental hero. In this case Strode is a character of agency taking charge. Her portrayal is tragically believable yet humorous at the same time. Halloween once again fits in its lane as fun slasher schlock that goes after the audience’s sensibilities through well directed tension and anticipation. Director David Gordon Green delivers a movie that viscerally teases at the senses to build on the movie-horror we want. It gives you the mystery of who will die; how they will die; and the moral high-ground of recognizing all the bad-life choices that will end in blood and ewwws.

In the End: Halloween is not the newest idea in horror but its delivery is fun and impressive as it tries to flip the script on traditional slasher flicks.