Halloween - This 40 Years In The Waiting Sequel Movie Rocks
Dir: David Gordon Green
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Michael Myers, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Nick Castle
Meet the new Halloween. Pretty much the same as the old Halloween – only with a few new twists, a few nods to the original, a few mirrors of key moments from before, and a mixture of both sequel and homage all rolled into a rather effective whole. And with director David Gordon Green, a director with an increasingly disparate but at times impressive CV, doing a good job of reanimating John Carpenter’s now genre- defining tropes.
It’s forty years since Michael Myers first went out in a mask in Haddonfield and, much like the five people he murdered that night, all the sequels to Carpenter’s original, are well and truly dead. This is a direct sequel to the 1978 classic – and only to that movie – that finds original Last Girl Laurie Strode forty years older and having spent a life PTSD’d over her encounter with Michael. Laurie, now largely estranged from her daughter and granddaughter, lives holed up in a compound on the edge of town, armed to the teeth, and in constant training for fear of Michael’s (inevitable) return. She is essentially the Sarah Connor of the Carpenter universe, even if everyone thinks she’s mad. But, when Michael does indeed escape – on the eve of Halloween no less – we all know she is a wise, wise woman, and one who will prove herself a powerful one as the night unfolds – and the body count rises.
Green (and his unlikely co-writer Danny McBride) are keen to respect the spirit of Carpenter’s hugely influential movie – indeed they have him on board as exec producer and make great use of his original iconic score. There’s plenty of tense moments in their new take, and even if none of it feels particularly new, that is in part their intention.
One modern element they do bring to it is the strength of the three central female characters (a superb Curtis, alongside Greer and newcomer Matichak) who are here to represent an inter-generational response of women taking back control of their lives. It’s a handily contemporary metaphor that plays very well in the genre.
But, more than anything, the new Halloween is a very solid, well sustained good old-fashioned horror movie. There are scares, there is gore, there are moments that may make you laugh between the brutality of the killings.
The ubiquitous Blumhouse had a hand in revisiting this franchise, and for once their standard “quiet/BANG” formula is eschewed in favour of genuine dread and tension building. Smart move, smart movie.
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