Movie Review: ‘Halloween’

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No matter how many sequels or reboots the Halloween franchise undergoes – like the on-screen persona, interest in the character of Micheal Myers never dies. Here we are in the Halloween season and audiences face yet another attempt to revive this franchise with another return of Jamie Lee Curtis to her iconic role of heroine Laurie Strode after the mostly forgettable H20: 20 Years Later.

Director David Gordon Green is the latest to take a swing at the Myers murder legacy for Blumhouse Productions and Green’s take throws in the retcon/twist of disavowing all of the other films and serving as a new direct sequel to John Carpenter’s original Halloween. This largely affects the story by having Michael Myers immediately captured at the end of the original film instead of then going on the famed hospital rampage, while also wiping away the Halloween 2 reveal that Laurie is Michael’s sister.

Halloween picks up in real-time with Michael incarcerated in a psychiatric prison and an older, paranoid Laurie that is now estranged from her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) due to years of being haunted with the fear that Michael would return. Obviously he does, on Halloween night of 2018 in face and the Strode girls are reunited in a fight for their lives against the emotionless psychopath.

Halloween is made with a lot of love reverence for the entire franchise, even the once they wipe from continuity, with an obvious focus on the first film. This new psuedo-sequel/reboot does a whole lot right and packs in some good gore and clever shots, but never quite does enough to justify its existence. The film has no real twists and stays to pretty basic slasher film formula.

Additionally, bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis yet again was the right move for this film, but it feels like she’s done her farewell tour as Laurie Strode one too many times. Another issue is the odd choices in how to portray the violence of Michael’s kills – which are creepy and fairly well done, but by the end the end of the film the blood and death get cartoon-ish and the movie devolves into an overstuffed pack of clichés and self referencing.

Everything is still fairly enjoyable enough for fans of the franchise or for anyone looking for a scary movie to get into the mood of the season, but Halloween still is not breaking any fresh ground in the genre or even within the series. Halloween also has some tonal issue throughout, mostly in the middle of the film where it gets legitimately and intentionally funny, even though almost every other part of the movie is quite serious. Those are fun sequences but feel completely out of place in the overall film’s vibe.

Most frustrating of all, the final shot cuts to credits at an odd moment seeming to allude to a weird direction for a potential sequel. The film also feels like too much of a love letter to the series and not enough innovation aside from a few cool sequences.  Halloween wasn’t a waste of a film to make, but I’m ready for them to hang up that dingy old Shatner mask after getting my fill of this one’s trick or treat bag.

60%
60%
SCARY AVERAGE

Besides a few truly creepy and clever sequences, this reboot/sequel is frustratingly average and feels like only a slightly better than normal addition to the franchise despite luring Jamie Lee Curtis back to the role once again.

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