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The Halloween franchise is old and very tired. The character of Michael Myers has been done to death, wether it be a ridiculous sequel or reboot, it’s a dried out corpse. Nobody, not even series creator John Carpenter has been able to improve on the original and he has freely admitted that in the past.
Even though he was pressed to write a sequel and was executive producer for a number of other Halloween films, Carpenter had recently distanced himself from the the other films because he said he’d used up all his good ideas on the first one.
The problem with all of the Halloween movies that followed is that in some way they have always tried to add an explanation as to who Michael Myers was behind the mask and his motivation. But the reason why Michael Myers was so scary in the first place was that you didn’t know anything about him. The absence of any understanding for his urge to kill was what made him so completely terrifying.
Who made it?
So this brings us to the latest Halloween movie, which, to my surprise, is brought to you by the team behind stoner comedy Pineapple Express. Specifically director David Gordon Green and Danny McBride who, along with Jeff Fradley—a man responsible for some B comedy titles like Your Highness, which starred McBride— penned the screenplay for this one.
A huge leap from comedy to horror, but what started to get me excited about this one is they were getting the band back together. Carpenter had come back into the fold as an executive producer, composer and creative consultant, Jamie Lee Curtis was coming back as Laurie Strode and Nick Castle was returning to the role as the shape, Mr Michael Myers.
This Halloween movie is a sequel to the first film and discounts all the other movies in between. It’s 40 years since that horrific night in Haddonfield Illinois. Laurie Strode is a basket case, all her relationships have failed, she’s had a daughter who now has her own family and until recently they were estranged. Laurie has never recovered from her encounter with Myers and has become a prepper as a result.
She now lives out of town and has turned her house into a compound, complete with panic room and an extensive cache of weapons. She has become the horror equivalent of Sarah Connor and I guess you could say that the Terminator films owe a lot to Halloween. But I digress.
A series of events leads to the return of Michael Myers and Laurie has to not only save herself but also her family from the unstoppable shape, hell bent on picking up where he left off.
And away we go. You already know what to expect.
But can you expect to be scared? Well no. I don’t care what any of the other reviews are telling you the movie is not scary.
It’s loyal to the original film, in fact it’s a love letter to it. It’s got some nice touches and is enjoyable but it lacks impact because, even though it tries, it fails to generate any real tension. It’s predictable. In every frame you know what is going to happen to the hapless people that stand in Myer’s way.
The supporting cast are really good but largely forgettable because they’re livestock lining up to be slaughtered. However, Judy Greer is great as Laurie’s Daughter Karen and Andi Matichak excellent as granddaughter Allyson.
The real highlight is Laurie. Jamie Lee Curtis’ reprisal of this character 40 years on is the centrepiece of the film.
Halloween is not without it’s problems but I can appreciate the shot at redemption. If you’re a fan you’ll find it enjoyable, if you’re a newbie you may find yourself wondering what all the fuss is about.
I’d be happy if they called it a day after this one because it does do a reasonable job of wrapping things up and they will never, ever capture the magic of the original.