An iconic horror legend returns 40 years after its original release. Directed by David Gordon Green, “Halloween (2018)” functions as a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s 1978 classic, “Halloween,” therefore ditching all the shenanigans made up throughout the many sequels, alternate timelines and reboots.
The biggest plot point that was ditched was that Laurie Strode and Michael Myers are siblings. Carpenter admitted in an interview with the DailyBeast that the sibling twist was a last minute idea that had been thrown in to make the movie longer and he regretted adding it. “So I had to come up with something (the sibling twist). I think it was, perhaps, a late night fueled by alcoholic beverages, was that idea. A terrible, stupid idea! But that’s what we did,” Carpenter said.
In this movie, there is no curse and there is no relationship between the protagonist and masked villain, just “the shape” and the babysitter continuing what should’ve ended 40 years earlier.
Much of the excitement came from Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode. Curtis is noted as the original “scream queen” and that title and the praise that comes with it is well deserved.
The audience watches Laurie transform from young, innocent and naive babysitter to a prepared and isolated woman. She stayed in Haddonfield, Illinois because she was so driven by her need for revenge. She expected Myers to escape, so every year was dedicated in preparation for that escape. Her obsession drove her family crazy and ruined every aspect of her life, marriages, motherhood and her sanity.
The audience sees the deterioration of her family life with her daughter and granddaughter as they beg her to live a normal life, but Strode is incapable. Especially with Myers transferring to another prison, and the fact that it is about to be Halloween. Strode expects his escape, as does the audience.
As stated, it is Halloween so it isn’t long before Myers returns home and starts off his bloody body count. It is now up to the three generations of Strodes to stop him, once and for all. The question is, do they succeed in doing so?
There were lots of moment that built up anticipation and tension. As an audience member, there were scenes where they set you up to think something would happen and nothing did or they would prolong the death you expected. They fully played with the emotions of the audience both by referencing older movies and with the anticipation of Myers’ next move. Surprisingly, they also gave a fair amount of comedic relief. And yes, there was of course the usual jump scare but it is to be expected in a horror film.
The movie does an excellent job portraying the paranoia that Laurie Strode now suffers with after surviving Myers. She lives isolated and caged up from society. She is consistently seen practicing her aim and attempting to prepare her family for his coming, yet no one takes her seriously. She is Haddonfield’s paranoid “crazy” lady.
Despite her hardships, the audience is rooting for her success over Myers. It takes a certain amount of power to not only bring back the excitement to the “slasher” horror genre but to build on the foundation you once helped create. Halloween, the sequel, accomplished that.
9 out of 10 Torches