Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner, Nick Castle
There are no “do-overs” in life, so why should horror movies be the exception. This new version ignores decades of other sequels that feature Michael Myers, positioning itself as a direct sequel to the original. I guess it took them 40 years to get it right? David Gordon Green (“Stronger”) is the director behind the sequel that will no doubt please horror fans. Though, like pigs at a trough, most horror fans will eat anything. They lapped up all those previous versions, including the ones by Rob Zombie that all of a sudden they detest. Assessing “Halloween” like any other film at a film festival, it simply doesn’t stand out. There are no great performances, no stand outs or award worthy sound or production design. It's a better than average October genre release that will quickly be forgotten outside it's build in fandom when November arrives.
Michael Myers (Nick Castle) has served 40 years in maximum security prison for the brutal murders he’s so famously known for. Two investigators arrive in Haddonfield, Illinois, on Halloween, in a desperate attempt to provoke the serial killer before he is transferred to a new facility and cut off from the world. A pothead friend of Allyson Strode points out that compared to the murder rate in 2018, on paper Myers case really isn’t worth all the fuss. Tell that to Grandma Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) who has spent the last 40 years securing her home, shooting every type of weapon and praying that Myers will escape so she can kill him and the nightmares that haunt her. This Halloween, she might finally get her chance.
Assessing “Halloween” like any other film at a film festival, it simply doesn’t stand out.
Probiotic yogurt spokesperson Jamie Lee Curtis returns to one of her most famous roles. The fit 59-year-old Curtis dons a “Madea wig” to play Grandma Strode, but the cleavage is still out. Most of the plot focuses on new characters, or new actors playing familiar tropes. No shock here, Judy Greer (“Jurassic World,” “Ant-Man”) is the daughter and mother to Allyson. Greer seems to always play the stereotypical mom, but director Green seems aware of that perception and uses Greer in the best way since “The Descendants.” However, the parts the younger actors play are poorly written and ill-conceived, reducing this sequel down to more standard horror genre fare than moments where the real actors try and elevate. There is one little guy that steals the show in a comedic way, but I will leave it at that.
For some, the “Halloween” sequel might be too little, too late. The horror genre has suffered tremendous declines (like most genre films) and re-births since the first “Halloween” in 1978. The assembly line of low-budget horror flicks plaguing the market reduced the genre to an all-time low, I am looking at you found footage sequel shot on a dime budget. Green tries to get this film back to where it all started, and he almost gets there. So many films have been spawned from the success of John Carpenter’s creation that every death, murder, tense moment in the original version has been imitated by others over the last 40 years. Making truly original horror genre films like The Others or The Conjuring (the original not the endless mediocre sequels) or even Sam Rami's The Gift feel far superior because of their ability to break outside the genre and the A-list talent involved. There is something not quite right about a theater full of people cheering when a murderer kills an innocent person on screen, and “Halloween" celebrates that profane violence.
Will excite diehard fans, satisfy horror seekers, and disappoint anyone looking for an original film.