It is back to basics for the Halloween franchise and trust me when I say this is a great thing. David Gordon Green’s sequel is a knockout with a simple stripped down story that ignores most of the sequels past Halloween II, and keeps it pure and raw. It is Laurie Strode vs Michael Myers with zero time for bullshitting around. The Suburbs during Halloween with the ultimate killer on the loose is what this film is all about and damn it, that is what most of us signed up for. Raw, simple and downright perfect, Halloween does everything right to bless the franchise with a worthy entry. A film that reminds us how amazing and iconic Jamie Lee Curtis is and always shall be. The ultimate final girl who is also the evergreen heroine you can easily get behind. It also never loses sight of how truly scary Michael Myers can be. Carpenter’s Halloween feels like it could actually happen and that is what this entry understands completely.
A hilarious theme throughout the picture is how hopeless men are in the face of such evil. They either fail miserably trying to fight it or are seduced by it, desperate to study the why of Michael Myers. It truly is up to the ladies to save the day and minus a poor overzealous podcaster, they all step up and shine because of it. In Halloween we see three generations of Strode women who have been affected by the unexplainable force of nature that is Myers. Laurie raised her daughter, Karen played by Judy Greer, to be totally ready to fight at the drop of a hat should Myers ever return. This of course puts a huge strain on their relationship, but anchoring this trauma is the granddaughter Allyson played by actress Andi Matichak. Allyson loves her Grandmother and understands the pain Laurie has suffered. She tries her best to connect with her but must do so in secret because Karen wants her Mom out of the picture. Of course once Michael shows up all bets are off and the ladies must put aside family weirdness to survive the infamous holiday. This all builds to a Home Alone style third act that will have audiences applauding at how well they set up the chessboard.
Jamie Lee Curtis plays Laurie to absolute perfection. She has been preparing for the worst by getting Linda Hamilton-in-T2 ready, but what separates the powerful heroines is how human Laurie is. She still breaks down crying at the mere thought of the madman that turned her world upside down. She still can’t truly embrace family because she is too busy readying for the worst outcome. Fierce with a gun but still extremely vulnerable, Curtis really understands her responsibility to the character playing it to perfection with no false notes detected. Fans are going to flip out on more than one occasion watching her weave magic, trust me.
Halloween is still a horror film at its core but the script from David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley is loaded with jokes. This is a damn funny movie with a perfect balance of gore and humor with neither one overriding the other. A perfect example of this is the character Julian played by youngster Jubrail Nantambu. This scene stealer is not only the voice of the audience, he is also the only person in the film who speaks the honest to God truth. Even if he is talking about his toenails, nothing but straight facts emerge from his mouth. He is a great example of how clever the script is and will be talked about for sure.
Halloween is going to make a ton of people very happy. From the wonderful opening credit sequence to the iconic John Carpenter score, nothing is out of place. Debra Hill and John Carpenter’s baby breathes again because of Blumhouse and the talent they hired. It goes way further than Silver Shamrock nods and other wonderful throwback moments. It fully understands Laurie’s tumultuous journey and Michael Myers’ terrifying yet magnetic appeal. Do not think of this as a cash in, but more like a shrine to all the great things that exist within the franchise. Under intense scrutiny this production will hold up and thank goodness too. After years of iffy entries in the franchise this go around is not playing any games. See it big with a crowd on opening day and remind yourself why you used to fear this holiday.