Horror films have been a part of my life since I was old enough to hold my head upright. I have been entranced with the macabre since that young age and that love for horror continues to this day. One of my favorites of my youth was the 1978 film, Halloween by the master of Horror, John Carpenter. Following the story of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers aka The Shape, this soon became one of the finest ‘slasher’ films ever made. Focusing on more than just gore, this was one of the few that played with your mind just as Michael played with his victims.
When it was announced that a new Halloween film was being made I was skeptical, we have seen plenty of equals to the 1978 horror classic, however when I heard that John Carpenter himself had given this new film his blessing, I was intrigued to say the least.
Set 40 years after the original films, Myers has been in a mental asylum ever since the end of the original film. This crazed killer has not uttered a word in this time and soon is visited by a British couple who want his story. Their attempts to get Michael to talk bring them face to face with Laurie Strode, a woman who has spent the last four decades preparing for Myer’s escape at the cost of her family. We soon learn that Strode has not only a daughter but a granddaughter as well and, when Michael escapes, he returns to Haddonfield to finish what he had started all those years ago.
This is the true sequel to the 1978 classic. Gone is the implication of Laurie Strode being Michael’s sister, gone is the cult of the thorn or even the supernatural elements that became part of this much beloved series. Everything that has come to pass is gone and in it’s place, forty years of waiting and terror.
Jamie Lee Curtis is back and she has been preparing for the inevitable fight with the boogeyman. Curtis plays the role of Laurie Strode with such vigor that you forget that she was only twenty when the first film hit the theaters. She has become a survivor in the interviewing years, preparing to the point of insanity but knowing that one day she will get her chance to end the evil that has been locked up for so long.
Nick Castle returns to the mask in his first return since the original and he does so in a manner that only fits our Shatner-masked fiend. Like a shark, Michael leaves a bloody trail in his wake as he works his way toward Laurie Strode, drawn to her like some sort of magnetic connection that only he can feel. Seeing him in action again brings back the grit and horror of the original in spades and boy does it pay off.
Although a sequel to the original, it embraces the gore and violence like none other but also allows the viewer to fill in some of the most violent scenes with their imaginations. That being said, when it shows a kill, it leaves you no doubt that Michael’s victims are indeed beyond help.
Everything about the film is perfect, from the tone, the script, the return of some old friends and even the sound effects hearkening back to the 1978 original. Not only do the principal actors return but we also get the master himself back to record a new soundtrack for this film. Carpenter, with help from his son Cody and frequent collaborator Daniel Davies, record a whole new soundtrack using some of the most iconic moments from the past all the while bringing in something new to the fold.
The Bottom Line
This is a must see for any fan of horror or lover of the Halloween franchise. There is something deep and resonating in this film that makes the hairs on your body stand out while you watch The Shape work his way through the city of Haddonfield. With a tremendously satisfying ending, this is how sequels should be made and effectively puts the story to bed while leaving a hint of an opening should the time come to visit Haddonfield once more.
As a friend of mine told me after the film, this movie elevates Laurie Strode to the same Level as Ellen Ripley and Sarah Conner. Not better than, but now in the same conversation.
My recommendation? Go see it while it is still in theaters, maybe even on Halloween night…
Late To The Game 10/21/2018
Thank you for reading today. I hope you enjoyed the review. If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday. We also have a fun Retro TV Review series in which we are currently reviewing the entire Star Trek The Next Generation Series, episode by episode.
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