“Halloween” has long been considered by many to have been the film that started the “Slasher” subculture. The independent movie became a box office smash and made Michael Myers a cultural icon ever since its debut in 1978.
Although multiple sequels and a reboot followed over the years; they did not match the intensity of the original as they opted for higher body counts and gore versus suspense and story and in many ways became almost a parody of themselves as Michael would cut down cast after cast of teens and anyone else in his way.
The new film takes the approach that none of the films after the first ever happened so instead of Michael stalking Lorrie in a hospital in “Halloween 2”; he was captured and incarcerated in an mental institute for the last forty years where he has remained silent despite his Doctor (Haluk Bilginer) best efforts to get him to speak as he attempts to understand what motivates a person described as pure evil.
The forty years since “The Night He Came Home” has not been kind to Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis); as since her encounter with Michael: she has become a hard drinking isolationist who suffers from severe Post Traumatic Syndrome. Laurie has become obsessed with guns, weapons, and protection to the point that it has cost her two marriages and even had her only child Karen (Judy Greer) taken from her by the state which has resulted in her having a fractured relationship with her and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).
When a pair of journalists attempt to interview Laurie to try to get her to agree to a face to face with Michael; it sets a chain of events into motion which leads to Michael escaping during a prison transfer.
Michael wastes no time in returning home leaving a trail of death in his path and sets him on a collision course with Laurie who has spent the last forty years preparing for his return.
The film is a true sequel to the original as aside from the second film; it is the closest in tone and theme to the original. While it does have more gore and a higher body count in keeping with the modern expectations of a film of this type, writers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride clearly understand the source material and have crafted an extension of the original versus a continuation refurbished. The fact that John Carpenter has returned as an Executive Producer also helps.
The film wisely sets the focus on the characters which makes the horror aspects more compelling as this is not a bunch of anonymous victims we are watching.
A sequel is reportedly in development and I hope this creative team returns as this was a truly worthy sequel to the classic original that was long overdue.
4 stars out of 5