It’s back! Set 40 years on from the original, ‘Halloween’ has returned to our screens in its highly anticipated anniversary edition. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) managed to escape Michael Myers 40 years ago, but will she again?
Laurie Strode has become fixated on Michael Myers since escaping his terror 40 years prior. We see the impact the events of the original Halloween night had on Laurie, but also the impact on daughter Karen (Judy Greer), even trickling down to Granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). Laurie has spent her life modelling to her daughter how to live in fear and defend herself, but Laurie’s preparations are put to the test when Michael escapes and comes looking for her, putting her and her family at risk. She hasn’t thought to move far away from Michael Myers by way of protection!? She decided to stay living close to someone deemed the personification of evil, and this personification of evil also has it in for her… She probably should have thought that through and moved away a long time ago, she’s had 40 years to reflect on this after all…
What I enjoyed about the film were the nods to the original, helped along by original writer John Carpenter’s involvement I would imagine! The opening credits, music, and feel of the movie really bring a nostalgia of the original. I also like that it is set 40 years after with no acknowledgement of the numerous other films made in between. So if you haven’t seen them, then it doesn’t matter! I don’t think it particularly matters if you haven’t seen the original either, the plot is pretty simple to follow: he went after her, he didn’t succeed, he got locked away in an institution, he escapes, he tries to go after her again. Simple.
The film doesn’t take long to build tension. The use of the original ‘Halloween’ music helps with that. The eerie piano sequence starts as soon as there is suggestion that Michael Myers is around, so automatically you are on edge for him to appear. It made me realise that the ‘Halloween’ music would make an excellent ringtone in fact.
The structure of the film runs parallel to the original. It was interesting how some of the scenarios from the first film are then subverted in this one. For example, in the climax of the film where Michael Myers has found Laurie Strode (in her own house, shocker), there is a fight scene (another shocker). In the original, Michael Myers ends up falling over the balcony of the first floor of the house, when Laurie peers over, he has gone. In the latest film, it is Laurie who falls over the balcony, and when Michael looks over, she has gone! Although subtle, there are constant reminders of scenarios in the first film in this one.
The character build in the film varies. Michael Myers essentially has no personality or character. You never see his face, he doesn’t speak, and he moves slowly. You don’t get much out of him (apart from the killing bits). Laurie Strode’s character is an interesting one, as mentioned she has spent her life in fear, and what is interesting is the representation of how fed up the people around her are with it, her family are constantly telling Laurie to get over it. Laurie’s interactions with others are awkward (like in the first film), however the sense of awkwardness you feel in the development of the film is more to do with her not knowing how to relate to people, because of what she’s been through. It gives more meaning to why she ends up more or less a recluse.
All in all, the film is a good watch, nothing ground breaking. If you are happy with a standard predictable slasher film then this won’t be offensive to you. It does have that classic nostalgic feeling to it however. Overall score 6/10.
Rating indicators (out of 5! 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡)