40 years after John Carpenter’s Halloween comes the 11th movie in the series but retconning the franchise so wiping the slate clean in the story except for the original movie. John Carpenter and Debra Hill returning to the franchise this time as executive producers and using Carpenter’s score perhaps influenced by Rob Zombie’s recent reboot not as he imagined Myers and the story. Directed by David Gordon Green which he also co-wrote along with Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride and Jamie Lee Curtis returning as Laurie Strode have made a well produced and aptly unsettling addition to the franchise.
Set in present day with Laurie Strode and Michael Myers both returning and seeing how the last 40 years has affected them both. Laurie Strode was traumatised by that night and that Halloween has fallen from memory. Sadly not for her though, the past 40 years has been spent anticipating and actively preparing for his return has strained her relationship with her family. Michael Myers meanwhile has been incarcerated since and seemingly catatonic while plotting his next killing spree. Recovering his mask and escaping an inmate transport, Myers makes his way to Haddonfield just in time for Halloween night and wastes no time making his presence known.
This time though Laurie is ready and out to kill him to finally finish it while trying to protect her daughter and grand-daughter. Also out for blood is Deputy Hawkins (played by Will Patton) who was an officer at the time of Myers’ original killing spree and doesn’t want it happening again. Also there in Haddonfield is Dr Sartain, Myers’ psychiatrist and former student of Dr Loomis who is a bit more interested in bringing him in alive and knowing what makes him tick than anything else. True to form Myers rampages through the town butcher knife in hand with no babysitting teenager or police officer safe until the showdown between Strode and Myers. Spoiler free of course but stick around for the end credits as it leaves the possibility of future movies in this now retconned timeline.
Perhaps due to the influence of Carpenter and Hill but Halloween is very faithful to its predecessor but to its detriment in parts as it you know what is coming more than normal for a slasher horror film. Not a problem as Myers is still truly unsettling as he makes his way through the town without letting anyone stop him and seemingly no one being safe or off limits. The pacing and cinematography was also excellent with the camera angles while some kills came brutally quick and others palpably slow as if Myers was savouring the upcoming murder. Slight spoiler but after going through one house there was a baby in a crib and thought for a moment he was going to cross that line too which is a testament to Green’s directing and James Jude Courtney’s portrayal. Also hinted at is the almost supernatural aspect of Michael Myers. Walking away from Loomis’ bullets in 1978 to present day when presented with his mask triggers a fervour in the other inmates near him and possessing seemingly super human strength for an assumedly catatonic 61 year old.
What does let the film down somewhat however is some of the acting and the script. The scars are hinted at but I felt there should have been more of an impact on the small town especially Myers being moved just before the 40th anniversary. The strain between Laurie and her daughter was a significant part of the story but felt underdeveloped and perhaps could have benefitted from some pay off in that regard.
Didn’t to be a tad negative at the end there but I did really enjoy 2018’s Halloween and if a horror fan and of the series is definitely worth seeing especially now after October 31st when you are safe, at least until next year.