Directed by: David Gordon Green
Written by: Jeff Fradley & Danny McBride & David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Virginia Gardner, Nick Castle, Jibrail Nantambu and Will Patton
Run Time: 1h 46min
Genre: Horror, Thriller
4 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
Thank you Blumhouse for helping to bring this back! This movie is terrifyingly fantastic. It has a rock solid, substantial, concrete script and it’s, I’d have to say, exactly what any horror fan, especially if they liked this franchise, is looking for. I wasn’t sure about it at first, thinking to myself, ‘Here we go again,’ as I rolled my eyes. I couldn’t have been more wrong to doubt it. The only way anyone coming out of the theatre after watching this could say that it was just ‘so-so’ or ‘meh’ either has a grudge against films of this type or they were asleep.
Not only is the story grotesquely imaginative and holds your attention the entire time but, pleasantly, I found that Danny McBride had a hand in writing it and you can feel his influence everywhere. I think his being involved made all the difference in the world. When there was some much-needed comic relief, he gave us plenty. It’s not that the comedy takes over or anything, this is a true horror film, but when it does come it fits the characters and the moment. Another thing I was appreciative of was the score. To get it right, I believed John Carpenter had to do it and it was good to see I wasn’t disappointed there.
If you’re reading this, I won’t give a lot away because you’d be rather mad at me for ruining the surprises for you. However, I do have to reveal a few things about the story. You know how the original ‘Halloween’ started, right? If not, see it before you see this when possible. In the first film, Michael, as a little boy, stabs his sister to death with a butcher knife. She had just had sex with her boyfriend and that act seemed to have upset his fragile nature. They sent him away to a mental institution after that. Then we advance to fifteen years later where it’s 1978 and Michael has turned twenty-one. He escapes the institution he’s being held in and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield. He’s on the hunt to kill again. He focuses his attention on trying to get to Laurie Strode (Curtis) but with the help of Michael’s physician at the institution, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence), she manages to survive his efforts to end her life. There were several films that followed but forget those. This is the direct sequel to the first film as if all the others never happened and it works beautifully.
We meet Laurie again when she’s much older and she’s living like a hermit. To avoid another bloodbath, she built a fortress, complete with panic room, around her house and around her emotions. She’s disconnected to protect herself. Michael may not have killed her body, but he killed her spirit. It was riveting to peer into how she lives yet somewhat heartbreaking to see that she has lost the ability to get close to anyone. This is obviously due to the fact that she was so traumatized and is still afraid Michael could be around every corner. She has to be prepared at all time and is she ever!
Laurie taught her daughter Karen (Greer) to defend herself, too, and how to use weapons. Karen now holds that against her. Having to tell your mother to stop being afraid of the ‘Boogie Man’ has been difficult for Karen to overcome. Now a mother herself, she wants her daughter Allyson (Matichak), to live the normal childhood she was denied so they, for the most part, keep their distance from Laurie.
By the time Michael gets to Haddonfield, he has already slaughtered a few people and wants to continue. The cinematographer does a magnificent job of putting you on edge by giving you shadow and reflection before you see the monster in action. There are several very creative shots you don’t usually find in horror. You’ll love Michael’s prey, I mean the characters, especially young Julian (Nantambu). He’s a very wise child, with a potty mouth, who knows more about the world than the babysitter who’s watching him gives him credit for. His scene relaxes you for a moment but not for long.
Look, the film doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It’s just trying to entertain people who love the genre and it does. There are times when the audience laughs, yells at the screen and jumps at the brutality of the quality kills Michael often proudly displayed. There are several I haven’t quite gotten over yet! Now, doesn’t that sound like something worth watching? If you remember, I mentioned to you that there are surprises. Oh, you’re going to love those. After watching, I’m sure you’ll agree that the first ‘Halloween’ was a classic and that this one WILL BE, TOO.