A direct sequel to John Carpenter’s original 1978 classic: ‘Halloween’, this sequel ignores all the other entries in the franchise in favour of a new story set forty years later. As Jamie Lee Curtis returns to the iconic character of: ‘Laurie Strode’, now much older and wiser, and while definitely a decent attempt at continuing the ‘Halloween’ series, the film is still far from perfect.
‘Laurie Strode’ confronts her long-time foe: ‘Michael Myers’ once again, as the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago, now begins a new massacre after his recent prison escape. Although the film’s narrative does have some interesting ideas, the film always felt a little too familiar to me, as I usually found myself correctly predicting what was around the next corner.
The film is directed by David Gordon Green, mostly known for his drama: ‘Stronger’. A film I did quite enjoy, and although you can tell he does have a passion for this original ‘Halloween’ whilst watching (as he clearly has an understanding of what made the original work so well) I still feel a better director could’ve been chosen. As at points the direction in the narrative does seem to be slightly lacking, and with his previous work in mind, it’s clear that he doesn’t specialise in horror.
It is great however to see Jamie Lee Curtis back as her classic character once again, as she really excels in showing how ‘Laurie Strode’ has been effected by those horrific events many years ago. Alongside the rest of the decent cast of Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton and especially Haluk Bilginer as: ‘Dr. Sartain’. Who I was initially concerned would be nothing but another ‘Dr. Loomis’ type character, but character did actually end-up going in a very different direction.
The cinematography by Michael Simmonds is nothing outstanding for the majority of the film, however it is decent when combined with the dark lighting throughout, especially anytime ‘Michael’ is on-screen. Another strong element of the film is the wonderful original score by John Carpenter, his son Cody Carpenter and Daniel A. Davies. As although the soundtrack does slightly rely on tracks from the original film, there is plenty of new score here as well. Proving John Carpenter is brilliant at his craft once again, with the tracks: ‘The Shape Hunts Allyson’ and ‘The Shape Burns’ being some of Carpenter’s best work for a long-time in my opinion.
One of the strongest elements of the film for me are definitely the kills, as it’s clear the filmmakers got very creative with the ways ‘Michael Myers’ deposes of his victims, usually creating very memorable scenes with some fantastic practical gore effects included. I also felt the film represented the iconic slasher very well, as ‘Michael Myers’ is always intimidating through his movements, ‘Michael’ even manages to steal the film for me by being the main focus of my personal favourite scene of the film, as ‘The Shape’ stalks his way through ‘Haddonfield’ with sinister intentions, all completed within a single take.
As the film is produced by Blumhouse productions, we unfortunately also get the usual pandering to younger audiences you’d come to expect by now. As the film is littered with jump-scares throughout the run-time, with little attempt to build an eerie atmosphere or large amounts of tension. In addition to this, the writing throughout the film is decent when it comes to characters, however the film also attempts comedy at a few points. Usually resulting in many cringy lines of dialogue and many out-of-place jokes, including one scene with a babysitter in particular, which goes on for far too long.
In conclusion, ‘Halloween’ is mostly enjoyable, but with a lack of originality, some cheesy lines and forced comedy (not to mention it’s reliance on jump-scares) the film is more than likely a low 7/10. I do hold the original film in high regard of course, it being one of my personal favourite horrors, but the film is definitely on the higher end of classic horror sequels for me.