Draw your curtains, lock your doors and pray for survival because October 31st is fast approaching and the ultimate evil that is Michael Myers is set to return 40 years on to bring you horrific nightmares of terror in Halloween.
Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) comes face-to-face for one final encounter with Michael Myers, 40 years after his initial killing spree on Halloween night.
As my all-time favourite horror film I was incredibly intrigued when I saw that a new Halloween movie was on its way to theaters and director David Gordon Green didn’t disappoint with this re-imagining of a classic tale that reconnects everything back to the classic 1978 horror masterpiece that spawned a genre, and with this long awaited sequel he really brings the terror to the big screen.
Halloween is an exercise in tension and every minute that ticks by is guaranteed to make your blood run colder. The premise is simple and to the point as Michael Myers manages to escape while being transported to a maximum security hellhole and thus begins his rampage on the inhabitants of Haddonfield, Illinois, all over again.
I was really impressed with the tone and pacing of this long awaited Halloween sequel and as a director Green was certainly able to make the film his own, while still reconnecting it back to the original work by John Carpenter, who serves as an executive-producer on the project. Green strikes the right balance between the heightened suspense of the original along with nailing the lashings of gore that modern audiences expect from today’s horror cinema and he certainly had me cowering behind my seat.
The original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis also returns to Halloween and her portrayal of Laurie Strode definitely catches you by surprise. Forty years on Laurie is a burnt-our survivalist nutcase who has a really bad case of PTSD and who has spent her entire life training and laying in wait for the return of Michael Myers so she can finally end his evil……all to the detriment of her family and her own sanity. It’s the most unhinged role that I’ve ever seen Curtis play and you really buy into her paranoia and obsessive preparation to confront this ultimate evil.
Halloween is very much the portrait of an American family of women from grandmother Laurie to her uptight and fairly normal adult daughter Karen (Judy Greer) who is oblivious to her mother’s panic at Michael Myers and finally to Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson, played by a scene stealing Andi Matichak, who knows of the stories behind her families dark history and who shares a special bond with her grandmother.
When these three generation of Strode women have to confront Myers you get a full picture of the alpha mother persona, the character of mother as protector who no matter the threat or predator is willing to go to extreme lengths to protect her young. This persona is present in all three of the Strode women and I was very happy to see how their fight for survival was captured up on screen.
If you’re talking Halloween then you must talk about serial killer, and the original slasher icon, Michael Myers….and he’s back and more scarier than ever here. Described as the personification of pure evil, Michael Myers is a figure who will most certainly haunt your dreams and here he returns with a vengeance to take back Halloween night. In a cool twist we get to see the return of the original Shape himself in the form of Nick Castle who reprises the role of Myers and who alongside James Jude Courtney really brings this savage killer to life.
Green masterfully uses suspense and the threat of increasing shock to make you shiver in your seat and jump up right when Myers does indeed strike. In terms of the horror I really liked that Green didn’t rely solely on jump scares to build tension through the film and instead works to create what I would described as a ‘terror film.’ The cinematography of Michael Simmonds also comes into play here in building the film’s heightened level of suspense and features an incredibly complex steadicam shot that takes you right into the very heart of the carnage. It’s a masterful scene and I was mesmerized by its construction and how it helped to play out the journey of Michael’s rampage through the streets of Haddonfield, Illinois.
And the twists and shocks along the way, well….they certainly come at you and while I won’t mention spoilers I will say that the narrative certainly zags when you think it will zig and this made Halloween one of the most original horror films I’ve seen for a very long time.
If you like your horror with a sharp edge to it then I can most certainly recommend Halloween….but you might want to sleep with the light on and pray The Shape doesn’t come looking for you.
Image: Universal Pictures