The Halloween franchise has endured longer than most. I was too young to see the original when it came out but it is a stone-cold-classic and it made a big impression when I saw it in the early 80s. I know I’m in the minority but I think that the sequel was a worthy follow-up, but I still struggle to understand why Halloween 3 had that title as it is unconnected to the two previous films. By the time that the fourth instalment came out in 1988, I was old enough to see it at the cinema. Whilst not great, it and the two sequels were solid enough entries into the slasher genre, though I couldn’t distinguish any of them from each other all these years on. After another gap, Halloween H20 and Resurrection were a real return to form, with Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode, they still felt fresh and are again unfairly overlooked now.
I must admit that I thought the series had been ended by Rod Zombie’s dire reboot in 2007 and it’s unwatchable sequel two years later, but now we have a new movie bearing the title Halloween and once again starring Curtis as Strode. The makers say it is a direct sequel to the 1978 original, and with its disregarding of a plot revelation in Halloween 2, though it references it nicely early on, and the more crucial killing off of Laurie in Resurrection, that makes sense.
Michael Myers has remained in a high security prison for the last 40 years but, when the authorities try to transfer him to a new institution, he escapes. And wouldn’t you just know it, he is just out Haddonfield on the day before Halloween! This film could be enjoyed by someone new to the series but people who have seen the previous movies will get more out of it as it references a number of the earlier entries. Those references range from the obvious opening theme and credits to the more subtle, such as when Michael throws Laurie off a balcony, presumably to her death, but when he looks over the edge she has disappeared.
Despite it being the 10th go round for Myers, it is still very effective. It is good to see Curtis get such a prominent role at her age and Judy Greer always elevates anything she is in. In fact it is the final showdown, as Laurie, her daughter (Greer) and her granddaughter (Andi Matichak) stand up to Myers that is the real highlight.
Admittedly, the characterisation of a lot of the supporting characters is a bit sketchy but I suppose that makes them more disposable, and director David Gordon Green is definitely not afraid to kill off any of his cast. A lot of fun for fans of the genre and the franchise.
Rating: 8 out of 10