By Dave Kibler
Forty years is a long time to wait on anything, let alone a sequel to an iconic horror film. John Carpenter’s 1978 “Halloween” introduced us to Michael Myers, the (seemingly unstoppable) masked killer of babysitters in Haddonfield, Illinois. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) valiantly fought off Myers in the original. Now, four decades to the night, both Myers and Strode return for a final showdown.
Wait, you say that Laurie Strode was in several other “Halloween” sequels? Writers Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley, along with director David Gordon Green and series creator John Carpenter, would answer that question “yes and no”. For the purposes of this “Halloween”, it’s as if none of the sequels or reboots (especially the Rod Zombie versions) ever happened. Carpenter envisions this as the one and only “true sequel” to the original, which boosted Jamie Lee Curtis’ career a notch or ten.
Laurie Strode has become a survivalist, plotting for the inevitable day that Michael returns so she can kill him herself. As fate would have it, a botched transfer of Myers to a new mental facility goes horribly awry, and Michael is back in action. He returns to Haddonfield terrorize babysitters (including the delectable Virginia Gardner) as he pursues his ultimate quarry, Laurie. Lauire’s grown daughter (Judy Greer) and granddaughter (Andi Matichak) are leery of Lauire’s claims that the Boogeyman has returned, but soon their worst fears are realized, as they must fight for their lives against a madman that just will not stay down.
This is the first slasher after #MeToo, and it serves as an allegory for the movement. Three strong women, each tormented by a man, seek justice/vengeance by being stronger together. The climactic battle encapsulates this dynamic perfectly, and perhaps reshapes the horror idea that women cannot effectively team up to defeat evil.
There are plenty of nods here to the original film, including Will Patton reprising his role as Officer Hawkins. Haluk Bilginer is Dr. Sartain, a disciple of Dr. Loomis from the original (who has now apparently died many years ago of natural causes). There are also loads of pop culture references, including a memorable scene straight out of “Pulp Fiction”.
“Halloween” is rated R for bloody violence and language, although both are toned down considerably from many of the past entries in this series. If you do not like horror movies, don’t waste your time on this (hopefully) finale to the Strode/Myers saga. If you are a fan of the original, wait until you can download this, or grab some popcorn at a cheap matinee, as you will likely want to see this battle no matter the review. For fans only , “Halloween” is worth 3 ½ stars out of five.