Directed by David Gordon Green.
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Castle, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner, Miles Robbins, Dylan Arnold, and Drew Scheid.
Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.
Forget everything but Halloween (’78), forget H20 and Season of the Witch, forget Rob Zombie’s ill-judged attempts at remakes, they’re not of any importance now. The only “actual” sequel now canonical is Halloween, David Gordon Green’s unexpectedly gleeful foray into slasher horror.
Green – alongside writer Danny McBride – haven’t necessarily reinvented the wheel, in fact it plays almost directly like Carpenter’s original and although there is knowing fanfare, it feels appropriately separate, even if a continuation.
40 years on from Michael Myers’ attack on Haddonfield and Laurie Strode is scarred. She lives alone behind reinforced steel, her house an ever-growing array of booby traps and crevices filled with weapons. Her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) has turned her back on her having been put into child services at the age of 12 due to Laurie’s manic obsession with Michael.
Her quiet existence is interrupted by the appearance of two podcasters Dana and Aaron (Rhian Rees and Jefferson Hall) who have fast become infatuated with Myers’ psyche. This as Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer), who follows in the footsteps of Donald Pleasance’s Dr. Loomis, decides it sensible to transfer Myers to a more “secure” prison.
Even down to the title sequence, a throwback to the halcyon days of 70s horror, Green litters the film with – what could be called – homages but is most likely fan service, to the point the audience would spontaneously clap and cheer during moments even vaguely reminiscent to the original. It may be that it doesn’t translate to those with little awareness of the films previous, but it is damn effective in recreating the glee for those with even an ounce of appreciation.
It takes a little bit of time to get going, with the first 30 minutes or so existing solely for exposition. But the moment the wheels begin to turn, it rollicks on at a frankly ridiculous speed.
The body count too grows exponentially and Green and McBride seem to find real glee in dispatching of bodies in truly gruesome ways – a head being stomped is violent enough to raise a shocked laugh.
But for all of this, it matters little if it’s well put together. It has to succeed in bringing the terror back to Michael Myers. Dr. Sartain begs the question as to whether he is evil personified, a boogeyman with a senseless blood lust, and Halloween truly makes The Shape something to fear. It’s the unknowing that reminds you why he became a horror icon (that and the hysterical amount of murders).
Modern horror has changed. Jump scares reign supreme and the slasher film maybe doesn’t have a place anymore. But Halloween tries its damn hardest to remind you why it was you feared Myers as a child and it does so with such hysterical glee. It’s a hellscape of broken bones and William Shatner masks. Gordon Green hasn’t simply made the best Halloween since Halloween, he’s made one of the finest horrors of the year.
And Judy Greer wears a delightful Christmas cardigan throughout.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★