Halloween

Michael is back!
Verdict: 
9/10 - Scary, exciting and fun, Halloween is a top-notch horror that honours the original.
Release Date: 
Friday, October 19, 2018
Written by: 

Laurie Strode and Michael Myers come face-to-face once again in this horror sequel.

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Following the success of John Carpenter's Halloween in 1978, there have been a multitude of sequels and remakes.

But don't worry, you don't need to have caught up with any of those before this entry, as this sequel pretends they don't exist and serves as a direct follow-up to the original.

Forty years have passed since the events of Halloween, and Michael Myers is incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital about to be transferred to a medical facility.

Meanwhile, the lone survivor of his killing spree, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), has been preparing for his inevitable return to Haddonfield, Illinois.

She is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is convinced he is going to escape, and accordingly, makes it her mission to be ready when he does.

This singular obsession over the past 40 years has caused her to lose custody of her now-adult daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and now causes strain on her relationship with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), who is preparing to go to a Halloween high school dance with her boyfriend Cameron (Dylan Arnold).

Halloween isn't just a good, effective horror movie - it is also a family drama, teen drama and has some comedy to boot, too. It follows a basic formula, but it is sharply written and takes its time building characters and relationships, so when Michael does return and embarks on his next murderous rampage you care about their fate.

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Modern horrors are typically reliant on cheap jump scares, but director David Gordon Green avoids that route and is very loyal to the original, with many callbacks and references for fans to spot.

At the time, the 1978 version was terrifying, but it would be considered tame by modern audiences, so Green has upped the horror factor.

There are a couple of decent jump scares, but the horror mostly lies with the intense sense of foreboding, the nerve-shredding set-ups to kills, and a serious amount of gross, bloody violence.

Carpenter's classic score, which has been updated by the man himself, really hammers this tense feeling home.

The film is led by three impressive, kickass female performances, which is a relief considering how the 1978 film treated women, who always seemed to end up naked before they meet their demise.

Laurie was an innocent teenage babysitter back then, but she has now transformed into a serious heroine, similar to Sarah Connor in The Terminator films. She has a massive supply of guns, knows to handle them all, and has booby-trapped her home - she is ready and prepared for the inevitable.

Curtis' inclusion elevates the film: she's impressive because she looks physically tough but is very vulnerable because of the trauma she suffered, and her family is concerned about her mental health.

Greer's Karen doesn't get much to do beyond showing resentment towards her mother, until she gets a stellar moment in the finale.

Matichak shines as her daughter Allyson, who is the centre of the plot and the eyes of the audience. The relative newcomer has a captivating onscreen presence, was easy to sympathise with and filled the scream queen role perfectly.

It is a relief to learn that Halloween doesn't ruin the reputation of the 1978 horror and simply honours it and builds upon its legacy.

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