It’s been 40 years since the first instalment in this long and storied franchise was released. 40 years since Jamie Lee Curtis was first terrorised by a being who at that point was known simply as the Shape. 40 years since we became acquainted with the savagery of the serial killer known as Michael Myers.
In the new 2018 release of Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis returns to yet again come face to face with Michael Myers. In the last 40 years there have been many Halloween sequels and reboots and the large majority of them have been awful. This 2018 sequel of the 1978 original may be the best follow up since. Returning to the bare bones that gave the tension and terror to the original, Halloween (2018) largely ignores all the previous sequels. Boiling down to a simple point, Michael Myers vs Laurie Strode. Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) however isn’t the terrified babysitter she was in the first film. Somewhat older and estranged from her daughter and granddaughter, Laurie has sequestered herself away in seclusion. Her house barricaded and herself armed to the teeth despite the protests of her family. Laurie Strode is stronger, wiser and prepared to face her nightmares.
And the nightmares do return. Myers escapes and goes on ruthless and methodical killing spree through Haddonfield, Illinois. The excitement of this issue of Halloween is in its delivery. Blumhouse Productions have been known for it’s jumpscares but director David Gordon Green mostly refrains from this. Instead inserting an inevitable tension and brutality. Myers style is slow and efficient, the camera follows him as if the audience is a helpless witness to an unstoppable force. Green’s direction is oozing with style and flair which is enhanced with an absolutely suburb sound design. Silence, sound and music are used in an artful manner to add pressure and mood to every moment.
As with any Blumhouse film it’s full of tropes. So expect the standard issue of people slipping over and running into bad situations. As old as these faux pas are it’s somewhat more fitting in this film if not still quite silly.
Halloween isn’t the scariest film out there by any stretch but I believe it’s the sequel we’ve been yearning for these last four decades. It has the right attitude, the right amount of gruesomeness and a return to what made the original great.
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