**Mild Spoilers Below**
What is not broke, don’t fix and in the world of Michael Myers and Halloween they didn't try to change too much. Thankfully and rightfully so. The slow stalking shape retreats back into lurking in the shadows on Halloween night with his eyes set on lone survivor Laurie Strode, forty years after she originally faced the boogie man. This time Laurie is the staunchly protective and paranoid grandmother that viewers discover has suffered a life of trauma since battling Michael four decades prior. As a survivor of PTSD, she has evolved into somewhat of a doomsday prepper; Laurie has waited anxiously for Michael’s return at the expense of losing custody of her children and not being able to manage any sort of normalcy outside of a life filled with obsessing over the masked madman.
Approached by two podcast hosts, Laurie is asked about her initial reaction to Michael. She is told that she has a chance to see him and that perhaps she can be the one to break Michael’s four decades of silence and to get closure before he is about to be sent off to his final institutional destination before he rots away for the remainders of his years.
Laurie is a survivor that refuses to be victimized any longer and goes to any lengths to stop Michael which leaves her family failing to understand why their beloved but dysfunctional mother and grandmother is still obsessed with the masked man that butchered her friends and almost took her life as a young girl.
As the ultimate final girl that has now evolved to be the one hunting down Michael, there are many instances in the film in which Laurie and The Shape swap places. The hunter becomes the hunted and longtime fans of the franchise will be pleasantly surprised by this evolution that we only had faint glimpses into when Halloween: H20 debuted over twenty years ago. This film allows audiences to revel in the complete transformation of Laurie Strode the once timid babysitter. Now, Laurie has turned her home into a tactical training ground filled with guns, targets, mannequins and hidden traps as she awaits Michael’s return to Haddonfield.
The kill scenes in this film are brutally violent and graphic. Each kill scene is packed with way more intensity than any of the other films scenes - including the original Carpenter flick that will leave even the most dedicated horror fans squeamish.
For all gruesomeness there is also a layer of comedy that resonates through the film. In Green and McBride’s rendition of this sequel there was a newly injected dose of comedy in the film which should be no surprise to old fans of the film and those familiar with Danny McBride.
As often as the audiences gasped and screamed when Michael was on the prowl there were lots of laughs which McBride stated during a Q&A that followed the screening was something he was worried about while watching with audiences reactions to the film.
However, Halloween and the slasher films of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s WERE funny. They had comedic undertones whether deliberate or not and is rarely seen in modern horror. Thankfully Halloween didn’t shy away from the lighter moments of the film which were an entertaining contrast to the brutality and darkness that filled the screen with every second that Michael appeared. Michael isn’t just slaying pot smoking fornicating teens but kills everyone in his path from mothers to children and everyone in between.
Is there anything new or super shocking in this film that puts it ahead of its original version? Not really. Is anything extra needed in a world of simplistic horror when fear is based off of a mask, a knife and a haunting soundtrack? Nope, not really.
There's no CGI, paranormal entities or tricks that entertain horror audiences in last 20 years or so but this still a treat for audiences to savour that find themselves missing the simple days of slasher horror when all that was required to give a good scare was a big knife and a evil boogeyman.
Sometimes staying true to the original format is enough and will still tap into pleasing old school fans and entertain new generations of fans to come. The film is packed with easter egg treats paying homage to the original and is very much so directed to please the longtime fan base that is relentlessly loyal to John Carpenter’s original story.
This film is less about Michael and more about solidifying Jamie Lee Curtis status as the ultimate Final Girl in horror and she shines with every second she is on screen with a larger than life presence. With the help of the other Strode women (played by Judy Greer, and her on screen daughter ,Andi Matichak) this is a film showcasing strong women that come together to face what has plagued their family for decades and is perhaps the most notable accomplishment that sets this film so far apart from any other modern horror films.
Laurie is is strong, traumatized, broken but unrelenting in getting her own justice against the shape that took the life of her friends and her own freedom forty years ago. There is no damsel in distress but a woman that has turned into the ultimate protector,bad ass and has turned the tables on the shape that brutalizes anyone that crosses his path.
While Halloween (2018) doesn’t pack too many surprises or try to revise the original remedy that made the original so successful it manages to continue a story that has successfully stood the test of time while showing the long lasting effects it has had on its leading lady. It gives audiences a thrilling ride from start to finish as a welcomed new chapter to continue the ongoing saga of Michael Myers and further cements Laurie Strode as one of, if not the most iconic character of the slasher genre.
Halloween (2018) hits theatres everywhere on October 19th and as Jamie Lee Curtis told the packed TIFF audience following a standing ovation at the end of the screening…Happy Fuckin’ Halloween!
Stay tuned for more from Blumhouse by visiting www.blumhouse.com