There are so many lasting images from films that stick with me, but if I were to list them, there is one that would without a doubt hover around the top. That would be the sight of Michael Myers staring at a teenager that he just impaled on a wall with a knife in the John Carpenter 1978 classic, Halloween. Revealing that information sounds slightly morbid I know, but the films like Halloween and the others like it where there is un-killable killer who goes after teenagers having pre-marital sex is such a big part of my movie loving D.N.A. Fast forward four decades later and a new team is bringing back the slasher film hoping to instill fear of a man in a white Shatner mask to a new generation.
It’s been forty years since Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) felt the terror of having her friends killed at the hands of Michael Myers. Like any great crime story nowadays, a couple who do a podcast are not wanting to let sleeping dogs lie and are investigating that fateful night when Michael came home. After tracking down Myers, they find Strode who gives them little to go on except she looks ready in case he ever decides to return. That trauma from all those years earlier has shaped her life, and it cost her so much, including a relationship with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), who she tried to prepare for the horrors the world has to offer. Now she tries to protect her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Maticha) from the same problems without destroying her relationship with her. With her house like a fortress, Strode waits for Myers to come from her, and that happens after he escapes during a transfer to another mental hospital. What follows is a repeat of that of that Halloween night so many years ago and a final showdown between the original slasher and the first scream queen.
It has always been easy to bring back characters like Myers, because there is always a fresh group of victims waiting (see Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween) it’s just that the updated versions have become a bit stale (see Rob Zombie’s 2009 Halloween II). Writers Danny McBride, Jeff Fradley, and David Gordon Green, with the latter also directing seek to change that, by making a central part of the story about the trauma the original killings would have had in a world without a thousand slasher movies in its history. The sequels to the original film were always about the past events and the killer’s reasoning, but never the fallout. This time we see how that disturbing ordeal affects Curtis’s characters life as well as those around her. It is that angle that makes this Halloween different from all the others and in my eyes makes it the best since the original. Curtis is just as bad ass as you would expect in a Sarah Conner T2 sorta way, but it still brought a smile to my face watching her deal with her past in such a way. Also standing out is both Matichak and Greer as part of the three generations of women taking on the ultimate vision of evil as they try and stop him once and for all. This chapter feels like a great book end to this series, but the story is left open for new chapters as any good slasher flick would do. I applaud the team behind this, because they have delivered a winner and in my opinion succeeded in both remaining true to their roots as well as creating a sense of terror for the new fans of horror.