In partnership with

Halloween

2018-10-19 06:40
 
Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

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.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

It’s been 9 years since we last saw the terrifying mask of Michael Myers on the big screen, and 40 years since the first one that jump-started the slasher genre in the late 70s and early 80s.

The Halloween franchise has over the years been a schizophrenic affair with attempts to recapture the bloodcurdling magic of the first one – from witches to telepathic powers to cult curses – all trying to explain why the man in the mask has this unstoppable thirst for blood.

Finally, they got the formula right with the new 2018 Halloween, all with a clean slate by ignoring all the sequels and following directly from the first one that made Michael famous. No one needed to know why he kills, they just want to watch him wreak terror, and that’s what the fans got.

It’s been four decades since the 1978 Halloween massacre that’s left survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curits) with severe PTSD and an estranged relationship with her daughter (Judy Greer). As her granddaughter (Andi Matichak) enjoys a Halloween party, Michael Myers once again escapes custody during a transfer, slaughtering all with the bad luck to stumble upon his path.

Slasher films have never been my favourite genre of horror (I’m more of a supernatural fan), but any horror fan can fully appreciate the return to classic scares in Halloween. It takes the best parts of the first one and tweaks it just enough not to be repetitive, and lets the simple yet effective cinematography evoke the dread as you watch Michael move silently in the background, calculating his next move. His motivations are unknown, unlike the other sequels, and his haphazard killing spree dehumanises him even more than his mask.

A great script written by director David Gordon Green and Danny McBride (surprisingly) paired with a great score from the man himself, John Carpenter makes for one great Halloween ride.

Besides the brilliant cinematography and scares, Halloween didn’t skimp on the story and its non-deathly characters either. The Strode women are strong, but each generation is scarred by the actions of Michael, even indirectly. The severe trauma that Laurie endured has caused her to pass on that pain to her daughter, who in turn passes it on to the youngest generation by her reluctance for her to connect with her grandmother – a family of ‘final girls’.

Curtis is amazing at portraying the emotional pain Michael has inflicted on her, her hard exterior breaking down when she tries to let go of her past. However, the idea of the final girl is turned on its head, transferring the power of the predator to the victim, her seemingly futile preparation finally paying off when she has to confront him again, even if it’s just to lose.

While Halloween remains a classic horror that presents an evil with no agenda except to create as much carnage as possible, it also becomes the survivor’s story and her attempts to triumph over trauma. One pivotal scene nails that narrative to the wall, making for the best sequel to Halloween we could have hoped for, and a rebirth of a classic terror for the modern age.

NEXT ON CHANNELX
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.