Quick Hit – Not enough to differentiate it, and instead comes out as a greatest hits album.
I’m not against belated sequels or reboots that go through and do something akin to remaking the original in a way that pays homage. I’m also not against pulling from subsequent sequels in order to bring back thoughts in order to build up your newest film. However, what Halloween does is simply take the original plot, mix in some of the gore that became the rest of the entries in the series (particularly the Zombie ones) and pass it off as something that is supposed to feel new. Spoiler alert – it doesn’t really feel new, despite giving Jamie Lee Curtis a lot of time to be her consistent BA self.
Halloween basically ignores a lot of what came after John Carpenter’s original. Michael is in an insane asylum, and is about to be transferred somewhere else. They do so on Halloween night, because, well, it’s the name of the movie (why a psychiatrist wouldn’t want to think about the fact that this day might be a trigger for Michael and wait a day escapes me). Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee) is a grandmother now, an emotional wreck that has trained her whole life to defeat Michael. It’s a nice call-out to the resiliency of human nature, and kind of makes you hate her family (daughter played by Judy Greer) for not accepting the fact that mom was almost killed, while still paying tribute to the fact that parents consistently mess up their kids.
There’s a lot of violence in the movie, as it’s totally unashamed to show gore. However, whereas the original film relied on suspense with the occasional flashes of violence in order to build tension, here we’re robbed of that same tension. Outside of a jump scare or two, there’s almost none of the fear that was generated in the original film, or even some of the much maligned sequels. That’s a bit of an accomplishment, because John Carpenter returned to this in order to score it. He takes his classic theme and adds just enough to it to make it tingle your ears as it ratchets up and down your spine. You would think with such great music some tension would be generated, but alas, that’s not the case.
The best thing I can say about the movie is that it isn’t terrible. It’s consistently entertaining at the very least, with some humor that, though distracting from the horror of the story, is often very funny and meta. There’s also the thrill of seeing these characters return to the screen again, even if it means I probably could have just watched the original. I’m always for returning to classic horror characters – there’s a lot of bad horror out there, what’s another average one?
I’m going to give this one a “C”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"