Halloween (2018) brings Michael Myers back to theaters, and he’s scarier than ever. In this film, fans are faced with a broken Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) who is eagerly awaiting her opportunity to take back what was snatched from her 40 years previous. With the film being a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), fans of the franchise are expected to set aside what’s been portrayed in any other sequels over the years. As a fan of the Halloween franchise, I’d always thought that there were a few of those films that we could easily do without. Director/Writer David Gordon Green (Joe 2013) wipes the slate clean, uprooting the ingenuous theory that Michael is pure evil. I believe fans will enjoy this new film, and here’s why.
Halloween (2018) begins with two criminal investigative journalists, Aaron Korey (Jefferson Hall: Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015) and Dana Haines (Rhian Rees: The Lears 2017), as they attempt to grasp the reasoning behind the events that took place on Halloween night in 1978. They travel to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium to interview Michael Myers himself. In doing so, they meet Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer: Ben-Hur 2016), a student of the late Dr. Loomis. He took over Michael’s case after Loomis’ death, and has since been obsessed with figuring out the killer’s story. With no reaction from Michael to questioning or the mention of Laurie’s name, the two journalists head off to Laurie’s house.
They find themselves at the gates of a heavily fortified homestead where Laurie spent the last 40 years dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The conversation reveals that Laurie went through two failed marriages and lost custody of her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer: Jawbreaker 1999). In their desperate attempt to figure out why Michael committed the murders, they ask if Laurie will confront him one last time to see if she can get him to speak. She declines but knows the only way to live a life free of isolation, paranoia, and anxiety is to kill him.
We find out that Michael was captured after being shot and falling from the Doyle house balcony decades ago. He has since been locked up and is now being transferred to a maximum-security facility where he will serve the remainder of his sentence. Of course, during the bus transfer things go terribly wrong, and Michael takes the opportunity to break free. Returning to a path once traveled, he makes his way back to Haddonfield and is on the search for Laurie.
Some of the focus and anticipation for Halloween was in the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode. The film is dedicated to her story. Two new characters brought into the franchise are her daughter, Karen, and granddaughter, Allyson (newcomer Andi Matichak), who not only personifies the gap in time between the two films, but also represent how ferociously the effects of victimization can tread through generations.
Despite the unstable relationship between Laurie and Karen, Allyson attempts to bring her grandmother of her own personal hell. What she doesn’t understand are the long term effects the trauma has caused Laurie and the kind of closure she needs to move forward.
Even with the years of studying Michael’s behavior, Dr. Sartain could not pinpoint any justification behind his acts of terror. This rage within Michael has lain dormant for decades and was somehow sparked. He returns to Haddonfield and maliciously kills whoever is in his path.
Its apparent that there is no motive behind his actions, that his violence is simply random and cannot be controlled. In the first film, it appeared that he killed with reason, taking out anything and anyone who would get in between him and Laurie. Now, it is no holds barred when it comes to Michael. His thirst for blood must be quenched, and trust me, it is. He leaves a lengthy trail of corpses – in true Myers fashion – for anyone to stumble upon.
Ultimately, Laurie and Michael come face to face once more. Laurie hopes that she has the skills and determination to take down the boogeyman once and for all. The final battle between Strode and Myers is one that fans have waited for.
Although this is a direct sequel to the first Halloween, writers David Gordon Green and Danny McBride have sprinkled details throughout this film that pay homage to the string of past sequels (see our list of “Top Ten Easter Eggs From Halloween (2018)” here). Original The Shape actor Nick Castle is behind the mask once again (along with Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s James Jude Courtney) as he brings Michael Myers back once again. In the final scene, there’s symbolic imagery that closes out a crippling past. Whether as prey or predator, Michael and Laurie thrived off each other’s existence. Fate caught up to these two characters, regardless of any course of action. Laurie took control of her own destiny by finding the courage redeem herself and not fall victim again.
Not surprisingly, fans will compare this film to the original. However, in my opinion, John Carpenter’s Halloween cannot be touched. As a fan, I enjoyed this new film, but there was a lack of the elegant simplicity so well known in its companion piece. The timing felt off and scattered, the scene transitions were rough, and I felt like I walked out of the theater with more questions than answers. Michael Myers is the derivation of my horror obsession, and I am pleased with how he was represented in this film. His demeanor was less stalker and shape-like, and instead was brutal, vengeful, and formidable, all proving that there is no reasoning with evil. There’s no understanding it and nothing to gain from studying it… and there’s definitely no controlling it.
Two generations are now witness to Michael’s wrath, and regardless of the film’s ending, everyone knows that you can’t kill the boogeyman. To conclude, this sequel to the original Halloween is entertaining – it will make you laugh, make your heart race and have you at the edge of your seat. If you’re anything like me, it will make you want to see it again. There isn’t going to be one movie tailored to fit everyone’s fear and expectations. I suggest checking it out and applaud it for what it is… an awesome horror film.