Aida Vucic | 25/10/2018
Jamie Lee Curtis is back, and both she and the film itself are better with age.
We first met Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) 40 years ago. The original scream-queen, she was the babysitter who scarcely escaped an attack by Michael Myers aka the Boogie Man. Since then, Michael has been incarcerated in a mental institution, having never spoken a word since his imprisonment. He is somewhat of a phenomenon, perplexing his Doctors and crime journalists alike. His victim Laurie, on the other hand, has spent her life preparing herself for another encounter with her attacker. Her fixation ultimately destroys most of her relationships, including her relationship with her now estranged adult daughter.
Coincidentally, Michael is being transported the night before Halloween to a new facility, and you don’t have to be a fortune teller to predict what happens next… he escapes. While in the original film, his killing rampage tallied at five, he seems to be making up for lost time and goes on a murderous streak, killing everything in his wake before crossing paths with Laurie’s granddaughter, Alison (Andi Matichak). For Laurie there has been no better motivation to seek her revenge and protect her kin.
Besides the excessive exposition, the film is surprisingly good! Playing homage to the original with the inclusion of that eerie music and casting Curtis and Will Patton as Officer Hawkins, David Gordon Green lets quite a bit of humour permeate into the film, which will have audiences laughing out loud whilst simultaneously being scared to death. It isn't surprising, given that BlumHouse (the production company behind this film) were also behind Get Out, which had a similar streak of humour through it. Gordon Green also gives us a spectacular opening credits sequence, smartly playing up the history behind the film.
The original may have been Curtis' movie debut, but she has come far since then and her performance is faultless. She’s a nanna that’s taking no prisoners! But it’s her younger co-star Matichak, and even Virginia Gardner and Miles Robin, whose performances are a worth mentioning. Matichak gets a bit of camera time and she owns every second, and while her co-stars Gardner and Robin only have very brief appearances, they manage to embed themselves as memorable characters.
Of course, most horror films can’t avoid those obvious annoyances and genre tropes that we have come to despise. These are present here too, with characters' crass actions, the seeming impossibility of their making any logical decisions and their strange proclivity for running straight into the arms of danger. But let’s be honest; it wouldn’t be all that fun without these moments. The film tries to include some twist and turns, but unfortunately many of which you can see a mile away. Nevertheless, it is fun, creepy, scary, funny and a welcome return to the genre for Curtis.
It’s a mixed bag of emotions for Halloween, with audiences likely to be unsure whether to laugh or scream. Either way, it's definitely worth the watch.