HomeMoviesReview: Halloween is Bloody, Anxiety-Driven Thrill Ride

Review: Halloween is Bloody, Anxiety-Driven Thrill Ride

Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween
Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles/Universal Pictures

Forty years after that fateful Halloween night in Haddonfield, Michael Myers has managed to, once again, escape a transfer from Smith’s Grove Sanitarium. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the sole survivor of what has now been dubbed “The Babysitter Murders,” has been preparing for this day and the chance to kill Michael once and for all.

Two British podcasters, Aaron (Jefferson Hall) and Dana (Rhian Rees) are to blame for Michael’s resurrection, so to speak. Reintroducing Michael to the mask — his missing piece — seems to have sparked the murderous fire inside him after years of stoicism. Never even looking at the mask, Michael appears to feel its presence, proving that one is not whole without the other. Without spoiling how, Michael and the mask are reunited and Michael begins his brutal murder spree throughout Haddonfield.

Laurie’s daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), spent her early childhood raised in fear. She learned to fight, shoot and prepare for the return of the boogeyman in an unsafe home with an unstable mother, which lands her in the hands of social services. Needless to say, her relationship with her mother is strained, but her daughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), a carbon copy of the young Laurie Strode of 1978, is much closer to her grandmother. She understands Laurie, perhaps because they are so much alike and, in the end, she is forced to suffer the same fate her grandmother faced all those years ago.

Allyson’s friends Vicky (Virginia Gardner) and Dave (Miles Robbins) are the film’s answer to the original’s Annie and Lynda. The hilarious interactions between the two and Julian (Jibrail Nantambu), the child Vicky is babysitting for her time in the film, are the best non-violent parts of the entire film. It is sad that their time is such a small part of the almost two hours, but the levity is appreciated in such a dark, violent film.

James Jude Courtney is an amazing Michael Myers, having perfected the silent brutality of the character. Every scene Michael is in is shrouded with an intense sense of discomfort and paralyzing fear. In the past films, we have seen Michael unsuccessfully attempt to kill children before; something he succeeds in this time around. Not long after, we see Michael approach a crying baby in a crib-a scene that caused half the theater to gasp and hold their breath out of terror. In previous sequels, we never would have considered that Michael could hurt a baby, but it suddenly became a possibility that made him so much more frightening than ever before.

In response to Michael is a traumatized Laurie Strode, who seems weakened from fear, but has a silent strength about her. The perception is that she has been mentally unstable all of these years, but she alone knows the reality that Michael has always been capable of coming back to find her and that it has always just been a matter of time.

Her home is a war zone, prepped with a remotely accessed hidden bunker stocked with food and weapons, cages on the doors and a fail safe plan to destroy Michael if everything carries out according to plan. That being said, Laurie seems to have all angles covered, assuming Michael doesn’t kill her before she has the chance to carry out any of those plans. This is the best Laurie Strode the fans have ever been given. This is the Laurie Strode that Jamie Lee Curtis has deserved to play all these years.

Halloween is the most fun entry to the series since Halloween H20. It really is a film made for the fans. Chock full of Easter eggs for the Halloween aficionado to find, you almost need to watch the film multiple times to catch them all. Those who have not religiously watched the ten previous films in the series will still enjoy watching, as the story is not a difficult one to follow and really doesn’t require one to see the original to understand.

The film is, however, not without flaws. There are multiple storylines that begin and never have a clear ending, there are theories thrown out that never come to fruition, and there are characters that are unnecessary outside of being, or being a line to, another Easter egg.

Not one of these things takes away from the film. Ultimately, the story is about the connection between Michael and Laurie and that is something we are given hand over fist.

Halloween is a bloody, violent, anxiety-driven thrill ride that will frighten even the strongest of horror fans. We cannot possibly recommend it more.

Rating: 9/10

Halloween is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Ann Hale
Ann Hale
Just a giant nerd in love with horror, 80's action flicks, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @scarletjupiter to talk horror or just to browse the horror collection.


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