Breihan Dryden, A&E Writer
The Halloween franchise is a series that is near and dear to my heart, people. I own multiple versions of almost every film, have seen them countless times, purchased many a shirt, and will eventually get that famous image of the hand holding a knife, gradually fading into a Jack-O-Lantern painted onto my skin. I. Love. This. Series. But as with most long running series’, not everything is hunky-dory.
You see, the original plan for the series was to focus on Michael Myers and Laurie Strode for the first two films and then proceed into a sort of anthology series, where each succeeding film would have a different plot, all centering around the holiday of Halloween. We got the first part of this anthology in 1982 with Halloween III: Season of the Witch (my personal favorite in the franchise) and people were maddddddddd as all get out. You see, people went into this expecting to see Michael Myers and what they instead got was a sci-fi horror film about Celtic warlocks harnessing the power of Stonehenge to kill the ever loving crap out of some kids. People hated that, so they brought Michael back for part four and continued on with a plot line set up in part two; Michael and Laurie were siblings and Michael has to kill his bloodline. I have always hated this detail. In 1995 the ridiculousness came to a head with Halloween 666: The Curse of Michael Myers, where a group known as the Cult of Thorn is revealed to have been controlling Michael, who now has to kill his son/brother (depending on which version of the film you watch, it’s heavily implied that he impregnated his niece just to kill the kid) who is being protected by Paul Rudd. I know you have probably let out at least one auditory “What?” by now, so let me help you out. In 1998 they threw that silly old cannon out the window for Halloween H20 or, Halloween Water and the film sucked outside of a solid performance from Jamie Lee Curtis. It had an immediate sequel called Halloween: Resurrection and it sucked debatably worse than H20. After that, Rob Zombie came in and made a solid remake of the original film (which expanded on Michael’s backstory) and a sequel to his remake, which was essentially an arthouse Friday the 13th film. Ok, sweet. Now that you’re all caught up, let’s talk about the brand spanking new Halloween film directed by David Gordon Green, simply/confusingly titled Halloween.
IT IS SO, GOOD. Oh god, almost everything about this film is wonderful. The direction, the writing (except for one very, very stupid line), the cinematography, the acting (for the most part), and the fan service. Oh god, the fan service. It’s generally very subtle and a good bit of the little winks won’t be noticed at all by casual viewers, but are an absolute treat for fans of the franchise to pick up on. Every single film in the franchise is represented in some form or fashion in this thing and the idea of having references to all of them worried me a bit, because I thought it might be a little too self-aware for my taste, but I am happy to report that almost everything is done in a very tasteful manner. I mentioned above that the writing is pretty good with the exception of one line and that’s pretty stellar considering this movie was co-written with Green by Danny freaking McBride. Not bad for his first foray into the horror genre, at least when it comes to writing. Something else I need to mention is the fantastic score composed by none other than the GOAT himself, John Carpenter. Carpenter utilizes his backing band (which is comprised of his son Cody Carpenter and his friend Daniel Davies) to create some seriously eerie songs that fit the mood perfectly. The acting is a solid good out of ten all around with two exceptions of both extremes. On one hand, we have Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode (the seventh time this character has been brought back, by the way) and she is just fantastic. The way that she handles the trauma from her past as a final girl is both chilling and exhilarating to see when everything starts picking up. Think of it as a much better representation of trauma than the one found in Rob Zombie’s Halloween II. On the other hand, you have Judy Greer as Karen Strode, daughter of Laurie. Mrs. Greer is an actress that I know can act well, but she just seems so uninterested in being in this film. Every time you hear her talk about her childhood growing up with her crazy mom or when she is being an ass to said mom, you just don’t really care. She gives no emotion and outside of a single line delivery at the end of the film, she is straight up boring.
If you enjoy horror films, the Halloween series, or just want to see a better movie than Bohemian Rhapsody, then you out it to yourself to see this film. We need the 80’s slasher to reign supreme once more and considering this movie has grossed over $250,000,000 worldwide at this point, I’m hoping it happens sooner, rather than later.
Halloween gets 5 golden Taylors out of 5