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article imageReview: ‘Halloween’ erases a franchise and has no regrets Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Oct 19, 2018 in Entertainment
The new ‘Halloween’ is a thrilling follow-up to the original film that understands its origins and delivers a near-perfect extension of the 1978 narrative.
Sequel, prequel, remake, reboot, reimagining. All of these words mean the current rendition stems from something that came before it, which consequently means it’s not original — though it could have a unique approach. Styles and methods of making films in these categories widely differ as does their quality and acceptance. While there are likely too many of these pictures regularly hitting cinemas, some of them rise above the din by making a notable impression on audiences. Fortunately, the latest franchise installment, Halloween, does all the right things in all the right ways to climb out of October horror obscurity.
After murdering his teen sister at the age of six, Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney/Nick Castle) has spent the last 55 years — minus a brief and deadly escape – in a mental health institution in which he was first the patient of Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) and now Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer). But rather than be able to help him, they’ve tried to understand him while keeping him isolated from the world beyond their secure walls. But now even that is over and he’s being transferred to a less hospitable facility. During this time, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has prepared for his return. She lives in a self-made fortress equipped with surveillance and an arsenal, praying for the opportunity to stop him for good. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in a strained relationship with her now-grown daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak).
The first thing viewers will quickly notice is this movie is a sequel to the original film and ignores all the pictures that occurred between then and now. Laurie survived that horrific night in 1978 and Michael was re-incarcerated, but she hasn’t really lived since. She’s essentially become the Sarah Connor of horror, preparing for an imminent battle and raising her kid in expectation of the same. The key difference is Sarah only heard stories of what was to come, while Laurie had already experienced it once first-hand and refuses to be caught by surprise again.
When Allyson debunks a long-held belief regarding Michael’s fixation on Laurie or repeats the scene in which she sees a “figure” standing outside her school window, franchise fans know they’re in for a movie that understands and appreciates its audience. It carries forward a lot of similarities with its predecessor, including the off-camera violence, slow but deliberate pursuits, unsettling head tilts and a John Carpenter soundtrack. There are also some great kills that rely on the lead-up even more than the murder to captivate viewers. “The Shape” remains an ominous presence, even from a distance, and his bloodlust seems to have only grown over time as he surpasses the kill count from the first picture rather quickly.
David Gordon Green directs what is probably the best entry into the franchise since the original film as it builds on and draws from its predecessor to create a chilling, contemporary follow-up that feels like a natural extension that fans could approve continuing.
Director: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer and Andi Matichak
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