Halloween is mostly a success, delivering the franchise’s best sequel yet — even if it doesn’t really mean much.
40 years after the events of the first film and wiping everything that came in between the two films, ‘Halloween’ finds Laurie Strode, after her traumatic experience, living in exile preparing for the day Michael Meyers steps into Haddonfield and she can have her much-waited revenge.
David Gordon Green, previously known for hit-or-miss comedies before delving into drama and now horror, brings a much-needed auteur aesthetic to the film that is sorely lacking in horror films today, let-alone slasher films. His impeccable eye for directing is always noticeable, and even if it’s not very flashy, he certainly does wonders with it, especially with a long shot involving Meyers that I won’t give away. He co-writes this with Danny McBride, who brings some unexpected laughs to the film, even if they don’t always fit.
Perhaps the film’s most soaring success is Jamie Lee Curtis, who realizes the character’s full potential in a bad-ass ‘Sarah Connor’ way that is both exciting and unexpected, bringing the franchise’s beloved scream queen to a whole new level, thanks in large part to Curtis’ committed performance. That is, when she actually does show up, which brings me to one of my biggest issues with the film. The writers choose to focus a large portion of the film on new characters, especially Laurie’s granddaughter, who is struggling with typical teen-drama with the usual cliches that you see in every movie, which makes you wonder if they were trying to set-up a new lead for the franchise or were just making stuff up to fill the runtime. It makes that storyline very out of place and completely unnecessary, even if And Matichak is very likable in her film debut.
After a great first act that is followed by a mostly subpar second act, the film again regains momentum in the climax, delivering a few exciting moments that will surely excite even the most casual fans. While there are few actual scares, Green does mostly deliver with great sequences of gore and suspense, even though it’s no match to John Carpenter’s classic.
In the end, ‘Halloween’ mostly succeeds in bringing the franchise back to its original glory, even if there is still much room to improve.