40 years after he first attempted to kill unsuspecting teenager Laurie Strode, Michael Myers is back for another killing spree. This time around director David Gordon Green asks us to ignore the subsequent sequels and reboots in the Halloween franchise, as this film picks up after John Carpenter’s 1978 film.
Suffering from the trauma of her first encounter with the serial killer, Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her iconic role) has become a recluse. After several failed marriages, and a strained relationship with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), Laurie spends most of her time preparing for Michael’s possible return. The only person she seems to have some semblance of a relationship with is her teenage granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).
Of course, it is not long before Michael, who has been under the care of Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) in a psychiatric prison, escapes while being transferred out to a new facility. As Halloween night approaches Michael wanders the streets of Haddonfield killing unsuspected individuals as he searches for Laurie’s home.
Paying homage to Carpenter’s classic, this new version of Halloween is an entertaining ride. The script, co-written by actor Danny McBride, is peppered with sly nods to the original film. Laurie’s PTSD feels authentic, and is the most interesting aspect of the film, but Green never delves deeply into the wedge her condition causes between her and Karen.
While slasher fans will be pleased with the number of killings in the film, upped greatly from the original, not all of the film’s surprises work. There is one section in particular that unintentionally contradicts the Michael is pure evil narrative that certain characters try to push. This is not to say that he is not a villain, but Michael comes off as more of a misogynist than a demon seed. Michael has no problem killing random women in town, however, he seems to operate under his own methodical code for everyone else. He does not kill babies, and only seems to kill males who either directly impede his path or are associated with women he plans to kill.
The empowerment of Laura, Karen and Allyson at the end is meant to balance this out, but it never feels as fist pumping as Green intends it to. Their plan is based on too many coincidences that need to occur to get Myers into the exact spot they need him to be in. Regardless, there is much to enjoy in this version of the mythology. Green and company have put together a fun film that is worth taking a stab at.