After carving up the competition at the box office, Halloween is ready to bring the thrills home as it arrives on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow courtesy of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Set 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 ignores the subsequent sequels and reboots in the Halloween franchise and picks up his story right after John Carpenter’s original 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 aka The Shape (James Jude Courtney), who has been under the care of Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) in a psychiatric prison, escapes during a transfer to a new facility. As Halloween night approaches Michael wanders the streets of Haddonfield killing unsuspected individuals as he searches for Laurie.
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. While Laurie’s PTSD feels authentic, and is the most interesting aspect of the film, Green never delves too deeply into the wedge Laurie’s condition causes between her and Karen.
While slasher fans will be pleased with the number of killings in the film, raised greatly from the original, not all the film’s surprises work. There is one section 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. The empowerment of Laura, Karen and Allyson at the end is meant to balance this out and plays much better when revisiting the film on Blu-ray.
The Blu-ray features several great bonus featurettes that loyal Halloween fans will love. One standout is “The Legacy of Halloween” which is a round table discussion between Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter, David Gordon Green and producer Jason Blum. Over the course of their discussion they touch on what made the 1978 film so ground-breaking and what drove Green to finally direct a horror film. Another insightful feature is “Sound of Fear” in which Carpenter explains how they updated the iconic score for a new generation.
All this makes for a Blu-ray that is worth taking a stab at.
Bonus Features: Back in Haddonfield; The Sound of Fear; Journey of the Mask; The Legacy of Halloween.