Halloween follows Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), now an estranged grandmother, as she seeks vengeance on Michael Myers for his past violent transgressions on her friends and family. When he escapes yet again from a maximum security mental asylum, she must confront her fears to bring him down for the last time.
As I mentioned in Efrit and I's first ever podcast (shameless plug here), I'm not a huge fan of Michael Myers/Halloween. To be more accurate, I'm not a huge fan of the franchise. The original I think is a masterpiece and staple of horror and should be highly regarded...but a guy walking around (very slowly) in a mask and jumpsuit stabbing people methodically with a big kitchen knife isn't exactly spine-tingling for this undead serial killer after the first go. Get creative, bro! And while Myers has expanded his killing repertoire since the original, the predictable and script of every entry leaves me jaded and yawning.
So that leads us to this canon-toppling sequel that seems to dismiss most of the sequels before it. Apparently everyone wants to forget H2O. There are Easter eggs here and there that seem to reference the other sequels, but for the most part, there seems to be a focus back to the roots of Laurie's original traumatic experience. It's all for the better, because by dismissing these countless properties, the audience is able to return to some semblance of realism with Myers, which is the biggest fun from him...is he a mystical machine of death and destruction, or simply a very strong psychologically disturbed individual?
As a slasher film, it's alright. It doesn't stand on its own without the Halloween franchise in the front of your mind. It's a delayed sequel, make no mistake. And because of the story's reliance on your fandom, it still suffers from some of the problems of the sequels...it's a tad repetitive, predictable and shameless in its approach. It makes for a fun time, but nothing special to add to the genre or the franchise.
I go back and forth on Curtis' performance. It's over-the-top like a Broadway performance at times, making sure the people in the back can hear her. Then it's properly subdued in other scenes and builds to the mystique and tension of the situation. The characters overall feel disjointed and like nothing more than the usual Myers fodder. In fact, even the subplots are a bit of a disappointment because you feel like you get drawn through this stupid love triangle halfway through for no good reason and with little payoff.
I did enjoy the ending, however. I think it was the best part of the whole thing. With a semi-spoiler warning here, I have to soapbox my praise of it by discussing the biggest trope in traditional horror...The bad decision. Every character in horror ever makes bad choices. Don't go in that room, don't check on that sound...run, what are you doing???...And this movie flips that trope on its head. And I loved that.
It's probably unfair for me to have reviewed this movie because of my lack of appreciation for the franchise...So I should try to end it objectively for horror fans out there...Do you like Halloween/Michael Myers/slashers? This movie is for you! It's got it all! Are you a bit jaded by slashers, think Myers is boring, and would rather watch another Romero zombie remake than another Myers sequel? Well...you know what you're getting yourself into watching this then...
Horror Qualifier: 9/10
Horror Quality: 6/10
Film Quality: 5/10