REVIEW: New ‘Halloween’ doesn’t surpass original, but is arguably the best one since

This is a “Halloween” film that is a direct sequel to the original picture from the 1970s, meaning that it forgets about all of the other movies in the franchise. So fortunately, it’s as if that whole ordeal with Busta Rhymes no longer exists.

Because it’s a direct sequel, the film revolves around a now adult Laurie Strode  (Jamie Lee Curtis). Since the events of the original ordeal, S has retreated to an extremely secure home to prepare for a day where Michael Myers escapes. Her constant fear of Myers breaking out, though, has led to an alienation with her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), and her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak).

Her fears are realized, though, as something goes wrong during a transportation of Myers from one security facility to another. As a result, Myers is out for blood again, meaning S, and Sheriff Hawkins (Will Patton) who was there to apprehend Michael that night so long ago, have to prevent a murder spree.

Unlike many of the sequels in the long running franchises, this is a movie that really goes back to basics. Gone are the more schlocky elements, the heavy blood sequences and the nudity that had become more common in the other entries. The kills are straightforward and frightening, while the atmosphere is properly set to build the tension.

It’s also noticeable that the filmmakers put effort in to telling the stories of the characters featured. The relationships between S and her family members are relatively compelling when considering the genre. There are a few flaws, such as Karen needing a bit more screen time in comparison to Allyson. However, it still gives the movie more identity than your average slasher.

There are also a few sections of the film that were a bit unexpected. There’s a turn in the first act soon after the escape that I didn’t expect so early, and there’s a major twist that occurs in the third that can throw a person for a loop.

As for the characters, there are a few of the typical slasher stereotypes you can expect here. When it comes to the leads, though, the movie wins some points. Curtis’ Strode is the major bright spot of the picture, but Allyson is a nice protagonist, too.

The question was raised a few times, though, about why this sequel was necessary. The direct sequel angle had been covered in the sequel, the Strode vs Myers aspect had been showcased in “H20,” and the film was given a remake with a new vision in 2007.

The new “Halloween” is entertaining, at times scary, and overall is a solid watch. It’s a step above most other slashers out there and a good watch for this season. However, it doesn’t exactly push the bar in any major way, and at times the pulls at nostalgia are a bit thick. It’s good, but not an all timer. 3.75 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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