When it was announced that a new Halloween sequel would be releasing this October, wiping the slate clean of all the previous sequels, I was immediately intrigued by the possibilities. Jamie Lee Curtis was back on board, as well as the original 1978 Halloween director and score composer, John Carpenter. David Gordon Green, director of Pineapple Express and the fantastic Undertow, was on board to direct.
Where would Laurie be forty years later?
If Tyra Banks didn’t die in Halloween: Resurrection, would she be back too?
Aside from the original masterpiece, Halloween:H20 is arguably the best of the franchise. I remember screaming “Kick his ass!” as a 10-year old budding horror aficionado, watching Jamie Lee Curtis wield an axe as she turns the tables and chops her brother’s head off. Could there possibly be a better ending?
Without the muddy lore and gore of the previous sequels, it’s now just Michael versus Laurie. Michael’s spent the past forty years in a heavily guarded psychiatric facility, presumably bulking up and thinking about Laurie (the one that got away). Let’s get one thing out of the way -- Michael Myers is still the most fuckable of all the horror movie serial killers. He may be over 60, but he looks right.
Laurie’s been slowly losing her shit -- building a remote bunker house, fitted with shotguns and trap doors, and training for the inevitable showdown. She has a a daughter (played by the underused Judy Greer) that has some serious resentments having grown up with a real life Doomsday Preppers. Her granddaughter brings us back to the familiar world of babysitters being stalked across Haddonfield.
This year’s Halloween flips the script on the original -- turning Laurie into the boogie woman, out for bloody vengeance for the horrors Michael unleashed on her and her friends in 1978. For the majority of the movie, Laurie comes across as comically unhinged, popping up behind bushes and out of staircases carrying a shotgun. She has been waiting for Michael to break free, only so she can finally kill him. There are parts when this role reversal becomes a bit too heavy handed, but it ultimately leads to a satisfying conclusion.
Curtis shines again as the heartbeat of the story, with Carpenter’s updated score beating relentlessly throughout. Halloween is effective at building suspense with rich characters, real stakes, and a few gruesome deaths. A solid bookend to the best horror franchise ever created.