”Halloween,” Is Back With A Bang

Photo by Ryan Green - © Universal Pictures
Photo by Ryan Green – © Universal Pictures

“I met him, 15 years ago; I was told there was nothing left; no reason, no conscience, no understanding in even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this… six-year-old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and… the blackest eyes – the Devil’s eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply… evil.” – Dr. Sam Loomis, played by Donald Pleasance.

Hold on to your hats, America. Michael Myers is back and there’s going to be hell to pay. After a number of sequels — each being laughably worse than the previous one —  John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis returned to right the Halloween franchise ship. While not perfect, the new Halloween left me exhilarated and wanting more.

40 years after Myers’ bloody reign of terror that claimed the lives of 16 Haddonfield, Illinois residents, true-crime podcasters Aaron Korey (played by Jefferson Hall) and Dana Haines (played by Rhian Rees) make their way to Smith’s Grove Rehabilitation Hospital (used to be Sanitarium) to meet with Michael before he is transferred to a different facility. They want to determine the motive for his crimes, but the interview proves fruitless. Next stop is Laurie Strode’s country home. Due to the trauma inflicted by Myers, Strode developed post-traumatic stress disorder and spent the past 40 years as a paranoid recluse preparing for his return.

Predictably, the bus carrying Myers to his new home crashes and he escapes. Myers recovers his mask and murders Aaron and Dana, plus some others. He then makes his way back to Haddonfield and the real fun starts.

Photo by Ryan Green - © Universal Pictures
Photo by Ryan Green – © Universal Pictures

There were so many cool references to the previous films, including the legendary Dr. Loomis’ voice and image, trick-or-treaters wearing masks from Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the first kills taking place at a gas station (also happened in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers), very similar font from the early films was used throughout, a mention of the Elrod’s as neighbors (Halloween II), and many others. One thing I didn’t like is that Halloween is a complete retcon of all the sequels and, as a result, Laurie Strode is no longer Michael’s sister. For me, the revelation that they were siblings was an exciting twist to Halloween II and fit perfectly with the story. Oh well. Can’t win them all, I guess.

As of October 30, Halloween has grossed $178.3 million and is the highest-grossing film in the franchise. There is already talk of a sequel, and I honestly can’t wait. The Halloween film series means to me what Star Wars does to a lot of people. I have such a love for it. The latest installment certainly breaths new life into the series and could make for a very interesting sequel.

I give Halloween four out of five stars.

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