WARNING: Not a spoiler-free review.
This was an unexpected, long-awaited occurrence which surprised me in many ways and swooped in like a miracle and fixed and erased everything I hated about the Halloween saga. I had pretty high expectations but not too high, because after all, it’s still a slasher and it’s still Halloween and the concept is… pretty easy to capture.
He’s back – Michael. She’s back – Laurie. She has a daughter who is annoying and doesn’t understand how trauma influences its victims and that when your friends are murdered by who is called the ’embodiment of pure evil,’ and you are pursued by said ’embodiment of pure evil,’ you don’t just get over it. She also has a granddaughter who conveniently loses her cell phone to a bowl of either slush or polenta, I’m not entirely sure. But really, the only two people that matter are Michael and Laurie, so it’s all good.
I was impressed with most things and there were things I was less than impressed with. For instance, the beginning scenes with the investigative journalists seemed pretty irrelevant and I mostly forgot about it by the time they left my screen. They never appeared again. It seemed like a hokey way to reintroduce Laurie Strode and to clear up “misconceptions” about the backstory (i.e., plot points that were created by the pre-existing sequels). It also seemed like a hokey way to demonstrate Michael’s existence in the asylum with the “New Loomis” (which is basically what he was). I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.
We meet Laurie Strode once again and we find out that she has spent the last 40 years creating a home where she can feel safe – multiple locks on her front door and a kitchen island that is a powered secret entrance to her basement where she keeps an impressive collection of guns and weapons presumably for her protection. Bafflingly enough though, her house has a great number of large windows with little to no protection. Seems strange that when you’ve fought with Michael, you don’t think that one of his favourite things to do is smash through windows and grab you from behind… but okay, I’ll suspend my disbelief.
It’s evident throughout the whole film that this movie was created by a group of passionate individuals. Jamie Lee Curtis slips back into her role as seamlessly as one can. Judy Greer seemed entirely out of place and I wasn’t thrilled with anything her character did. Yes, I get it, her character is supposed to be resentful that her mother spent her entire childhood training her to protect herself against the serial killer that murdered several of her friends in 1978 – that sucks, but it’s also understandable. That’s a traumatic event, lady. The constant repetition coming out of Judy Greer’s mouth – “Get over it” – just makes her play as a callous, insensitive and unlikeable individual.
So anyway, when Laurie’s granddaughter’s graduation or whatever it was supposed to be takes place and Laurie meets them for dinner on October 30th after watching the bus depart from the cushy existence Michael has known to transfer him to a maximum security facility (why they chose to transfer him on this particular date is so beyond me…), and Laurie is understandably upset and distraught, it really grinds my gears to see her treated the way she is – with disdain and “I told you so”‘s. I mean, come on, (a) in the original Halloween, Michael is being transported to court and MICHAEL LITERALLY ESCAPES on the same date 40 years earlier in the exact same manner, thus being the incident that started it all, (b) Michael is obsessed with Laurie and will most definitely track her down if he escapes again, (c) this woman clearly has PTSD from coming face to face with a ruthless killer!!!
Anyway, so Michael escapes from the bus (obviously) and Laurie gets the cops to escort her to her daughter’s house to pick up her daughter and her family, but lo and behold, her granddaughter is not there and is totally unreachable because COINCIDENTALLY her weird, drunk, cheating boyfriend threw her phone into a strange substance and it is no longer working and she didn’t even seem to try to fish it out and save it??? But anyway, that’s a convenient plot point.
At this same time in the story, we see Michael steal his Shatner mask back from the stupid journalists, kill them, and move on to start a killing spree, sparing no one but the children. He kills Laurie’s granddaughter’s best friend and her boyfriend, he kills numerous other people – I lost count at 15 – and eventually faces off with Laurie. I won’t spoil the ending (not that this has been a spoiler-free review at all), but it’s pretty satisfying.
All in all, I had a lot of fun watching this one. There was comic relief, there were brutal murders, there was a slow-moving Michael, there were fun lighting effects, there was Jamie Lee Curtis who is obviously the highlight of the film. I really enjoyed it. I think it was a solid sequel and I think it was effective. Slashers aren’t meant to be scary, they’re meant to be fun and with that, Halloween accomplishes just that.