Michael Myers is back to terrorize audiences in David Gordon Green’s Halloween, out this weekend.
About the movie:
Set 40 years after the original flick, Myers (Nick Castle, returning to the role for the first time since since 1978) has again escaped custody, intent on killing Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). But Laurie’s had four decades to prepare for this moment, and she’s more than ready for him.
From the opening credits, you know you’re in for a treat. The credits are done in the same style as the original, setting the tone for a movie that’s intent on bringing you back to the slasher movie heyday. And it succeeds in doing just that: Halloween feels like an old school slasher flick in every way, and it’s so damn refreshing.
The score by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies gets a large amount of credit for that feeling. A horror movie is only as good as its soundtrack, and this soundtrack is GREAT. It harkens back to the original while forging its own path, and the synthetic sound still creates this uneasy tension that’ll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It’s elegant, it’s beautiful, and it’s simple.
And that’s where this movie’s success lies: in its simplicity. Again, in honoring the original Halloween, this movie is as straightforward as it gets. Michael Myers escapes and goes on a killing spree. Director David Gordon Green, along with writing partners Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley, cuts out all the crap from the old canon. Gone are Michael’s complicated family tree and motivations. He’s back to just being evil incarnate in a William Shatner mask. Even when you think the movie is going to get more complicated, Michael’s there to set things straight. Again, so damn refreshing.
The true strength of the new Halloween, though, is its handling of Laurie Strode. Curtis crushes it in her return to the role. This is a scary movie – and it is indeed scary – but it’s also a movie about trauma. It’s about a girl who was preyed upon and never taught how to process that experience. Even now, 40 years later, no one wants her to process it. Instead, her own family shuns her. So, intent on never being the victim again, she decides she’ll become a warrior.
Green does such a phenomenal job of putting Laurie in Michael’s shoes. The hunted becomes the hunter. We get a ton of visuals driving this point home that fans of the original movie will love. It’s empowering, especially in the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, to see a story about someone facing their trauma and taking control of their life. And that’s not to say the movie is at all political or preachy, because it isn’t. This message is just effortlessly woven into the narrative, and it works.
Halloween brings back the spirit of late 70s/early 80s horror in a way that fans will love. David Gordon Green proves that, even in 2018, we can still be scared by just a man in a mask with a knife.