Plot: Forty years have passed since Michael Myers went on a Halloween night killing spree and in those decades, he has refused to talk to anyone and he is about to be transferred to a new facility, where he will be placed in the deepest, darkest corner for the rest of his life. A true crime podcast hoped to tempt some insights out of Myers by visiting and providing his old mask, but while the rest of the prisoners go ballistic, Michael just remains stoic and silent. In an effort to salvage the episode, the podcast team stops in on Michael’s original target Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who has not fared well since the attacks. She has isolated herself, trained in various weapons, and turned her home into a survivalist’s wet dream, all in anticipation of Michael’s potential return. She brushes off the podcast interview and heads to the psychiatric compound, to watch Michael’s bus drive into the darkness. But when the bus crashes and the patients escape, is Michael going to return home to finish what he started and if so, has Laurie’s preparation readied her to battle true evil?
Entertainment Value: David Gordon Green’s Halloween is a soft reboot of sorts, as it ignores all of the original film’s sequels and tries to serve as a lone followup, with mixed results. John Carpenter’s Halloween is a masterwork of suspense and atmosphere, so you’d think if Green jettisoned the sequels, it would be to follow that original formula and deliver on the same elements. Instead, Green’s movie feels more in line H20 mixed with a melodramatic Lifetime thriller, focusing on Laurie’s survivalist threads over the enigma of Michael Myers. The Myers that would lurk in the background and then vanish is gone, in favor of a Michael that just shows up, kills, and leave, with no real tension or suspense involved. Laurie’s narrative is inconsistent and forgettable, while Myers is given little to do and that’s a shame, since Michael is the driving force of the franchise and feels so underused here. The movie also struggles with tone, as it seems to want to be serious at times, but then leans on lame, ineffective humor, as if Marvel’s writers snuck in for a few scenes. At the same time, Halloween is watchable and if nothing else, it is nice to see Michael back in action, I just wish there were some scares and Myers was the focus, rather than the Lifetime melodrama. If you’re a Halloween fan, you should check this one out, just keep your expectations in check, as this blend of melodrama and comedy doesn’t share the original’s approach.
The sleaze is limited to one scenes, the hair brushing sequence that Halloween fans should be well versed with, as young Michael Myers approaches his topless sister with a knife in hand. The movie has more bloodshed than the original, but the kills aren’t inventive or all that graphic. A head is crushed in the most splashy scene, but it is a very brief shot and not shown from the best angle, though it is still a decent effect that offers a little crimson. The rest of the violence is either off screen or we just see the aftermath, such as the jack o’lantern head or the fence impalement. I like the idea of these kills, but we don’t see the good stuff, so it seems like a waste. Myers also wields various weapons such as a hammer and his usual knife, but the violence is minimal and he also slams some heads around. I don’t mind the lack of gore, but since Michael has nothing else to do in this sequel, I would have liked some creative kills at least. The dialogue is a blend of melodrama that wants to be taken seriously and ineffective bursts of humor, so not much gold in this area. I expected more from the script, given Green and Danny McBride’s previous work, but there’s not much to talk about and the movie is content to be forgettable in this department. As for craziness, the movie never pushes boundaries or goes in unexpected directions, though I will award one point for the Lifetime style melodrama that permeates the flick.
Overall Insanity: 1/10