- 30 Oct 18
Smart and scary slasher sequel for a new era.
It’s trick-or-treat time. The trick of David Gordon Green’s 40-years-later sequel to Halloween is to pretend the franchise’s nine previous installments never existed. The treat is well, everything else.
Set in the present day, the once-naïve ingenue Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) is now a PTSD-suffering survivalist grandmother, whose obsession with her tormenter – serial killer Michael Myers – has destroyed her relationships with family members and ex-husbands alike. She is now alone and paranoid – but also prepared for the threat she knows will return.
Curtis’ performance is ferocious and fascinating, as co-writers Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride explore the psychological impact of being ‘The Final Girl’; that seminal figure in horror flicks who survives evil and violence when others do not. Meanwhile, obsessive psychiatrist Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) and two British podcasters (Rhian Rees and Jefferson Hall) are more interested in Michael’s desire to kill (and in helpfully informing new audiences about his bloody legacy). But when Michael escapes his high-security asylum and returns to his old neighbourhood in Haddonfield, Illinois, his motivations boil down to upping his body-count and finding Laurie.
Green is an adoring fan of John Carpenter, who served as an advisor on the film. He uses an eerie update of the original score – as well as Carpenter’s trademark POV tracking shots – to keep old fans smiling and new fans jumping.
But the nostalgia is smartly offset by the progressive #MeToo era politics, which address how trauma affects generations of women, and how they’re fighting back against predators – which may sound didactic, but provides one of the year’s greatest horror set-pieces.
Overall, a tremendously fun frightfest.