It is hard to believe it has been 40 years since the original Halloween movie. Of course, for a lot of kids going to see this movie, they weren’t even alive when the first movie came out. A few of them weren’t even alive the last time Laurie Strode faced Michael Myers in Halloween H20.
The good news is that the new Halloween movie is superior to H20 in every way and is possibly the best movie in the entire franchise outside that original horror masterpiece.
Just as it has been 40 years since we saw the original Halloween movie, this movie starts 40 years after the horrible events of that night in Haddonfield, Illinois.
In that original movie, Michael Myers was a six-year-old who stabbed his sister to death in 1963. 15 years later, Myers escaped from a sanitarium and began a killing spree on Halloween night.
One of the kids that Myers was hunting was a high school girl named Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). At the end of that movie, Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael’s psychiatrist, shot him six times only for the body to disappear.
Ignore that ending.
What really happened was that Dr. Loomis shot Myers and he lived, but was taken into custody and placed back into a sanitarium. For the last 40 years, the state has studied Michael Myers but failed to learn anything because he remained mute the entire time.
Now, 40 years later, on Halloween of all days, the state has given up and chose to transfer Michael Myers to a regular psychiatric asylum — what could go wrong?
The movie actually kicks off with a pair of podcasters going to see Michael Myers in the psychiatric hospital before he is transferred. They want to learn why he did it from his own mouth, but he won’t tell them anything. This scene is incredibly creepy both for the strange checkerboard grounds outdoors the asylum and for the other patients going nuts when they pull out Michael’s old mask.
The two then head to see Laurie Strode. She has been divorced twice and had her daughter taken away from her by protective services because she spent her daughter’s entire childhood teaching her to shoot guns, fight, and protect herself for when Michael returned.
The podcasters get nothing from Laurie either.
Laurie’s daughter Karen (Judy Greer) now has a husband (Toby Huss) and a daughter of her own named Allyson (Andi Matichak). Karen wants nothing to do with her mother, as she feels she needs psychiatric help, but Allyson has a bond and connection to her grandmother and checks in on her without telling her mom.
Laurie has also built herself a house with a hidden room, lots of guns and trap doors — she is ready for Michael Myers to return whether anyone else is or not.
Also featuring into the new Halloween movie is Sheriff Hawkins (Will Patton). He said in a line of dialogue that he is the man who stopped Dr. Loomis from killing Michael Myers years before, explaining the differences between the original movie and what this new film wants people to believe.
As expected, the prison bus crashes, Michael Myers escapes and kills a lot of people, although he leaves his psychiatrist Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) alive. This gives the psychiatrist a chance to later explain to Sheriff Hawkins and Laurie Strode what happened (Laurie: “So you’re the new Loomis?”)
With that setup, Michael Myers is killing on Halloween again while Laurie races to save her daughter and granddaughter and do what she has dreamed about her entire life — try and kill Michael Myers once and for all.
There is a lot to like about the Michael Myers hunting scenes.
For one thing, the new Halloween movie doesn’t care too much about jump scares. Honestly, jump scares are great for big crowds but they are the worst part of slasher movies. Besides, what is scarier is seeing a looming shape standing there and knowing that there is no way the victims can escape it.
That is what Halloween does expertly. Michael Myers is there and you see him walking up to kill someone. You don’t always see the kill but you always see the end results. The movie works best when watching Michael Myers hunt.
There are also some nice twists and there are some deaths that really come as a surprise, which is nice for a slasher movie.
Of course, there are also things that happen that makes absolutely no sense and they are bothersome (there is a moment in Laurie’s house in an upstairs closet that makes no sense at all as one example). At times, Michael Myers also seems like he is pranking people who find the dead bodies, which still makes no sense considering the fact that he is an emotionless sociopath.
There are also some scenes that really never moved the needle of the story, which mainly included anything with Allyson and her boyfriend, who disappears midway through the movie and is never seen again.
One thing that this new Halloween movie did was create a lot of new victims who were actually likable, which is different for movies like this. You really felt bad for many of the people that died in this movie. With that said, the one person that audiences might have loved to see meet the end of Michael’s knife was that boyfriend and we didn’t get that moment.
With that said, what works best about the new Halloween movie is the relationship between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. It is honestly like Laurie is the girl that got away for Michael and the one thing that kept him alive all this time. Meanwhile, Laurie has PTSD and knows she can never be whole again as long as Michael is alive.
They need each other dead for the other to finally move on.
There is also a great story here about the three generations of the Strode females and how they are all ready to stand together to face the evil of Michael Myers. These three women know that they are stronger together than even Michael is on his own.
The movie did have what seems like an abrupt ending, but it followed a fantastic sequence that showed the three women at their strongest and it was a great conclusion for the story. There was even a brilliant call back to the first movie — but with the roles reversed.
This movie was clearly made by someone who loved the original Halloween.
The movie was also smart and paid John Carpenter to return to the franchise he created to re-create the score for the movie and he was even joined by his son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies. The franchise remains known for the score and it was on target here.
At the end of the day, Halloween is a movie about a faceless man traumatizing a young girl and leaving her devastated and broken as a result. In that first movie, Laurie Strode was a victim. In the 2018 version of Halloween, she is no longer the victim and finally stood up and put an end to the man who violated her once and for all.