Halloween is back, this time with David Gordon Green at the helm. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode along with Michael Myers. Be prepared.
Forty years after he terrorized a sleepy Illinois neighborhood, Michael Myers is back.
David Gordon Green (Stronger, Our Brand is Crisis, Pineapple Express) takes the original characters of the Haddonfield Murders, namely Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Myers (Nick Castle), and puts just enough of a twist on the story to make it uniquely modern, while maintaining the spirit of the original film.
The film opens with an unmasked Myers in the prison yard. His transfer to a maximum security facility is on the horizon when two podcasters, Aaron Korey (Jefferson Hall) and Dana Haines (Rhian Rees) try to interview Myers.
This Halloween‘s opening sequence is impressive for a number of reasons, but the thing that caught my eye was the composition of the sequence, right down to the flooring of the prison yard: a checkerboard with Myers firmly in the center. Michael Simmonds’s cinematography is absolutely electric here. More importantly, even though we’re told by his doctor, Ranbir Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) that Myers can talk, he chooses not to.
Unable to get answers to their questions from Myers, the duo go to interview Laurie Strode, who has sequestered herself in a country home, detached from most of civilization. It is during this encounter where we get a true sense of Strode’s state of mind, refusing to answer their questions, but willing to take cash for the time.
The opening few minutes is really the focal point to our main characters’ story. Screenwriters Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride and Green use the opening to define the horrific motions of the next 95 minutes. If you’re a fan of the original film, you’ll appreciate the attention to detail that the script places on the people, the places and the things that inhabit this film.
Am I overly excited for this Halloween? Perhaps.
Despite the modern twists and slasher-esque turns, the story is extremely simplistic and empowering, something that works in the film’s favor. That’s because of the characters. Laurie has had a daughter, Karen, in the intervening years. The push to protect and defend herself drove a wedge between mother and daughter. Karen (Judy Greer) almost blends into the background in this film, but she’s got just enough guts. Those guts translate in to Karen’s relationship with her daughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), who she has been protecting from Laurie.
Like mother, like daughter, Allyson knows better.
So does Frank Hawkins (Will Patton), the Haddonfield sheriff investigating the mysterious murders that befall his sleepy town. The particulars of this hunt should be obvious. Tim Alverson’s editing during the hunting sequences elicited some nice jumps, which is really what this film is all about: scaring us just like John Carpenter did forty years ago.
Mr. Carpenter was on hand for this production as well, contributing to the score and the production. His presence was a welcome one.
There has been criticism regarding the level of humor in the story, something I didn’t mind. When we’re scared in real life, or a practical joke is played on us, our natural reaction is to laugh. Some of the laughs are corny, a la Scream. Some, are genuinely earned because the scare that precedes it, is so good that we exhale. Laughter is meant to keep us off guard too.
And in that regard, David Gordon Green’s Halloween did its job very well.
Now in theaters, Halloween is rated R.