Forty years ago, an icon of the horror genre was born in an independent film from a fledgling director and Hollywood royalty at the time. On a budget of around three hundred thousand dollars, John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis’ work “Halloween” hit theaters in October of 1978, and its success spawned several sequels, a remake, comic books, video games, and more. A bleached out William Shatner mask would become the signature look for serial killer Michael Myers along with his coveralls, work boots, and butcher knife, solidifying his popularity with the greats of the season like Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster. As time went on, the brand would lose steam including a decent reboot from Rob Zombie in 2007 followed by a less than stellar sequel two years later. Now, director David Gordon Green recalibrates the film series by ignoring everything that came after the original with his “Halloween”.
Laurie Strode (Curtis) has been living in isolation all these years, estranged from her family as she waits for the inevitable escape from a mental facility and revenge from Myers from four decades earlier. When a bus transporting him crashes, his murderous rampage resumes as he makes his way back to Haddonfield to not only finish what he started before but to take out Laurie’s loved ones as well. What he runs into is not the fragile girl he dealt with back then, and the fight is on.
With extremely high hopes for this film, I am glad that it totally delivers. Carpenter’s unique aesthetic style returns to its original form here, and the choice to retcon every other film in the series (outside of a few homages here and there) was a bold move that could have alienated the fans of the series as a whole. Luckily, this pays off in a way that makes this film seem both classic and fresh at the same time with spot-on pacing, creative kills and scares, and a little something for every level of fan. With the rumors of a second film that was going to be done at the same time but stalled to make sure it was warranted, if it stays the course, I say get started now.