Halloween movie cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle
Halloween movie director: David Gordon Green
Halloween movie ratings: 3.5 stars
Forty years after Laurie Strode (Curtis) escaped serial killer Michael Myers in John Carpenter’s Halloween, which went on to be considered a classic, the latter has escaped the second time from confinement, and is back slashing and goring people to death. Is Laurie (again played by Curtis), who has been nursing fears of Michael’s return ever since, right in having been so afraid, and can she escape him again? Who is haunting whom?
In the 11th edition of the Halloween series, Green, who has made a name for himself in the genre, returns to the 1978 original to posit his film as a direct sequel. It’s a clever idea, pitting Laurie and Michael thus, across years of unspeakable violence and horrors, and tied interminably together due to it. In those years, Laurie has got married and divorced twice, with her paranoia also driving her only daughter, Karen (Green), away. Granddaughter Allyson (Matichak) tries to stay in touch, but Laurie is too wounded to be good company.
Green gets across this idea of a broken yet compact family of three women in clean, efficient, short strokes. When he moves on to the incarcerated Michael, whom doctors have testified as nothing but pure evil, and who is about to leave his mental facility for the first time in four decades, for an upcoming transfer to a prison, there is real tension in the air. Michael hasn’t spoken a word since being arrested, and you really pity for the two English journalists who try to provoke him into some answers.
It’s the aftermath of Michael’s escape that gets cluttery. Still wordless, Michael kills cruelly, kills indiscriminately, and kills repeatedly — leaving a trail of bodies too quickly around the neighbourhood for the authorities to inexplicably stay away. You may find yourself switching off after a while at the death spree, particularly due to the sounds Green insists you hear as Michael’s victims gasp their last breaths.
However, there is Curtis around to salvage. The 1978 film had marked her debut. Now, showing every bit of her age, every bit of her pain, and every bit of fierce protectiveness towards her daughter and granddaughter, the actor, who we should really see more, takes on Michael eye to eye, jab to jab, knife to knife. And stands him down. Every time.
We should all be afraid of the Bogeyman, she tells the two psychoanalysing journalists, before seeing them off abruptly. And yet, every time she stands there wielding a gun, guarding her house and family, you know here is a woman through whom nothing can get past.