Forty years after a babysitting gig changed her life forever, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is a woman obsessed. Now, with the adult daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), who was taken away from her as a child, and the granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), who tries to keep the peace between them, doubting her, Laurie's paranoia is about to prove prophetic as Haddonfield, Illinois prepares for another "Halloween."
Laura's Review: B-
Don't let the hype raise your expectations too highly for this one. Sure there are some great moments in cowriter (with Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley)/director David Gordon Green's sequel to John Carpenter's original 1978 film, the third to be named "Halloween" but one that dismisses every sequel since then, but there are also ridiculous lapses in logic and the feeling that we've seen all this before. Where it succeeds is in positing a codependent trauma between Laurie and her 'Boogeyman,' brief glimpses of Michael Myers unmasked (the original's Nick Castle), a climax featuring three female warriors and a satisfying twist on one of the original's most iconic moments. Green's opening is a disorienting assembly of closeups at a heavily secured mental rehabilitation facility. As he draws back from the monitors and locked spaces, we meet Aaron Korey (Jefferson Hall) and Dana Haines (Rhian Rees), British investigative podcasters come to meet Michael and the man who replaced Loomis, Dr. Sartain ("Winter Sleep's" Haluk Bilginer), who tells them Michael has not spoken in forty years. They're led to a vast outdoor yard and warned not to cross the yellow line boxing the shackled killer. Aaron approaches, drawing out the killer's infamous mask, setting the other inmates and a guard dog into a frenzy. Myers remains mum, but we can feel a physical response from him like an electrical current through the air. They then travel to talk to Laurie Strode, arriving at a barbed wire gate with trespassing warnings, security cameras and a squawkbox. The gate only opens when Dana offers $3,000, but Laurie has little to say to them, acknowledging that she is aware that Myers is to be transported to another facility. She's in her car to witness the bus, also carrying Sartain, leave the facility. It will be no surprise to learn it never makes it, Myers, reunited with his mask, on the loose just in time for Haddonfield's favorite holiday. Gordon Green joins his three generations long enough for us to note the strained relationships before separating them again until his climax. While Laurie is out tracking the situation, weapons at the ready, Allyson goes to a costume dance where her boyfriend Cameron's (Dylan Arnold) bad behavior, which includes throwing her cellphone into the punch, will see her setting off alone in the dark. Her babysitting friend Vicky (Virginia Gardner) has set in for a hot and heavy makeout session with Dave (Miles Robbins, "Blockers") when her favorite kid, Julian (Jibrail Nantambu), comes down the stairs to tell them that noise she heard was the boogeyman. With Laurie at her door insistent that they take shelter with her, Karen and her husband Ray (Toby Huss, AMC's 'Halt and Catch Fire') panic, unable to reach their daughter. And yet, trick or treating is going on full blast in Haddonfield. If Michael Myers is so famous he's drawn podcasters from England, why is neither his transport nor his escape blasting over the airwaves? Laurie knows enough when she sees the bus accident reported and we see a resident receive a warning phone call that casts her immediate death ironic, yet everyone else is oblivious about the presence of their most infamous resident. A twist involving Sartain lands with a thud. But Gordon is careful to establish characters we care about, making some brutal deaths sting. There are many homages to John Carpenter's original movie including his iconic musical theme, although horror buffs will note references to other classics of the genre as well. Myers' Boogeyman is as threatening and relentless as ever, but while this wouldn't have worked as well without Curtis, her performance is all grim determination. Judy Greer is unsympathetic, a choice warranted perhaps, until she gets her moment. Newcomer Andi Matichak is more interesting than either of them and Gardner, Robbins and Nantambu develop a nice dynamic. Will Patton returns as Officer Hawkins, Strode's only real ally. The 2018 "Halloween" has its moments but does little to justify its existence other than to remind us what a stone cold classic the original film was. Grade:
Robin's Review: DNS