As we close in on October 31, AiPT! will be reviewing and recommending various pieces of underappreciated scary media-books, comics, movies, and television-to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
The original Halloween is my favorite horror film of all time. In my opinion, there is no character as terrifying as Michael Myers in all of cinema. Unlike many other horror villains, there’s something still somewhat grounded in reality about Michael and that makes him scarier. I was beyond excited when I heard David Gordon Green and Danny McBride were writing a true sequel to the original with Jamie Lee Curtis returning as Laurie Strode, Nick Castle returning as Myers, and John Carpenter serving as a creative consultant. The result is a satisfying sequel that will no doubt entertain fans of the genre and the series, even if there are a few minor gripes I have with it.
The film begins with two true crime podcasters, Aaron and Dana, traveling to visit Michael Myers at the institution he is being held at, Smith’s Grove Sanitarium. Dr. Ranbir Sartain, his new psychiatrist after Loomis’s death, claims that Michael is able to speak but chooses not to. He brings them to see Michael, but he doesn’t speak even after Laurie’s name is mentioned and he is shown his old mask by Aaron. We don’t see his face (thankfully). I honestly didn’t even like somewhat seeing Michael unmasked as it took away some of the mystery for me, but it was alright.
Aaron and Dana then travel to Haddonfield, Illinois, where this all began so many years ago. They visit Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who has been preparing for Michael’s inevitable return for 40 years. She has clearly been dealing with PTSD, and we find out that she’s gone through two failed marriages and lost custody of her daughter Karen when she was twelve. Aaron and Dana ask Laurie to visit Michael to see if maybe that will prompt him to finally speak, but she declines and asks them to leave.
The transport bus carrying Michael to the facility where he will spend the rest of his days crashes in a ditch and Michael escapes. This allows him to make his way back to Haddonfield, find his old mask, and attempt to finish what he started 40 years earlier. There’s a contrast between the new and the old, as new teenagers are brought into the mix via Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson to keep things fresh.
Without spoiling anything, there are plenty of kills and plenty of terrifying Michael moments. David Gordon Green does a solid job of keeping a similar feel to the original. I do think at certain points he shows Michael too much as the aura of mystery surrounding him is some of what makes him scariest. There are also a couple moments with an unrealistic amount of gore, but there are also plenty of moments where it’s all just perfect. One scene that comes to mind is when one of Allyson’s male friends is sitting alone in a yard and thinks Michael is the man that lives there. An automatic light in the yard keeps going on and off, with Michael appearing closer to the boy each time it comes back on. It’s incredibly creepy and well done.
There are some great callbacks to the original that had the crowd clapping. The film really does have almost everything a fan of the original could want. I do think the way certain scenes were shot and set up could have been a bit differently to increase the suspense/eeriness but these are pretty minor gripes. Michael Myers is back and it’s glorious to witness a new Halloween film 40 years after the original made horror history. There were moments where everyone clapped, cheered, laughed, and screamed. It’s a fun trip to the movies, and Michael Myers will forever be the one and only true boogeyman. It’s the night he came home…again!!! Go see it!