It’s been 40 years since Michael Myers has haunted Haddonfield, IL; it’s also been 40 years since Laurie Strode has been able to live a normal day. Halloween is the well-crafted sequel to John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic, one that also took 40 years to be made Just like Michael Myers cuts through his victims, Halloween has been cutting through the competition to hold the #1 spot in the box office two weekends in a row. For all opening weekends in October, it ranks second and third out of all the movies that opened this fall.
Jamie Lee Curtis revives her role as the scarred Laurie Strode—she’s a grandmother now with a daughter who wants nothing to do with her and a rebellious granddaughter. Her granddaughter, Allyson, has secret meetings with Grandma Laurie because her mother has warned her of the extreme environment she was raised in as a child. We learn that Laurie had gone through two divorces, lost custody of her child, and now lives in the ultimate doomsday-prepper home, all in fear of the return of her masked killer. Curtis plays the traumatized victim of a serial killer perfectly. Her sense of alertness is always on; she practically knocks the teeth out of the one of Haddonfield’s finest because of her constant vigilance. Every scene with Laurie provoked my anxiety because with her stress levels through the roof, you can’t help but feel the same way. Just like Laurie, you are anticipating Michael behind every corner, waiting to strike.
Michael Myers hasn’t changed one bit. He still doesn’t speak a word, his face is a mystery, and he could play power forward in the NBA right next to Lebron James. Michael has attracted the attention of a couple British podcasters that want to interview the serial killer from Haddonfield that killed his older sister, Judith Myers. (Whoever funded their trip should have known that this assignment was a death wish.) Michael is generous enough to give them second interview at the closest mechanic shop, while also giving them a serious beatdown that will send chills down your spine. He places his iconic mask on his face and is ready to kill the one that got away.
It doesn’t take long before Michael begins wreaking havoc in the quiet Illinois town. But it’s also not long before Laurie is on his trail. She casually clears the streets of trick-or-treaters with a .357 Magnum, while searching windows until she is face-to-face with her foe. She manages to knock a chunk out of his shoulder, but, as usual, Michael is unphased. Even though he seems to be immune to bullets, it doesn’t stop Laurie from sending a few shotgun shells, knives, head-butting, and every trick up her sleeve to conquer her fear.
This was an excellent movie for Halloween time, but the writers also did a fantastic job of illustrating what it’s like to be a trauma victim. In an interview with USA Today, writer Danny McBride (known for Pineapple Express and Eastbound and Down) said that he wanted to make this film as realistic as possible: “With mass shooting after mass shooting, tragedy after tragedy, the world has produced more Laurie Strodes that have survived this horrible events.” You can feel Laurie’s anxiety from the first time you see her on screen. The film perfectly demonstrates how her trauma has affected her family at a celebration dinner, which allows us to see the widespread impact of trauma.
Director David Gordon Green has created the sequel that will satisfy Michael Myers fans around the world.