American films

Halloween film review: Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role in sequel to slasher horror classic

  • Jamie Lee Curtis returns to Halloween after 40 years to reprise her role
  • The plot ignores the seven previous sequels and two remakes
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2018, 7:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2018, 7:15pm

2.5/5 stars

In 1978, John Carpenter first unleashed the faceless killer Michael Myers on an unsuspecting population of precocious teenagers, giving rise to the slasher genre and changing the horror landscape forever.

Forty years on, original star Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode, who brings the fight to her attacker, after Michael once again escapes a mental asylum.

Jamie Lee Curtis on playing Laurie Strode in Halloween again

It’s worth noting that 2018’s Halloween, directed by indie auteur David Gordon Green for Blumhouse Films, and co-written by comedian Danny McBride, has thrown out the seven existing sequels and two remakes that followed Carpenter’s original. Most crucially, gone is the revelation that Laurie was Myers’ younger sister.

Here, she is back to being simply another traumatised teen, left irrevocably scarred and incapable of building a normal life. Much like Sarah Connor in Terminator 2, Laurie has retreated from society and now lives in fortified solitude. But when she learns of Myers’ escape, she is compelled to reconnect with her estranged daughter (Judy Greer) and teenage granddaughter (Andi Matichak) to prepare them for the violent ordeal ahead.

Despite eschewing four decades of world-building, Halloween is all-too aware of the franchise’s legacy and its perpetually twisting narrative. Green regularly uses visual motifs to riff on key moments from the original, while the script flirts with ideas previously explored in many of the sequels.

Peppered with supporting characters who prove little more than fodder for Myers’ rampage, the film is intermittently smart and witty, but rarely frightening. At its best, Halloween is a #MeToo era salute to empowering victims of abuse, but it would appear to lack the strength to empower a franchise revival – that is, until the film’s eye-catching success at the American box office changed the equation.

Halloween opens on October 25

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