“Halloween morning, Laurie is sent into weepy hysterics on news of the escape…”
Michael finally escapes in transit to another facility, and he immediately begins his journey back to Haddonfield just in time for a night of slashing on Halloween night. Halloween morning, Laurie is sent into weepy hysterics on news of the escape, unsuccessfully trying to convince her loved ones of the impending bloodbath. We are finally set to get to the titular night. That’s only after mounds of laborious development that mostly turn out to be inconsequential later on.
The stage is set, the kills begin, and yet, something is missing. There is little that is actually suspenseful, much less scary. Green is a capable director who not only knows the original film, he effortlessly references it with undeniably clever homages throughout. The problem here is the script that is bloated with the fat of unnecessary expositions and weighed down by the all too real and painful truth of trauma survivors to allow us the thrill of fear.
Thank GOD for John Carpenter’s contribution as composer. Updating the score that he originally wrote and performed, Carpenter infuses a new, even more ominous sense of inevitable doom to a brand new score.
Getting to the performances, let’s just establish right now that Jamie Lee Curtis is an elemental force of horror. The original scream queen, Curtis revisits Laurie Strode with a weathered approach recapturing why we fell in love with her all those years ago. Yet, this brilliant actress is not given enough material to really show us the arc that Laurie has made from nebbish bookworm to hardcore militia fighter. She spends the majority of the film pained and weepy. We never get to heal and reconnect with that spunky babysitter from years ago. To give a comparison; I was often reminded of Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. After being convinced of danger, Hamilton’s Sarah Connor became a brutal fighter that didn’t tolerate the disbelief around her. We as the audience were with her, validated in the knowledge that danger was imminent and we were given some glorious moments of redemption for the pain we had endured. Not so with Halloween’s Strode. After all these years, Strode has not allowed herself to become the survivor we know she is, that we knew she was all along. That is, until a few stellar moments in the final reel of the film, but at that point, we just want the suffering to stop.