halloween

“Halloween” sequel adds fresh new ideas to worn-out franchise

Oct 31 • Arts & Leisure, Top Stories • 402

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The latest installment in the “Halloween” franchise, “Halloween” starring Jamie Lee Curtis, has hit theaters just in time for its namesake holiday.
This direct sequel to the 1978 horror classic “Halloween” not only shares the original movie’s name, but the same main character.
Curtis is back after 40 years to reprise her role as Laurie Strode, and she has been waiting all this time for a rematch with the infamous kitchen knife-wielding killer Michael Myers.
The main focus of the film is the effect that the events of the original “Halloween” movie had on Curtis’ character.
This is an aspect of the horror genre that does not really get brought up that often.
Even horror movie series that have recurring characters just seem to gloss over the emotional damage that surviving events like these can put on people.
“Halloween” takes this the next step further, and shows how the lasting effects of Curtis’ trauma affected her daughter’s life.
Something that “Halloween” does that I really enjoyed is that it never unmasks Myers.
Throughout the movie, Myers’ mask is repeatedly taken off, and although the characters themselves can see his face, the audience is never shown it.
This, contrasted with the looks of pure terror on his victims’ faces, strips Myers of all his humanity and provides an eerie element to all of his actions.
That being said, I really did not find myself being all that scared of “Halloween.”
There seemed to be less focus on the frightening part of the movie, and more on the characters and plot, which normally would be a welcome subversion of my expectations. But when I went into the theater, I was looking to be scared out of my mind, and I left the theater a little bit disappointed.
The plot itself seemed to hit a couple of snags for me anyway, so there was not much to grab onto for a lot of the movie.
More on that point, I really was expecting “Halloween” to be more violent.
Do not get me wrong; there is plenty of blood and gore, but there just seemed to be a precedence of hyper violence that this movie series has set up that “Halloween” did not live up to for me.
Part of this could be a due to a lack of emotional connection that the movie provides for Myers’ victims, a troupe that was taken straight from the original.
In that same vein, something “Halloween” does really well is emulating the feeling and tone of the original. I have no idea what it is about this movie, but it just has this ineffable quality to it that makes it feel just like a classic slasher film from the late 1970s and 1980s.
The opening credits seemed to be pulled right out of the ‘80s. I think that for me, the classic theme that director John Carpenter wrote for the first film that has remained unchanged does a lot to make this feel more like a direct sequel instead of a reboot.
“Halloween” is not a “modern retelling.” It is a direct continuation of a story that was started 40 years ago.
“Halloween” is not a bad movie. There were a few cheap jump scares, but for the most part, a lot of the parts of the movie that were genuinely frightening achieved that effect by their own merit.
Overall, I was entertained, and I really cannot ask more from a Halloween slasher flick than that. It is miles ahead of any of the other sequels that have come out.
If you have nothing going on this “Halloween” I would suggest giving it a shot. Just make sure to brush up on the events of the first movie, because the plot of this sequel is heavily dependent on the plot of the original.

 

BENJAMIN HAYLETT
haylett001@knights.gannon.edu

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