'Halloween' is a great throwback to the original movie 40 years later and Jamie Lee Curtis is a badass

Ryan Green/Universal PicturesJamie Lee Curtis gives a powerhouse performance as Laurie Strode in ‘Halloween.’

Warning: There are mild spoilers below for “Halloween.”

Blumhouse has done it again.

Jamie Lee Curtis owns “Halloween” as a rightfully paranoid, but prepared badass grandma awaiting the inevitable return of serial killer Michael Myers.

In this sequel to the 1978 original, Myers is being transferred to a new facility on the 40th anniversary of his first murders. As you can imagine, that’s not going to go well.

Sometimes corny but always self aware, Universal and Blumhouse, which has made a name with horror hits “Get Out” and “Split,” brings a relevant update to the classic.

Why to see it: The original gang is back and it’s a Blumhouse production.

Halloween michael myersUniversal PicturesA lot of ‘Halloween’ feels like a giant callback to old thrillers.

Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode and the director or the original movie, John Carpenter, returns as an executive producer and creative consultant on the movie, so you know it’s in good hands. Add horror king of the past few years, Jason Blum, into the mix and you’re likely going to get a crowd-pleasing hit.

Do I need to binge-watch every “Halloween” movie? Nope!

“Halloween” tosses out every sequel that came out after the original 1978 movie. This movie acts as a direct sequel to that film 40 years later and ignores the many other films in the franchise.

If you’re going to rewatch any movie, tune into the first one so you have a more well-rounded understanding of the 2018 movie. But you can also head into this film never seeing the first film without confusion.

What doesn’t work: The introduction and a few silly, ineffective jump scares.

Halloween movieRyan Green/Universal PicturesTwo journalists introduced early in ‘Halloween’ are pretty disposable.

Some of the dialogue sent audience members at my screening into a fit of laughter. I’m sure this will occur opening weekend, too. There are also a few too obvious jump scares that are there to try and rouse audiences. One works quite effectively during a scene with a babysitter. The others don’t. Neither will stop people from enjoying the sequel.

The largest annoyance of “Halloween” are two journalists – crime podcasters – at the film’s start. For a while, it seems as if much of the movie is going to be told through their lens. Without giving much away, that thankfully isn’t the case.

What makes this worth a watch: Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance, the simplicity of gruesome murders without resorting to gore, and a scene-stealing child.

Halloween movie jamie lee curtisRyan Green/Universal PicturesJamie Lee Curtis is the grandma you don’t want to mess with in ‘Halloween.’

Yes, there are plenty of callbacks and actors from the OG to satisfy fans. But the real star of the movie is Curtis. She lights up every scene she’s in whether she appears to be speaking nonsense about her concern over Myers to her daughter (Judy Greer) and granddaughter (an enjoyable Andi Matichak) or prepping to go to war with her nemesis.

There’s a scene near the film’s end where I wasn’t sure if I was terrified or in awe of Laurie Strode. Perhaps it’s a bit of both.

You’ve got to hand it to Blumhouse. Not only does the producer pull off one of its trademark unexpected twists late in the movie, but the film also utilises a great horror trope with its heroine that received cheers at my screening.

One of the movie’s biggest accomplishments is cleverly showing gruesome murders without the brutality behind how they’re done. That’s a signature of what made the original a success. “Halloween” creator Irwin Yablans didn’t want any blood or gore in the 1978 movie in order to deliver a character-driven drama. Though there’s some blood seen in the 2018 movie, but much of what you see is Myers walking off stage to kill a victim before showing the end result. It makes Myers all the more scarier.

The most unexpected highlight is a young boy during a babysitting scene who is very mature for his age. He’ll make you laugh heartily several times at his distinct knowledge of horror tropes.

Overall: See this Halloween showdown 40 years in the making.

Jamie lee curtis michael myers halloweenRyan Green/Universal PicturesThis is what you came for and the film delivers.

Halloween isn’t a very long movie at 106 minutes. The movie easily could have been a lot longer, but it moves the story along quick so you’re never bored. The filmmakers know what you’ve come to see and they deliver. For a good 20-30 minutes, it’s a deliciously dark cat-and-mouse game of Myers vs. Strode in a booby-trapped fortress of her design.

You’ll be humming John Carpenter’s familiar soundtrack walking out of the theatre.

Grade: A-

“Halloween” is in theatres Friday.

Watch a trailer below.

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