- On the 40th anniversary of “Halloween,” Michael Myers comes home – and nothing really changes.
- The latest movie in the franchise wants us to forget everything that’s happened since the 1978 original.
- But it’s pretty much a movie that goes through the same beats as any of the movies that were made since.
Perhaps it’s best to just let the legends stay dead.
The Universal/Blumhouse try at making a “Halloween” movie turned out to be just the latest lame attempt to cash in on the franchise.
Though director David Gordon Green goes in with all the right intentions – including the blessing of the creator of the franchise, John Carpenter (who was an executive producer on the movie) – it all turned out to be just a fancy facade for a horror movie that may have some good gore but little else.
This version of “Halloween” (which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday night and will play in theatres October 19) wants us to forget about everything that happened after the 1978 original.
Following the terrorizing acts by Michael Myers that left the town of Haddonfield, Illinois in shock and babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) mentally scarred for life, Myers returns to Haddonfield 40 years later after the bus that’s transporting him to another facility crashes on the side of the road.
That’s when the killing begins, and Myers eventually gets his beloved mask back when he tracks down and kills two podcast producers who were doing a story on him.
Back in Haddonfield, Strode has been waiting for this day to come. We see that for years, she’s built an arsenal of weapons, fortified her house, and even trained her now grown daughter (played by Judy Greet) about what to do if Myers comes back to town.
This leads to Halloween night, and we follow Myers’ bloodbath as he kills with reckless abandon.
But the problem is, almost everything here we’ve seen before in a “Halloween” movie: the person getting out of the car and walking around in the dark after seeing something suspicious (eventually getting slaughtered), dimwitted cops, horny teens, and Myers’ catlike moves to sneak up on someone and kill them.
If that’s what Green and co-screenwriters Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley were going after, then they succeeded. But, unfortunately for us, there isn’t that much joy in watching.
It’s good to be nostalgic and give the audience some of the things that the original movie had, but to pretty much carbon-copy the original’s beats is just plain lazy.
The opening of the movie had an interesting hook, with the two podcasters tracking down Myers and Strode and setting up the backstory. But it turns out they were only there to die 20 minutes into the movie.
Then the story is basically exactly like every other “Halloween” movie – people being killed by Myers or running from him.
There are some fun moments. A foul-mouthed kid who escapes Myers when he attacks his babysitter is one of the movie’s biggest laughs. Another is when one of the teens mistakes Myers for a neighbour and begins to open up to him about his girl troubles.
And the new original music Carpenter created for the movie (to go along with his legendary original score) is spot-on.
But there are too many things in this movie that feel drab and unoriginal (and coming from a horror produced by Jason Blum, that’s disappointing). The movie does have a strong ending, but it hardly salvages it.
For a project that has been riding high with anticipation from “Halloween” fans, this is no way to reward them.
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