Before I start this review I should state: I’ve never seen a Halloween film. Well that’s a lie, I might have seen the first one, but when I was like 10 so I wasn’t really paying attention to it. As such my knowledge of the film series is stuff I absorb through pop-culture osmosis. So I know a little bit (He’s called Michael Myers, the third one is unconnected to the rest of the series and was originally meant to be the second one, THAT music etc), but not enough that I feel emotionally connected to. Despite that; I still REALLY enjoyed this. It seems to ignore all but the first one, and is all the better for it. You don’t need to have watched a lot of films to get this, as long as you know the basics of the character you should be fine, actually considering how well scripted this is I don’t even think you’ll need that. It does a great job of bringing you up to speed, explaining what’s haunting certain characters.
The script for this is actually really good, the kills are simple. He doesn’t go around doing elaborate traps, he just kills them the simplest possible way. There’s one scene in particular which is a masterclass of horror film-making, it’s just him walking through houses, massacring the inhabitants. There’s one moment during this where I knew the film had me; where he’s in the house with a baby still in its seat, and I panicked for it, I panicked for the fictional character. There’s usually child immunity in horror films, it’s like an unwritten rule; children in horror movies are safe. This is not the case in this; Michael Myers kills a child. Not the baby, but one of the first deaths in the movie is a child so he can take his dads car. If I remember correctly it’s the first death we actually see as well. It’s a great way of saying that all the usual horror tropes are off, so anything goes.
The downsides of this film; there’s one death which is kind of embarrassing to watch. It’s where Michael Myers stamps on someone’s head, it looks incredibly fake and is almost comical. It breaks the tension completely and takes you out of the moment. There are also issues with the characters. The ones who survive are fine, it’s the ones who die that you don’t really care for. There are some characters with promise who then die before they get to fulfil that promise. And there is a twist which is completely unnecessary and stops mattering after a few minutes, it seems like it is only there because it was the only way they could think of to move the plot from one moment to the next. Luckily the moment that builds up to is superb. The final setpiece of this film is amazing to see. Incredibly tense, great character work, and it subverts a lot of what you know from the original film, recreating scenes from it but with the roles reversed. This is all accompanied by a FANTASTIC soundtrack, with an obvious debt to the original music, but updated to a modern sensibility.
So yeah, I loved this movie. It was tense, gripping, superbly made, and just all-round fantastic. And Jamie Lee Curtis gives the performance of a lifetime, reclaiming her crown as the queen of horror.