It’s safe to say that after ‘Halloween II’, the franchise went way off course. Focusing on blood/gore and out of this world stories, instead of its roots. You see, part of what makes Michael Myers unique is that he’s a human being, though his story is completely unknown. How did he get this way? That unknown element is what makes him scarier than his predecessors.
All the sequels did was try to explain how Michael is evil, in many cash grab type movies. Stripping the simplicity of John Carpenters Halloween and completely derailing its meanings. Thankfully, we have this movie. Directed by David Gordon Green comes a complete timeline swap and continuation of that night in 1978. Here’s how it goes.
Every Halloween movie after the original, never happened in this timeline. Meaning after the ending scene in 78, Michael was found and apprehended. Being imprisoned for 40 years, leaving behind his bloody trail and trauma served to the town of Haddonfield. Jamie Lee Curtis is back as the hero Laurie Strode, the survivor of Myers’ attack. She and her family, like the rest of Haddonfield, represent and hold that trauma.
That’s the main theme here, trauma. Unlike some movies in the genre, this one leaves messages and meanings. How do we deal with trauma, is it healed or passed down in any way? How does it shape the rest of our lives? Green tells this story nicely in the film. Having Laurie and her daughter Karen and her granddaughter Allyson represent how generations of trauma can be passed on. Each of them has their own perception of Michael Myers. Now, after 40 years, Michael escapes the institution, all the years Laurie had been waiting for has become a reality. This time, she’s ready to face evil.
Besides catching us up on what Laurie’s been doing. There’s another key element that’s lacked in previous entries. The creator, John Carpenter. His eerie direction and suspense, along with his score, is what makes Halloween the standout Horror franchise.
The master of horror returns to make the modern version soundtrack, while Green has multiple shots that pay ohmage to the fans and to Carpenter. It’s a win-win.
Not to mention the opening and ending sequences are the same. Offering respect and fan services all around. Again, which other films tried to either ignore of make mockery of.
It’s True Meanings
Noted before, it’s about how violence induces trauma and how it passes onto to others. It’s that violence has no end, nobody’s immune to it. Michael Myers represents exactly that. “The Shape” is put on full display rather its adults, teens or even children. The film sheds light on how Michael has evolved over the past 40 years. He no longer has only teenagers to hunt, it’s no holds barred the second he returns to Haddonfield.
His patience even seems gone. In the first film, he carefully plots ways to kill. However now, he just doesn’t care, there’s even a scene where he’s essentially going door-door. Not caring about being seen and killing everyone possible.
Unfortunately, that’s very relevant to our time. The film ultimately has a good balance between nostalgia and new. We all need to evolve and that’s exactly what Laurie has done. Even passing her skills onto her daughter, which makes for a terrifying showdown between Michael and the Strodes.
Is it worth it? Absolutely. Halloween pays its respect to the original and enhances the franchise in ways it desperately needed. Focusing on character moments, important themes and a solid plot.