Director: David Gordon Green
Cast: Jamie Lee Motherfuckin’ Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, and Will Patton (my new best friend)
Have I Seen it Before: How could I?
Did I Like It: I loved it, but stop asking me questions about my objectivity.
On spec, the new (and eleventh) film in the Halloween franchise has the potential to be the greatest fan film ever made. Bring Jamie Lee Curtis back. Check. Bring back Nick Castle to play The Shape*. Check. John Carpenter is willing to do the score. Big check.
Thankfully, the film is even more than just the sum of it’s parts. The Carpenter score is transcendent, not content to merely rehash the themes he wrote 40 years ago, Carpenter and the members of his band add much to the proceedings, and in the process make a soundtrack just as memorable as the original.
With nine movies of obnoxious baggage—sorry, that should read “mythology”—serving only to weigh things down, this new story pointedly ignores (and more often, repudiates) every previous sequel. The Cult of Thorn is gone. Laurie and Michael are not related. Dangertainment is nowhere to be found. Tyler Mane is nowhere to be found. It allows the movie, surprisingly, to not be a Carpenter clone (which, in their own feeble way, every other movie in the franchise has tried to be), but actually becomes a movie that someone not plagued by a completionist’s compulsion might want to watch. There is plenty of fan service to be sure, but I was pleasantly surprised that there was an enjoyable movie in there.
The film also manages to shake itself free from the Weinstein’s grip in both spirit and practice. This film is a direct result of Dimension Films losing the rights to the franchise (and that had all worked out awesome), but where those mid-90s to late-00s films went willingly into the trap of a film that hates women, this new movie is boldly, and with a goodly degree of wit, opting for the other direction.
It’s recently come to my attention that some are upset that the movie ignores the continuity of the other films. Ugh. Let me explain something to those of you out there who might be upset by this. These films have been notorious for throwing away continuity. So by being upset that the other movies aren’t being deferred to, you’re actually ignoring what those other films have been about. Deal with it. This movie is great. Not, Carpenter’s original great (few films are) but definitely one of the better times I have had in the theater with a horror film in recent memory. I think there is a possible context where a reasonable person may not like the film, but dismissing it because it is trying to blaze a new trail (and still celebrate the past) is not that context.
* And, according to some sources, Tony Moran for scenes with Michael Myers unmasked, but at press time the internet has not provided a final answer as to whether he is actually in the film.