Randy's Review — 'Halloween'

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Everything you think you knew about Michael Myers, and the "Halloween" franchise beyond the 1978 original, forget about it.

Creators of the 2018 "Halloween" — including originator John Carpenter who serves as executive producer and creative consultant — suggest all of the other films attributed to the Myers legend should be regarded as nothing more than a bad nightmare — especially the completely unrelated "Halloween III — Season of the Witch" which you don't have to pretend because it actually was a nightmare.

No this is regarded as the actual sequel to the original. For a little context, the '78 classic horror story, which started a trend of indestructible slasher films and subsequent sequels, told the story of a disturbed, emotionless child who murdered his older teenage sister and was taken away to a mental institution where he resided for 15 years before escaping and going on a teenage killing spree in his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, on the anniversary of his sister's murder, Halloween night.

It turns out, contrary to the aforementioned sequels, Myers has been spending the past 40 years back in the mental care institution, heavily chained and speechless while crafting a series of masks which he often wears.

A podcast crew, obsessed with the Myers case, come to the institution in an effort to get Myers to talk, Despite offering him his original murder mask, Myers remains motionless and silent. Frustrated by the lack of interaction, the podcast team moves on to the next best thing, Myers lone attack survivor, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who still lives in Haddonfield. Now an eccentric bit of a recluse, she focuses all of her time and energy for what she perceives will be Myers eventual return to finish his unfinished business with her.

She is paid for a brief conversation where the podcasters seek her story and ask her to meet with Myers for a face-to-face. Strode tosses them out and goes back to preparing for his encore performance.

Strode, divorced and alone, is estranged from her married daughter's family. The daughter Karen (Judy Greer) wants nothing to do with her combat and safety obsessed mother and stands between Strode and her teen granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak).

As on cue, as Halloween arrives, Myers escapes a transfer attempt, and heads back for home to settle the score with Strode — who we learn is not his sister at all as those other sequels suggested. This is just a matter of pure, simple vengeance and Myers will take out any and all who get in his way — and even some who don't.

No sweat for Strode, she's ready to take on "The Shape" (played by Nick Castle — the original). She's armed and has a plan in place which is complicated by all the people who find themselves in the path between the two combatants, including Strode's immediate family.

It's a showdown four decades in the making and worth the wait.

Great jumps and a lot of fun, just in time for some Halloween haunts, Grab some popcorn and get ready for a return to the original formula which made the original a classic. Oh, and the music, can't forget the music.

Myers is back. Will Strode get him this time? Will Myers finally be stopped? Only the box office numbers know for sure so enjoy it while you can.

Nice little nod to the original, one of Stode's teen friends from the original and Myers victims, PJ Soles gets a cameo as a high school teacher.

On a scale of 5 buckets, "Halloween" scares up 3 1/2 tubs of ghoulish, horror classic fun. The true sequel takes what worked so well with the 1978 original — including the two original adversaries portrayed by the same actors 40 years later — and sets up a great showdown where it all started in Haddonfield, Illinois. MPAA rating: R. Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes. This film was reviewed at Southpark 7 Theatres in Spencer.