HALLOWEEN Reunites the Original Scream Queen and the Murder Machine

This was one movie premiere I was so pissed to miss! I took a two week job and couldn’t attend any screenings in the evening and distributors collaborated to screen every good movie in months over those two weeks. But resident lover, Kernel , was forever grateful because not only did she get to review and see it early, but she got to see in the flesh, who came out to introduce the movie on the original’s 40th anniversary. There are no words as to how awesome of an honour that would have been! I have to see this piece of awesome this weekend! is out now from , it is rated MA15+ and runs for 106 chilling minutes. Enjoy Emma’s review below and take a spare pair of undies with ya to the cinema haha. And Happy ………….Salty.

BY EMMA BISHOP

The HALLOWEEN franchise made its bloody debut 40 years ago, long before my time. But the spine-tingling score, gruesome gore and unforgettable sight of pacing through the streets on a dimly-lit Halloween evening brought me right back to binge watching the franchise’s films in my younger years. A love letter to the original film and an exercise in redemption, HALLOWEEN reinvents the rules of the final girl and reminds us why classic slasher conventions still make for damn good scares.

 

Halloween Jamie Lee Curtis image
Jamie Lee Curtis

 

THE HALLOWEEN STORY: IN ALL ITS GORY GLORY

There are a lot of rubbish horror films around. With boring clichés, plot holes and cheap jump scares, it’s easy to think the glory days of the genre are no more. Slasher films, in particular, had their heyday in the late 80s and early 90s – think SCREAM and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER – so for a slasher to be successful it really needs to take you back. HALLOWEEN does just that. It cuts through the crap, opting for old-school techniques, well developed characters and an epic opening scene that has you on the edge of your seat right from the very beginning.

HALLOWEEN begins in the present day, forty years on from Michael Myers’ murderous rampage in Haddonfield, Illinois. In Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, a mental health facility for the criminally insane, Michael Myers stands in an open courtyard. Chained up and surrounded by a yellow line to deter people from approaching, he is almost unrecognisable without his signature mask. He almost has us convinced.

 

Halloween Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Myers image
Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Myers

 

When Michael makes his escape for one final, horrific rampage, no one is safe.

In search of a story, keen true-crime podcasters Aaron and Dana pay Michael a visit. The pair come prepared with a secret weapon; one sure to trigger memories of the past tempting Michael to break forty years of silence. As Aaron approaches Michael, patients shriek and begin to move erratically. The courtyard erupts into chaos, the opening credits roll and the frightening film once again begins.

In Haddonfield, memories of Laurie Strode’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) murder-filled teen years still haunt her daily. Despite years having passed, she still suffers from PTSD and is triggered by the prospect of Halloween. To make matters worse Michael is up for transfer to a maximum security prison; one which he, of course, does not make. But things have changed since that fatal night in 1978. Laurie has two generations of family to protect and she’s determined to seek revenge on the man who fiercely tried to ruin her life. When Michael makes his escape for one final, horrific rampage, no one is safe. But no one is more prepared to fight back than Laurie. And she’s determined to send Michael to his grave – for good.

 

Halloween Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer image
Jamie Lee Curtis and

 

THE FINAL GIRL: SURVIVAL, SUBSTANCE AND THE SAFEST HOUSE YET

There is no doubt about Jamie Lee Curtis’s scream queen status. Since kick-starting her career in the HALLOWEEN franchise, she’s become nothing less than film royalty. But HALLOWEEN’s latest addition elevates the actress to even greater heights. In HALLOWEEN, Jamie Lee Curtis gives the final girl trope a modern spin. Forty years on, Laurie is more than a sensible virgin destined to live her life recounting the horrific story. She’s a woman over 55. She’s a gun-wielding survivor. Laurie’s a sufferer and a fighter all in one. She’s a mum. (And she’s built one of the most impressive safe houses I’ve ever seen).

Slasher films rarely spend much time developing characters and exploring their complexities. They’re hardly known for their thoughtfulness – instead opting for gore and clever, self-reflexive humour. HALLOWEEN has plenty of squished brains and blood and guts. And there are some very funny moments – queue little boy with his babysitter who lets out a perfectly timed ‘Ohh sheeeit.’ But it also has a solid story. It’s not just Laurie’s character who’s developed since the original film. Michael’s kills feel significantly more random. Cops, mums, even kids – no one can hide from modern day Michael Myers. (He’s clearly making up for lost time).

 

Halloween Jamie Lee Curtis image
Jamie Lee Curtis

 

THE VERDICT: SHOULD YOU GO AND SEE HALLOWEEN TAKE ELEVEN?

The simple answer is, yes. Forget the previous nine films in the franchise and take yourself right back to the original, because context is key. HALLOWEEN is packed full of nods to the first film, from the score to the aesthetic of the credits, the composition of shots and the unique character quirks. HALLOWEEN is definitely made for the fans – although I’m sure newcomers will love it, too.

 

 

 

YOUR REVIEWER:

Kernel Emma is documentary mad and also loves foreign and  films ! She is Salty’s honorary NooooZealanderrrr writer, but she hides out in Sydney saying sex, fush and chups to everyone’s amusement.

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.