3.5 out of 5 stars (above average)
Halloween is one of the longest-running franchises out there, and after years of middling sequels and an early 00s reboot, you’d think returning to this particular well would be a fool’s errand. However, director David Gordon Green delivers a surprisingly brutal direct sequel to the 1978 classic that serves as a proud addition to the franchise. Halloween 2018 has good performances, brutal kills, and cathartic climax that makes it a cut above your average slasher.
40 years after her fatal encounter with knife-wielding murderer Michael Myers, Laurie Strode (a fantastic Jamie Lee Curtis) lives in seclusion estranged from her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). However, when Michael escapes prison and heads back to Haddonfield on Halloween night, Laurie must reach her family to try and protect them while Allyson and her Disposable Teen Friends (Virginia Gardner, Dylan Arnold, Drew Scheid) get picked off one by one.
Halloween 2018 is a dark, brutal, back-to-basics slasher in the best way. The Strode’s strained family dynamic builds solid character investment and the kills are unflinchingly violent in a sadistic fun way. Judy Greer has always been an underutilized actress, so it’s great to see her in a main dramatic role. Curtis is fierce yet vulnerable as the older Laurie, and while the teens outside of Allyson aren’t amazing, they do what’s required (Make raunchy jokes and die). The theme of facing past trauma is woven well enough into the storyline and leads to a cathartically entertaining climax that gives the film an edge. While some ideas are underexplored and a few of the characters got wacked with the idiot stick, this is a well-crafted slasher that brings Michael Myers back with a vengeance. Halloween 2018 is a well-acted, gory, and cathartic sequel that shows Michael Myers’s blade still cuts deep. See it.
Rated R for Horror Violence and Bloody Images, Language, Brief Drug Use and Nudity