It has been forty years since the rampage of Michael Myers in Haddonfield, IL. And Michael Myers absolutely was caught and has been institutionalized ever since. He totally did not massacre a hospital or anything else.
The trauma had a profound effect on Laurie Strode, who is totally not the sister of Michael Myers. When Myers is being transferred to a tougher facility, the bus crashes and Myers escapes. He goes on a new and bloodier rampage, while Laurie tries to protect her estranged daughter and her family.
Myers is not driven to find Laurie because he is her sister, he just is a big believer in finishing what you start…? So, much has been made of the fact that this film is a direct sequel to the original John Carpenter Classic. There is a throwaway line that pretty much pushes all the other films into the realm of “urban legends” which…I guess works. Admittedly, it makes some of this feel less personal. But at the same time, the portrayal of Laurie as a survivor of a brutal event who became fueled by her fear and paranoia to never be a victim again (shades of Terminator 2 here, including the pained relationship with her daughter who was taken away from her by the state, as she was training her to be a warrior) is really pretty exciting here. Curtis is really great in the role. And she shines each time she is on screen. There is a lot of meat for her here.
The film has some great callbacks to the original with little moments and visual cues. It also has some beautifully lit shots.
The film is really overloaded with characters, and this results in characters you kind of expect to matter more suddenly are just out of the story. Now granted, some of the characters kind of stand out as victims. But Laurie’s grand daughter is a huge focus and then she disappears for nearly the entire sequence where Michael and Laurie are stalking each other through Laurie’s house. Granddaughter Allison’s boyfriend seems like he will play a pretty big role and literally just drops out of the film, never to be seen again.
There is at least one twist that seems to be either super predictable or totally out of left field depending on who you ask…but…oh well…
Is this a new classic entry in the franchise? Well…not really. Is it bad? No. I actually really did enjoy the film. It can be uneven, but it is still an enjoyable ride. It does rise above a lot of the previous films in the franchise. Again, Curtis is really good (really, the core cast of Curtis, Greer, Will Patton and Matichak is great). Plus, the new Carpenter soundtrack is just killer all the way through. I kid you not, that was almost worth the price of admission alone for me.