In terms of other Halloween movies, this is amongst the better offerings. There are well crafted shots, such as the chessboard psychos in the sun scene, which has touches of Dali about it, and it’s well acted. This instalment ignores many of the predecessors and picks up after Halloween 2 (I think). It’s 40 years after the first Halloween and Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode is a survivalist nut, her (understandable) obsession with Michael Myers having estranged her from her daughter.
Predictably enough Myers escapes while being transferred to another institution (on, surprise! Halloween. Why not transfer him on Valentine’s Day?). He goes on his customary babysitter cull before tracking down Laurie and family for a final (who are we kidding) showdown.
While it’s all done effectively, it lacks any sense of dread. I was bored through most of it. My concern was that this was a result of my own desensitisation, but I think the real issue is captured by one of the teenagers in the movie itself, who suggests that five people got killed but compared to today, that’s not such a big deal. Sadly, this is the case. What I felt coming out of this movie was not fear of some bogeyman slasher, but sadness at the loss of a time when five people being murdered in one spree in the US would be a big deal. I saw this on the same day as the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting – so if the events in this movie had been happening in real time, it wouldn’t even be the biggest mass murder spree on that day. That’s what’s terrifying.
Even putting that aside, the Halloween franchise is a probably a series that never should have been. The first one was genuinely scary, but there was nothing further that could be explored in that character or that approach. A slasher psycho – that’s it. In that sense, the best sequel to Halloween is probably Halloween 3, which had nothing to do with Michael Myers.