“Halloween” is sure to please horror aficionados who derive metaphor and meaning from schlocky slashers like this. I’m not one of those people.
This newest installment in the long running “Halloween” franchise, which is expertly shot and directed by David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”), takes place a few decades after the events of the first movie.
They’ve disregarded the nine other films that came after the 1978 original where a masked Michael Myers stalked Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends while they babysat.
They’ve done away with all the hokey supernatural stuff that creeped into the Michael Myers character over the years. Myers is simply a homicidal serial killer who has spent the last few decades locked away in a maximum-security prison. Now they’re planning on transferring him to an even stronger prison, and we all know how that bus ride is going to end before he even gets on it.
Strode, inexplicably, lives very close to where Michael is imprisoned. She’s built herself a compound, knowing that at any moment Michael will escape and they can have a final showdown. Why, after such a traumatic experience, her and her family live so close to the prison where Michael is being held will never make sense. It only makes sense in that this is the only way the plot of this movie works.
Laurie’s daughter, Karen (Judy Greer) and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), are estranged from her. Allyson tries to reach out behind her mother’s back, because she loves her grandma. But, Karen spent her childhood paranoid of the boogie man, and building a death trap compound with her mother and she’d really like to forget about all that.
So, inevitably Michael escapes after the prison bus crashes. It’s a good thing all the people he wants to murder live within walking distance, because all he does is walk. Slowly.
The town all these people live in seems rather large. Let’s say for the sake of argument that somehow Michael knows where Laurie’s compound is. Ok, I can accept that. But, how does he know where her family lives? Or better yet, how does he know where Allyson’s friend is babysitting? This movie is full of eye-rolling coincidences.
After Michael and a bus load of mental patients escape good old Officer Hawkins (Will Patton) believes the best place for Laurie and her family is at Laurie’s compound. This makes zero sense, other than to fuel the showdown everyone knows must happen.
Michael is a federally wanted serial killer. Why hasn’t anyone called the FBI? Why haven’t they attempted to set up a perimeter? All Michael does is walk. His purposeful walk isn’t enough to outrun a coordinated police effort. Only it is, because the police in this movie are fodder for Michael’s murdering ambition and nothing more.
If you can get over how stupid most of the people act in this movie and mine its contents for nostalgia and horror metaphors I commend you. While Green’s direction and technical filmmaking are impeccable here, the soggy script — filled with contrivances and downright stupidity — overshadows just about everything good this new “Halloween” does.