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Rebooted ‘Halloween’ Sequel Offers Nothing New in 2018

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CHICAGO – At this point, the “Halloween” franchise is looking as tattered and tired as Michael Myers old William Shatner mask… fraying around the edges and on the verge of falling apart. The 2018 “reboot” sequel brings back former scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, along with original Michael Myers, Nick Castle.

While this new “Halloween” has a better pedigree than almost any of the other films in the series, besides the original, it’s still just a second rate slasher. Director David Gordon Green and frequent collaborator Danny McBride’s script pretends the other ten films in this series never happened… that’s an interesting tactic to cut through the confusing mythology, but they can’t build much on the idea.

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Knife To See You Again: Michael Myers in ‘Halloween’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

Once again Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital during a transfer and returns to the sleepy town of Haddonfield. And since Laurie Strode had survived that fateful Halloween night in 1978, she has turned into a gun nut survivalist in the ensuing years, living forever in fear that Michael Myers would escape and come for a final showdown. While it also saddles her with an estranged daughter and a teen granddaughter, it’s content to essentially revisit the same story. It has much more in common with the legions of pale imitators that followed in the original’s wake than it does with the original “Halloween” itself. It has the notes, but not the music, and can’t recreate the original’s sense of terror or fun.

Watching this pale riff on the same setup from 1978 makes you question how you’re spending your time in 2018. I was filled with a profound sense that precious hours of my life were being wasted as I watched the same slow walking boogeyman stoically butcher personality-free teens. The only thing more questionable than watching this is why Jamie Lee Curtis would want to star in it. She’s been down this road before, and this is actually the 5th installment of the franchise she’s appeared in, so the comeback doesn’t have nearly the same novelty.

There are a few amusing callbacks to the original this time around, but nothing more than mere blips on the radar. Flashes that don’t go far beyond recognition on the delight-o-meter, and nothing that crosses over into the genuine areas of fear and entertainment. Also, the sub-”Scream” level attempts at meta commentary never make an impression. Even when Curtis meets the doctor attempting to chase down Michael Myers and proclaims him the “new Loomis.”

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Back on Scream: Jamie Lee Curtis in ‘Halloween’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

On a purely visceral gore hound level, the new Halloween fails to deliver too. While it significantly ups the body count from the original, there are little in the way of inventive kills. There’s more blood, but a significant amount of them actually happen offscreen, leaving the audience with just the aftermath. There’s a claw hammer kill, the good old throat slash and a head stomping… along with some truly baffling twists that don’t make a lick of sense even in a slasher movie such as this one. The original remains a masterpiece of horror that has survived the test of time. But “Halloween” in 2018 doesn’t offer anything new.

“Halloween” opens everywhere in on October 19th. Featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton and Nick Castle. Written by David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley. Directed by David Gordon Green. Rated “R”

HollywoodChicago.com contributor Spike Walters

By SPIKE WALTERS
Contributor
HollywoodChicago.com
spike@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2018 Spike Walters, HollywoodChicago.com

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