By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Director David Gordon Green
(“Stronger”) gives horror fans a sweet, little treat with his latest movie, “Halloween.”
Gordon’s re-imagined version is the sequel to John Carpenter’s 1978 “Halloween” slasher flick. And while there have been at least nine other movies since Carpenter’s debuted, Gordon’s installment bypasses all those and simply picks up from the first one.
It’s a smart move too, particularly since Gordon’s keen filmmaking sensibilities elevate this “Halloween” and gives it a surprisingly fresh and new spin.
Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode. Laurie has been haunted by the tragic events that took place 40 years ago on Halloween night. She was 17-years-old when a psycho masked man named Michael Myers (played by both Nick Castle, “Halloween”) and James Jude Courtney, (TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) went on a killing spree in her hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois while she was babysitting.
Laurie barely escaped the bloodbath.
Now, after all this time she’s fed up with living in fear. Laurie even admits to police officer Hawkins (Will Patton, TV’s “Shots Fired”) that she prayed that Michael would find his way back to the neighborhood, so she could kill him.
Payback really is a mother.
Michael’s huge knife may have been the weapon of choice back in 1978, but it’s no match for what Laurie has accumulated in 2018 to protect herself and her extended family which includes daughter Karen (Judy Greer, “Ant-Man and the Wasp”), her husband Ray (Toby Huss, TV’s “The Venture Bros.” and “Sacred Lies”) and their teen daughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak, TV’s “Underground”).
Laurie’s house is a fortress. It’s equipped with all sorts of high-tech gadgets. Her arsenal of weapons would make any intruder think twice and back up fast.
Michael has been on lockdown for nearly 40 years. So, the chances of him getting out of prison any time soon are slim.
But, never underestimate a homicidal maniac.
When Michael and few other mental patients are transferred by bus to another facility, it suddenly crashes. Just like that, the boogeyman has escaped on Halloween night. It’s like Déjà vu all over again. Bet you can guess where he’s headed.
I’m trying hard not to tell you all the wickedly fun, suspenseful twists and turns this movie has. It would really spoil all your enjoyment.
Director David Gordon Green and the film’s co-writers Danny McBride (“The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter”) and Jeff Fradley (TV’s “Vice Principals”) have put a lot of thought into “Halloween.”
Most horror/slasher films are usually so predictable. You can almost always anticipate the jump scares a mile away. They also, generally aren’t known for having such multi-dimensional characters or much of a storyline for that matter.
But, boy, this installment gets nearly everything right. Every character here is credible and shines including Omar J. Dorsey from the hit television show “Queen Sugar.” Here he plays a wisecracking sheriff.
You also get a feeling right from the start of “Halloween” when investigative journalists Dana Haines (Rhian Rees TV’s “Riders”) and Aaron Korey (Jefferson Hall, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and TV’s “Silent Witness”) pay a visit to Michael and his psychologist, Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer (2016’s “Ben-Hur"), that this isn’t going to be your typical cookie-cutter horror movie.
Then there are the teenagers in the film. They actually act like real teenagers would under such maddening circumstances. Sacramento’s own, Virginia Gardner from TV’s “Runaways” is a real standout here too.
But by far, top honors and my Critics Choice Awards vote for “Best Young Actor” this year hands down, goes to the adorable Jibrail Nantambu (“Preacher”).
Although he doesn’t have a huge role, Nantambu brings such realistic and natural doses of humor to the movie. It’s as if this kid ad-libbed all his lines.
But, make no mistake. Everything you want in a “Halloween” movie is served up here. There’s plenty of suspense, blood and gore. Best of all, “Halloween” is downright scary thanks in part to the creepy score which comes courtesy of John Carpenter himself.
Enough can’t be said of Jamie Lee Curtis. Her performance is electrifying.
I will say that the ending of “Halloween” left me wanting more. However, something tells me that despite the content look on Curtis’ face and the rest of the survivors of this bloody rampage, we may not have seen the last of Michael Myers.
For me, and I’m sure for many other avid horror fans, that would be a very good thing especially if the next movie equals or tops this “Halloween.” That’s a tall order because this one is killer.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.
Don't Be Scared. Check Out This Trailer For "HALLOWEEN"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.