John Carpenter’s original masterpiece of horror and suspense Halloween hit it big in the year 1978, shocking and thrilling and upsetting audiences, and since then, Hollywood has seen fit to poop out Halloween II and Halloween 4, and all kinds of other Halloweens. Personally, I checked out of the series at Halloween II and the protracted scene where the woman is murdered in a whirlpool bath set to boiling, and now it’s 40 years since Halloween, and we have another sequel, and it’s called Halloween, but it’s not any return to the virtues of the first one, it’s just Halloween We Stopped Counting These and So Did You.
Jamie Lee Curtis is back, she was the original 1978 Halloween‘s plucky potential victim, and her mom in real life is Janet Leigh, a [SPOILER ALERT] victim from Robert Bloch and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), the groundbreaking stab-tastic suspense thriller, and Halloween‘s inexplicably durable (motherfucker gets shot a buncha times this go-round) Michael Myers is a legit descendant of psychotic murderer Norman Bates, except without any of the junk psychiatry we got with Norman and his mom. Michael is simply a monster who kills people and cannot be stopped.
This new Halloween movie is a great opportunity for job creation and there’s an established market for disgusting murdery movies, and they have a low bar when it comes to plot and logic, so you might be one of the collect-the-whole-set crowd, and if so, you are a Michael Myers of the flicks, nothing will stop you from planting your butt in a seat to take in the latest iteration of the form. There’s stabbings and fenestrations and a defenestration and necks getting snapped and skulls getting smashed into walls and smashed in with boots.
This isn’t Horror as a genre, but as a set of things happening one after another. Michael Myers and his audience haven’t had a real motive since 1978. There are parts of what might be a Revenge or Suspense movie, but they’re artlessly arranged and poorly paced. The Michael Myers monster, creepy and implacable as it is, can’t force any momentum into the weak presentation.
But hey, wanna watch a movie where a child gets their neck broken by a monster? Happy Halloween.