Nostalgia reinvigorates ‘Halloween’ franchise

Michael Myers Returns—Michael Myers, played by both James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle, stalks police officers before killing them. Courtesy of Universal pictures

By Juan Calvillo

Michael Myers and Laurie Strode return for a slasher that rewrites the history of the “Halloween” franchise into something fun and forward thinking.

Acknowledging only the 1978 horror movie that started the franchise, 2018’s “Halloween” continues the struggle between the boogeyman Myers and the object of his murderous obsession, Strode.

From the onset, this film gives longtime fans of the horror genre the sense of nostalgia, using the ominous movie theme and an inflating pumpkin to set the movie up.

Multiple times throughout this sequel, the viewer is reminded of the horror titles’ roots by reproducing scenes similar to those from John Carpenter’s original.

This sense of history is very important to the film as this sequel tries to erase the missteps of previous movies by making a simpler connection.

That connection is Jamie Lee Curtis’ Strode, and Myers’ undying need to finish something he started 40 years prior.

“Halloween” introduces its villain similarly to the original, where doctors are trying to figure out what type of person would do the things Myers has done.

As the trailers have shown, Strode is actually prepared for the eventual escape Myers might make. She has only one thing on her mind, killing Myers.

This leads to some interesting character development from Strode. The movie introduces her family and gives viewers some idea what kind of mental problems Strode went through after the events of the original.

By doing this, it explains a lot of why the character has morphed into the woman we see in the trailers. A woman that is desperate to end Myers cycle of killing before it gets to her or her family.

The cycle of death Myers is known for is front and center. With an astonishing body count for just one man, the movie brings back a little of slasher movies history.

Again, making call backs to some of the original’s moments with the dread that is invoked before Myers goes after his victims, but with just enough from the present day to make it relatable.

The creative ways the production and special effects people had of showing so many of the kills is impressive, it reminds the audience that practical effects can still scare, making the killing spree that Myers goes on scary, suspenseful, and awe inspiring all at once.

Curtis plays Strode perfectly, showing the emotional and even mental decline anyone would have after her friends are murdered and almost being murdered herself.

New to the franchise are her daughter Karen, played by Judy Greer, and her granddaughter Allyson, played by relative newcomer, Andi Matichak. Filling out the rest of the cast is Will Patton, playing Officer Hawkins and Haluk Bilginer, playing Myers’ newest therapist, Doctor Sartain.

The cast is more than adequate for such a important sequel that hopes to revitalize the “Halloween” movie franchise.

Greer and Matichak give over plenty of the family drama that would come from being born into the Strode family lineage. But this is still Curtis’ movie.

While the idea of a boogeyman is a part of many horror films, making Myers’ very important, Curtis’ inclusion in the film carries sentimental value due to her appearance in multiple “Halloween” films as the lead.

Coupled with the fact that this film shows more of how resourceful Strode is throughout the movie, gives the audience the need to root for Strode in her quest.

The history of the series is so important and having Curtis reprise such an iconic role and give the character even more depth is amazing.

Showing her character and the rest of the women in her family being empowered to take on impending doom makes the film more relevant to how perception of women in horror flicks has changed.

“Halloween” is a slasher that connects its characters’ history to the original 1978 horror film by giving the audience a look into the type of people that eventually come out of traumatic experiences.

This makes it not only a fun slasher horror movie, but a movie with characters that have weight and prove not to be damsels in distress.

“Halloween” is rated R for horror violence and bloody images, language, brief drug use and nudity.

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