It has been forty years since Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle) went on a rampage on Halloween night and murdered five people, terrorising teenage Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in the process, though she did survive. In all that time, having been recaptured, Myers has been kept in a maximum security hospital for the criminally insane, and has never spoken a word; his previous doctor, Dr Loomis, was convinced he was sheer evil and unable to be rehabilitated, and it appears he was correct in that assessment. However, that does not prevent interest from the media every so often, and so it is a meeting with true crime podcasters triggers something awful in him...
If you regard true crime podcasters as utter ghouls, exploiting the worst of human misery for their own gain on their shows, then you might well be satisfied at what happens to the pair of presenters here, an anti-internet gag that was fitting with the old school grumpy old man serial killer who Michael Myers had surely become in this, his tenth appearance as the bad guy in one of horror fiction's longest running franchises. Yet as instigated by comedian Danny McBride, this was not your usual sequel, as it ignored all the others that had been made up to that point, and was not the third instalment of the series rebooted with Rob Zombie's two efforts from around ten years before.
What this Halloween was turned out to be more like what would have happened had the events of the first movie been so traumatic, so abhorrent, that they distorted time and sent the villain off into parallel universes to wreak his havoc in multiple timelines. As if aware of this, and since John Carpenter and Debra Hill's original spawned masses of imitators, who was to say it was not an accurate summation, this forty years later direct sequel to their initial efforts contained references to all the other entries, as if they were trying to break through into this universe and reassert themselves just as Michael was placing his stamp on the lives of those he intersected with.
This movie's main asset was Curtis, and on the publicity campaign trail she would tell anyone who listened that it was the first major horror of the Me Too movement, and she had a point, as it featured a trio of women, three generations of Strodes (Curtis, Judy Greer and newcomer Andi Matichak), who were mad as Hell and not going to take being victimised by some monstrous maniac anymore. In that way, Curtis had tapped into what the majority of slashers could lay claim to, asserting the heroic female over the sexist male, though of course not every sexist male turns to murder, but many do turn to violence. Naturally, that did not apply so much to the female killers in slasher movies, but in the main the recurring baddies in these efforts were male, your Michael, your Jason, your Freddy, and so on. By rendering this explicit here, it had genuine resonance.
Not that this sequel eclipsed the first one - except in box office revenue, where it became the second most successful horror of all time, behind the previous year's adaptation of Stephen King's IT, and it was very much in debt to the deceptively simple ideas in Carpenter and Hill's concepts, even to the point of restaging key shots and scenes from a different point of view. So it was not exactly its own entity, not as much as it had been if it was unconnected to the Halloween franchise, but how could it have been? The source was one of the touchstones of horror, a real classic, and director David Gordon Green was intent on paying tribute to a lasting premise (there was even a nod to odd man out Halloween III: The Season of the Witch in there). For that reason, it could come across as a shade too much in thrall to its predecessors, but that was a quibble, some would call this derivative, fans would call it a vital reboot, but whichever it was, it succeeded on those terms and built on them to craft a truly current chiller for the twenty-tens. And Carpenter returned to assist on the music as well as producing.
American indie director with a strong visual sense. Film school graduate Green made a big impression with his debut film, the powerful drama George Washington, while 2003's All the Real Girls was similarly well-received. An unexpected change of pace appeared when he directed stoner comedy Pineapple Express, the largest success of his career to that point, following it up with the widely reviled Your Highness. In contrast, the acclaimed Joe represented a return to his indie drama roots. After a lot of series television, he enjoyed his biggest hit with the 2018 Halloween sequel.