HOLLYWOOD—This week, we’re going to talk about an all-time classic. I wanted to take another examination of a flick/remake that is slightly controversial. Look, I think “John Carpenter’s Halloween” is iconic. The 1978 horror flick is pure horror at its best. Suspense that is palpable, jump scares that are great and unexpected, a villain that haunts to an unbelievable degree and a heroine in Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) that sets the standards.

Hate to say it, but that film spawned the horror craze we witnessed in the 80s and the rest of the decades since. It just did, you can argue with me all you want, but I’m going to defend that claim. With that said, the original has seen 2 remakes: one in 2007 by Rob Zombie and most recently a rebirth in 2018 thanks to director David Gordon Green. I liked the Zombie version slightly, but now that I reflect on it, it was an ok film, nothing stellar. His take on Laurie Strode was just too silly and not as iconic as Carpenter’s take and he tried too much to recreate iconic scenes and not introduce anything original.

Also a bit of the violence was excessive and that attempt to normalize Michael is what hurt the movie. Michael Myers was scary because we didn’t understand why he did what he did. When you give a backstory it takes that fear element out. As some people say, some people are just crazy; there are no explanations sometimes. So imagine my head when I learned a remake/sequel to the 1978 flick was coming in 2018 that eliminated every flick since the 1978 original.

I mean the character of Laurie Strode had been ‘killed’ in two different timelines between “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” and “Halloween: Resurrection.” So her returning was interesting, but what was done in the 2018 version was epic. This character was quite damaged and the audience saw the aftermath of that fateful night well fleshed out. There is serious trauma and seeing that explored in this version of the revamped classic with a sequel was quite fun.

In addition, seeing our villain return to Haddonfield nearly 40 years to the day that he changed this town upside down to cause that havoc yet again was riveting.  There is a solid level of scares, fear and tension that is top-tier. The only caveat was the character of Dr. Sartain who tries to be the iconic Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasance) and doesn’t come close. That character being completely eliminated would have been better because it was not necessarily. If anything, a character tied directly to Loomis, let’s say a daughter, a son, a grandchild, that would have been an interesting development in my eyes.

This was the first flick in the franchise since the original that had real stakes in my opinion and it works quite strongly because it feels like classic horror all over again. As a spectator, you feel like you’re in Haddonfield again. It is moody, it is dark, the presence of Michael Myers is dreadful and you have a cast of characters that are exciting to watch on the screen, especially Curtis and actress Judy Greer, who portrays her daughter Karen. Yeah, we know Laurie Strode apparently had plenty of kids in the franchise, but this mother/daughter dynamic truly works and her granddaughter Allyson is a nice addition to the movie as well.

Laurie is the crazy one who has prepared for 40 years to be ready for Michael if he comes back, while in the process she has shattered her family relationships in the process and when her suspicions are confirmed it only heightens the drama that we encounter. You can watch the 1978 version and this rebirth of the saga and they coincide so well together. It doesn’t outdo the original in any fashion, but it equally entertains and gives you that dose of horror that you have come to expect in the genre.

The first act of the movie is amazing, the second act is solid, the third act is a bit weak. I wanted a bit more of a cat and mouse hunt between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. To be honest it would have been satisfying to see Karen and Allyson have to go toe-to-toe with Michael and his wrath and Laurie doing her best to rescue/protect her daughter and granddaughter from the boogeyman. I don’t think any film can outdo “John Carpenter’s Halloween” it is simply a perfect horror film from start to finish and nothing has come close to it since 1978.