After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), David Gordon Green's Halloween was met with positive reactions, proving that infamous masked slasher Michael Myers is back on top after decades of subpar sequels.
Set 40 years after John Carpenter's seminal horror classic, this year's Halloween sequel revisits Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) as an emotionally damaged survivor of Michael Myers' killing spree four decades prior. However, as she awaits his inevitable return, a film crew documenting Michael's murderous past prompts the killer to escape from Smith's Grove Sanitarium once again and revisit Haddonfield, Illinois to finish what he started. This long-awaited sequel is also taking an innovative approach to the franchise by retconning every other sequel that came before it, ignoring everything from convoluted storylines like the Curse of Thorn to Laurie Strode's own unceremonious death in Halloween: Resurrection. Now, after having its world premiere at TIFF, Halloween is being praised as a worthy successor to Carpenter's original movie.
After six direct sequels, a spinoff, and a remake with its own sequel from Rob Zombie, the Halloween franchise is a victim in its own right. That said, this latest entry in the franchise appears to be an exception. After its world premiere screening at TIFF, critics have applauded the sequel for staying true to its roots (with a fair share of fan service), while also offering just enough of its own updated spin to keep things fresh, similar to other late sequels/soft reboots like Star Wars: The Force Awakens. To see how David Gordon Green's take on Halloween does justice to the 40-year-long franchise, enjoy these SPOILER-FREE reactions from critics.
Perri Nemiroff - Collider
#Halloween is vicious! Loved the continuation of Laurie’s story but the pure evil of Michael’s drive to kill and the randomness of it is there and it’s strong. Beautifully shot, score is on point, some great humor and loaded with gore. It’s the complete package.
Adam Graham - The Detroit News
HALLOWEEN: David Gordon Green delivers the fresh, funny, frightening Halloween movie fans have been waiting forever for. Great callbacks to the original, a killer Carpenter score, a ferocious Jamie Lee performance. Halloween rocks.
Emma Stefansky - Vanity Fair
HALLOWEEN is THE FORCE AWAKENS of HALLOWEEN movies: all the stuff you want, plus some new stuff, some dumb stuff, some delightfully remixed stuff. definitely the best time I’ve had at a #TIFF18 screening thus far
Chris Evangelista - Slash Film
There’s an entire subplot in this that’s TERRIBLE and should’ve been cut. Thankfully, everything else is an absolute blast. Brutal, scary, and yes, funny.
Joel Meares - Rotten Tomatoes
I was always gonna be an easy lay with #HalloweenMovie but they really nailed it. Some will have quibbles — it’s maybe *too* funny, and one little twist might have been too much — but scary AF plus Force Awakens levels of fan service = very good times.
Matt Jacobs - The Huffington Post
The new Halloween has a callback shot so inspired it could sell the entire movie. Luckily, it doesn’t have to. It’s an absolute blast.
David Sims - The Atlantic
HALLOWEEN is good when it’s just being a tense slasher film, grating when it’s winking at the audience, but David Gordon Green can certainly rack up tension. As an homage it’s excellent, as its own movie it’s ok
Instead of taking one too many creative liberties like the now-retconned sequels, this year's Halloween is celebrated for its simplicity. It continues the storyline of its original hero (while also removing the complicated familial relationship between Laurie and Michael that was shoehorned into the sequel), it brings Carpenter back as the film's composer, and it appears to perfectly balance a healthy portion of suspense, humor, and gore. After years of disappointing mediocrity - even though there is some tonal imbalance, and some critics weren't completely sold on the fan service - this Halloween sequel is finally a step in the right direction.
From the beginning of the movie's production, it hasn't been clear whether or not Blumhouse intended on doing justice to Halloween by crafting a respectable finale to the franchise or simply opening the door for more sequels. That said, given the high praise so far, it's fair to assume that Blumhouse knows perfectly well what fans of the series want to see, should more installments materialize.
Source: Various (see links above)
- Halloween (2018) release date: Oct 19, 2018