I had a free evening with enough time to actually watch a whole movie, which is rare.
So I looked at the long list of movies that I’ve wanted to watch and not had time… and picked Halloween.
I don’t know why I always pick horror movies in these situations.
So, it was the newer version of Halloween from a couple of years ago. It got pretty good reviews (for a horror movie) and so i’d wanted to watch it at the time.
It was ok, but nothing special.
I suspect it got good reviews mainly on the back of Jaime Lee Curtis’ performance. Not that her performance is anything groundbreaking, but more for the novelty of having her in a rough badass grandma role.
As far as I can tell, the movie ignores all/most of the sequels and positions itself as a direct (but 40 years later) sequel to the original. Michael has been in jail all that time, and Laurie has gone all Sarah Connors.
(Actually, it occurs to me right now that this film shares quite a lot with Terminator 2. Paranoid survivalist mom who has lost her kids due to her paranoia. Returning silent unstoppable killer.)
The problem with making your movie erase all the mediocre sequels is that you kinda need your movie to be pretty great to justify it. I’m not sure this is. It’s perfectly fine, but it’s not really head and shoulders above some of the other sequels.
It’s well shot with some nice performances, but it suffers from being very predictable. Within the first 10 minutes you can probably guess exactly what will happen, and who will die and who will survive. Half the fun of 80s horror movies was guessing who would make it.
They throw in a couple of twists near the end, but they don’t really alter the overall results.
I watched the original Halloween back in the 80s and didn’t find it that great (Other than the music). It was apparently pretty groundbreaking and influential, but things like that often feel very generic later.
One problem is that Michael Myers isn’t really a very interesting bad guy. He doesn’t talk. He doesn’t have any really unique features/skills/moves. He basically just kills people and is apparently incredibly tough and unstoppable for some reason. As such, there’s not a lot for the movie to do other than introduce a lot of people and have him kill lots of them.
I kept hoping for some kind of big twist to make it all worthwhile, and there were a couple of small ones at the end, but they didn’t really amount to much and were kinda undermined by dumb things that the characters did around them.
Despite Laurie apparently spending the last 40 years preparing, training and fortifying for his inevitable return, she still seemed to have a house filled with walk in closets, various metal tools hanging on the walls, and glass panels in her front door!
I know nothing about guns, and don’t ever want to, but I’m pretty sure that the best weapon for going cautiously room to room in a house isn’t the one with a long barrel that has to precede you into the room!
The few nice moments that should have come at the end were slightly undermined because the film didn’t really commit to them.
It’s a very amateur movie, but at least You’re Next commits to its concept. I felt like Halloween wanted to go a similar way, but couldn’t because it needed to maintain the myth of Michael Myers.
It clearly wanted to have the women turn the tables on Michael, but it also wanted to remain as a horror movie where Michael was the scary big bad.
I’ve written many more words than I intended on a reasonably fun but average horror movie, but the final thing that threw me was that it has Will Patton as a cop and as basically the only really decent logical guy in it… but I just finished watching Swamp Thing where he’s the slimy duplicitous bad guy… so I was having a fair amount of cognitive dissonance.
 Just discovered there’s a sequel coming out this year, and another next year, so I guess that’s another reason why they couldn’t really end things in any significant way.