Trust the horrible ‘house of Blum’ to amp up the Halloween franchise with a 40th anniversary sequel and a killer cast.
Hard to believe it was forty years ago when we first heard the shrieks of the OG scream queen (Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis) in John Carpenter’s story of a murderous masked “Shape.” Those blood-curdling screams not only captured our attention but our slasher-loving hearts. And so the Halloween franchise quickly became a legend, the stuff of nightmares -- and of dreams for a studio in search of sequels. In the last four decades we’ve seen many takes on the classic flick, but the newest Blumhouse-produced, David Gordon Green-directed sequel takes it to the next level with all the makings of a super scary, super fun, superstar studded “super-horror” film.
Premiering today at TIFF, Halloween marks a true turn in the franchise. Thanks to a stellar cast, a return to the basics and some modern, meta fun with the script, the newest Michael Myers film may be our favourite installment yet.
The sequel: back to basics
There have been numerous Halloween incarnates over the years, from mythology-building sequels to all-out monster mashes (here’s looking at you, The Curse of Michael Myers). This sequel throws all other iterations out the blood-soaked window to focus on the original characters we care about: Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. There’s no confusing sibling rivalry, no other dead teenagers to worry about, and no bringing anyone back from the dead. Instead, the script dives into the evolution of Laurie and Mikey’s psyches over the past 40 years, and how each of them have been preparing for the ultimate showdown. Its release is timed perfectly for the film’s 40th anniversary—and they say blood red rubies are the appropriate 40th gift.
The all-star cast
You couldn’t do a sequel of this magnitude without bringing back the original faces (and masks!). We can’t wait to see Jamie Lee Curtis reprise her role as Laurie Strode (let’s hope her lungs are up to the task) and Nick Castle stuff his mug back into that dusty, gnarly Michael Myers mask. Exciting new additions include Danny McBride (who co-wrote the script) and Judy Greer (who plays Laurie’s grown-up daughter.) Purists will be thrilled to know that although John Carpenter didn’t direct this installment, he kept his hand in the action by executive producing and providing the film’s score.
The moment the first trailer dropped, we were thrilled to see callbacks to the classic slasher story. But setting the sequel 40 years later and having the characters age along with the mythology is a smart and modern take that offers a little something for multiple generations of horror lovers. The supporting characters help hype or debunk narrative threads that surfaced following that original (think the sibling connection, for one), while the main plot line gives both Michael Myers and Laurie rich character histories that have never before emerged in a Halloween film. It all culminates in a supercharged film that we’ll probably still be talking about 40 years from now. Halloween hits theatres on October 19th.
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