BLUMHOUSE PRODUCTIONS

★★☆☆☆

Following a rewarding career as a producer and director for “Joe” and “Prince Avalanche,” David Gordon Green returns to Hollywood with “Halloween,” the latest in the “Halloween” movie series that kicked off in 1978, depicting the murder spree of a serial killer on Halloween night.

The latest installment deals with the final encounter between Laurie Strodes, played by Curtis, and serial killer Michael Myers, played by James Judy Courtney and Nick Castle, who tried to murder her and many others on Halloween night 40 years ago. Laurie has since trained herself for one last confrontation with Michael to hopefully put an end to his horrifying rampage.

Curtis deserves much praise for her latest history-making performance as Laurie, the character that made her career 40 years ago. As the film’s protagonist, Laurie shows great charisma and tenacity throughout the film. Moreover, Laurie must also protect her daughter Karen, played by Judy Greer, and granddaughter Allyson, played by Andi Matichak. Her demonstrations of love as a mother move the audience. Curtis compellingly portrays Laurie as a strong and resolute contender while also capturing the emotional depth of a mother who cares deeply for her children’s safety.

Occasional wit and humor are embedded effectively into the film, making it more special and enjoyable. In a scene midway through the movie, Michael invades a house where a boy named Julian, played by Jibrail Nantambu, is staying with his babysitter Vicky, played by Virginia Gardner. Just as Michael is secretly entering the house to begin his series of murders, Julian amusingly jokes about the rumors he has heard of Michael. The macabre juxtaposition of Michael’s horror and Julian’s humor strikingly breaks up the tone of the film, bringing many viewers to laugh out loud.

Still, aside from Curtis’s strong acting and its comical moments, “Halloween” does not have a lot to offer. Many of the scenes felt too intentional in their setup to the violent scenes of Michael’s evil nature. During most of Michael’s appearances, his forthcoming victims seem to voluntarily lead themselves to places where Michael could easily kill them. Such a lazy development of the plot actually weakened Michael’s aura as a heinous and merciless murderer, as it left almost no room for the element of surprise to bolster Michael’s presence as the terrifying antagonist.

Moreover, many of the characters were included in the film merely to get caught and eliminated by Michael, as a way of simply bolstering the numbers of Michael’s murder spree. Though the director did give each of these characters a relationship to the main protagonists of Laurie, Judy, and Allyson, their impact in aiding the protagonists to stop Michael was minimal.

Instead, many of these characters unconvincingly ended up in Michael’s proximity somehow and did not even present a decent struggle against Michael when they were about to get killed. Had Gordon Green done a better job of integrating more creative ways for Michael to eliminate his victims instead of just leading them to him, the film would have been more intriguing.

With lots of room for improvement, “Halloween” disappoints as a sequel to its legendary predecessors. While Curtis’s performance and the occasional humorous scene beg compliment, the film’s uninspired setups to Michael’s murders and excess of unnecessary characters nevertheless fails to reach its viewers’ expectations.

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