Matt: When I heard there was going to be a movie called 'Halloween' released for the third time, I was very leery. The producers had already tried to re-boot the franchise once, with mixed results. However, a major difference that gave me optimism with this one is that they weren't re-booting the original film; rather, they were erasing the sketchy narrative and starting over AFTER the events of the original classic. And I must say, they delivered in a big way. David Gordon Green and his crew decided to keep things simple and go back to the formula of just what makes 'Halloween' scary.

First and foremost was the return of key cogs John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Nick Castle. Bringing back a new, eerie soundtrack composed by Carpenter (who also helped produce the film) and his son Cody was a key ingredient that really helped make this film a success. Bringing back Curtis was a no-brainer, and getting Nick Castle back behind the mask for some of the scenes was a nice touch. The story was simple, with Michael escaping after 40 years to finish what he started. No cult angle, no rappers, just Michael and Laurie at the core of the constant struggle that has claimed her adult life. The acting was top notch, including memorable performances by Curtis, James Jude Courtney (the new Michael Myers) and Andi Matichak (Laurie's granddaughter Allyson). The standard teenage fare was to be expected, but it did not take away from the film at all. The supporting, yet important, roles of Aaron (Jefferson Hall) and Dana (Rhian Rees) were very well done, and were the glue that held the first two-thirds of the movie together.

Director Green also went to painstaking lengths to throw in tributes to the other 'Halloween' films, even though this film basically wipes out all that happened after Michael was shot off the balcony in the original film. My favorites included the scary pumpkin resurrection used for the opening credits, Allyson looking out the window at school and seeing Laurie standing there, and the 3 Silver Shamrock trick or treaters. All nice touches by the producers, and made me smile and realize that these guys "get it".

On the negative side, the Dr. Sartain swerve was totally unnecessary, as there were a million other ways Michael could have found his way to Laurie's house. It really brought the film to a screeching halt for a time, but they managed to recover nicely after he was out of the picture. In addition to that, the fact that Laurie was no longer referenced as Michael's sister really took away from it as well. I get why they did it, but they could have just as easily picked up after the events of 'Halloween II', and left that part of the story intact. Other than that, I found Michael was not as intimidating in the scenes before he got his mask back. Fortunately, a lot of that action was off screen, and I found the quick cuts and the way they avoided showing his face to be very stylistic. It really helped bridge the gap of time between the time he escapes to the time he retrieves his mask.

Overall, a very solid entry in the franchise. I am really looking forward to the next two parts of the planned trilogy. 8 out of 10.


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