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Byron Shire
September 18, 2021

Cinema Review: Halloween

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John Carpenter’s original Halloween (1978) is regarded as a masterpiece by aficionados of the horror genre (let’s not quibble over the superlative – hyperbole is the norm these days). With Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode, a survivor of that massacre-fest, and Carpenter involved as an executive producer, this latest sequel was always going to attract a lot of attention, much of it favourable. To give credit where it’s due, there are genuinely scary moments, and they might have been even more so had not the flickering of phones being activated for Facebook and Snapchat checks diminished their effect – but that’s the airhead nature of the movie’s target audience. Serial murderer Michael Myers escapes from custody and heads for the town where he first enacted his killing spree. No sooner is he at large than bodies start splattering the screen – among them a young female journo whom I was disappointed to see get throttled. There is neither rhyme nor reason to his rampage – he just stabs, strangles or bashes to death anybody who crosses his path. Laurie, obsessed with revenge, is prepared for him, but her estranged daughter (Judy Greer) and grand-daughter (Andi Matichak) are not. All of the action takes place on the night of 31 October, as Myers leaves a trail of blood and gore around Haddonfield. There is a surprise ‘Stockholm syndrome’ incident that threw me entirely, but like so much of the writing it comes to nothing and leaves you wondering if the script was just made up as they went along (one of the sheriffs disappears with no explanation). A couple of times I had to turn my head, unable to stomach violence so graphic, and you can suss out too early who the survivors of the carnage will be. Because Hollywood is like a dog with a bone when it comes to any profit guaranteed at the box office, the last scene is inconclusive, but it’s hard to get excited about Myers making a comeback.

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