Fearter rating: 8.5/10
It's been 40 years, but finally there's a Halloween sequel that deserves its name.
Review (no spoilers)
The original Halloween (1978) is hailed by many as a horror masterpiece and the definitive slasher. I have no argument with that. I can't say I'm a huge Halloween fan but I too think it's a great film for many reasons - the main one for me is it's tension building and restraint.
This sequel, was made by those who care about the heritage of Halloween - and it shows. The film is brilliantly made and is aesthetically excellent in places.
What I like most about this film is that, like the original, it is restrained - but also swiftly brutal when it needs to be. A lot of sequels are just about making everything bigger, faster and shinier with little thought to the plot, characters or tone of the original. But the new Halloween remains grounded, thoughtful, deliberate and poignant.
The protagonist, Laurie, is a great character, strong but flawed - purposeful but traumatised by her past. The majority of the other characters in this film are also good - with the exception of Dr Sartain, who is more like the 'Genius' Office Assistant than a credible psychologist. (For those who fancy a trip down memory lane, he's pictured right).
For the horror fans there are little 'tributes', or if we're feeling arty - moments of history repeating itself, carefully placed in the film. In some movies this can be a bit on the nose, but in this one I feel they got it just about right.
There are so many things I like about this movie, the first half in particular is superb. And unlike a lot of horror films, it doesn't get ridiculous, it doesn't go over the top and the plot maintains its integrity to the end.
So why isn't it a 10/10? For me Dr Sartain is just odd and the unfortunately typical Hollywood stereotypes can also be found in the film. Plus there's one character who does a Ted - from Friday the 13th part 2 - who seemingly plays a major part but then is never mentioned again.
But this is a great film, a must see, once you've seen the original. Those next to me in the cinema were terrified and I, as usual, jumped a good few times and thoroughly enjoyed it.