Don't be Alarmed of the Shadowy Darkness, unless Michael is Carving Again

Updated 1 year ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Don't be Alarmed of the Shadowy Darkness,  unless Michael is Carving Again

Forty years ago John Carpenter unreeled a creepy film with tinkling music, a stalking camera perspective, and a frightened baby sitter hiding from a homicidal heavy breathing psycho named Michael Myers. When Myers added to the mostly off camera body count, a thin veil connected the teen victims --- premarital sex and "dumb" decisions.

The new reboot with an pick and choose alternative timeline  conjures Michael has been locked up for 40 years. It's as if "Halloween II" in which babysitter survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is a lost sister of Myers who wasted his known sis Judith never happened.

At the time of the 1978 release, shrink Dr. Loomis flatly stated, "Death has come to your little town” of Haddonfield, Illinois. Surviving the bloody night left Strode  with post traumatic stress disorder and possessing a instincial pit in her stomach that the two will meet again. When they will, she prepares for a proactive offense not the screaming of a hospital gown clad teen.

Strode has constructed her house as a booby trap for evil itself. There's cameras, cells, safe room, and weaponry. Although she did not train as a martial artist, her obsession with Myers resulted in her daughter Karen  (Judy Greer), being removed from her care. She maintains family contact through high schooler Allyson (Andi Matichak) who downplays Strode's basket case obsession.

Don't be Alarmed of the Shadowy Darkness,  unless Michael is Carving Again

Actually, Allyson's peers pay only lip service to the Myers slaughter on Halloween Only five died. The scene alludes without stating that homegrown rogue terrorists have in the half century that followed wasted far more. What's the big deal with Myers, who coincidentally is among a bunch of psychos boarding a bus for transfer. 

Director/co-writer David Gordon Green pays homage to the original, often in counter allusions. His female characters resist "short cuts" and pay attention to shadows. Law enforcement behave like the "Jaws" Amity Island beach mayor --- they try to keep the presence of Myers unknown astonishing among their own counterparts (see the chocolate lunch scene). 

For the first 30 minutes its all "talk" as a British investigative journalist couple hunt for details for their 40th anniversary analysis of the event. Poking into "insane" history opens them to falling victim.

Director Green toys with the jump scare shadows and large cuttery close ups. While Carpenter kept the gore off screen, it's a toss up in the re-boot though nothing akin to "Saw" and "Hostel" grisly torture occurs. 

Curtis holds this film together. She's suspicious, tough, and gritty. She's not aged well so she's not welcome even when Myers escape has been confirmed. 

Capitalizing on the Me Too movement and strong Wonder Women (Captain Marvel to come), this film empowers the victims and their manner of coping with post trauma life. Green seeks some form of grandmom/mother/daughter power statement. It's a miniscule moment  due Myers body count and their own generational differences that require more than grabbing a rifle and shooting for establishment of strong female empowerment bonding. 

My initial reaction included some disappointment --- those missing stalking twinkling tip toe musical  camera perspectives and Michael's heavy breathing --- but the "commentary" on random societal violence is fitting (especially The Shape going door to door). Turning cliches counterclockwise is clever, too. More accolades for Blumhouse, cinema's current horror tentpole magician. 

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