New Installment of ‘Halloween’ Franchise

By TRILBY BERESFORD | Reporter

Falling on a cloudy Wednesday, Halloween felt a little lackluster this year.

Though filmgoers who ventured out to experience “Halloween,” the 11th film in the slasher franchise launched by director John Carpenter and screenwriter Debra Hill in 1978, lavishly indulged its presence.

While this installment is technically a sequel to the original film, most people will identify it as a follow-up to the rather silly—though highly entertaining—“Halloween II” directed by the enigmatic Rob Zombie in 2009.

“Halloween” is an unusual move for director David Gordon Green, who has maintained distance from mainstream movies, instead preferring to sink his teeth into character driven stories like “Prince Avalanche” and “Undertow.”

(He is responsible for “Pineapple Express,” however, so perhaps “Halloween” isn’t a ridiculously grand departure.)

Actor Danny McBride co-wrote the screenplay with Green and Jeff Fradley, who recently made his debut as a writer on the HBO show “Vice Principals.”

Palisadian Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode, a character she has depicted—to great acclaim—many times in her career.

In an interview with Collider magazine, Curtis shared her thoughts on how the film delicately explores trauma: “[Trauma] is generational. I’m sure many of us have friends whose grandparents or parents are Holocaust survivors, and you can see how trauma goes through generations.”

She went on to add, “Obviously, that’s a very heavy thing to reference, and this is fiction, but trauma is passed on, unless it’s helped. There are a lot of people who spend their lives helping people through traumas. There are a lot of recovery centers for that. There was nothing in 1978.”

Nick Castle, a college classmate of Carpenter’s who portrayed mentally ill serial killer Michael Myers in the original film, returns to breathe life into “The Shape.” Actor and stunt performer James Jude Courtney joins him in the role.

Since its Oct. 19 release, reviews have been mostly positive. “It lays on the dread with finesse before turning the tables in mostly creative ways,” said film critic Ty Burr in the Boston Globe.

“This slasher movie reboot for the #MeToo era is the trick-or-treat frightfest you’ve been waiting for, highlighted by Jamie Lee Curtis in a savage roar of a performance,” Peter Travers expressed in Rolling Stone.

The film is dedicated to legendary filmmaker Moustapha Akkad, who produced eight entries in the franchise until his sudden death in the 2005 Amman suicide bombing.

Above all else, most critics and fans agree that “Halloween” is a “great” entry in the historic franchise, and well worth exploring during the spooky season.