The Halloween franchise has come back with a unique take on the material 40 years after the original. Not simply another sequel to the long-running horror series, the new Halloween is a sequel to the original 1978 classic which ignores every other sequel that came before it. How well does this strategy work? Overall, pretty well. Our own Eric Eisenberg gave the film 4.5 stars out of five and says the film is both a worthy tribute, and a subversion, of the original.
Along with co-writer Danny McBride and producers John Carpenter and Jason Blum, Green has managed to create something honestly extraordinary, in that it's simultaneously both a wonderful tribute to the story that started it all, and a post-modern reflection that often giddily subverts everything that's perfect about the legacy of the killer Michael Myers.
For the most part, Eric's opinion is held by the majority of critics. As of this writing, Halloween is holding about an 86% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The vast majority of reviews hold that Halloween is a lean and mean slasher movie that takes what's great about the original and then takes it in a fresh direction. While few are saying it's quite as good as the first Halloween, it is being called a worthy successor. Empire Magazine is one of those singing its praises...
While it doesn't capture the magic of the original, this Halloween brings much-needed closure to a troubled franchise, with Curtis excellent and Michael Myers pleasingly terrifying again.
While Halloween is one of those franchises that, like it's iconic main character, never seems to die, few would argue that the existing sequels are particularly great, though they certainly have their moments. Unfortunately, those sequels have gotten so out of control over the years that really isn't a continuous continuity that makes sense.
This isn't even the first Halloween of its type. The movie called H2O , made two decades ago, had basically the same structure as this one, seeing an older Laurie Strode, played by a returning Jamie Lee Curtis, still trying to come to terms with the events of the original film. Most would agree that film missed the mark. It doesn't seem like this one did.
Gamespot says that while the new movie may ignore the sequels overall, the new Halloween takes all of the best bits from the history of the franchise in order to turn in something which fits perfectly alongside John Carpenter's original.
Halloween doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it takes the best parts of all the films in the franchise, and delivers the ultimate companion piece to Carpenter's 1978 masterpiece.
While the vast majority of reviews look like this, that's not to say that all of them do. There are a few who don't think the new Halloween is nearly as impressive. Forbes, for one, doesn't think that the screenplay of the new Halloween quite lives up to the performances in it, resulting in an uneven ride.
The acting and violence are appropriately impressive, but a choppy screenplay, a lack of real-world logic and mixed messages render this less of an update and more of a glorified fanfiction.
Just another pale imitation, another bad Halloween sequel watering down the fear factor of the original.
Frequently when we see critics diverge, it's because they focus on different aspects of a film that either worked really well or really didn't. Here, it seems like the exact same material was met with very different reactions. If you've been waiting to see what the new Halloween has to offer, then based simply on the percentages, it seems like there's a good chance you'll get what you want. However, there's a distinct possibility you might be disappointed yet again.