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Todd Herman

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‘Halloween’ is creepy and a fitting tribute to the original

This is the 11th “Halloween” movie. That’s a lot. The original movie came out in 1978 from John Carpenter and cost almost nothing. John Carpenter wrote and directed it, and created the music as well. He’s again done the music for this film, 40 years later. It’s one of the effective parts of this current incarnation.

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A lot of people remember the original “Halloween”, which was a very effective film. It was creepy, it was scary, it started a whole trend of slasher/horror movies. Michael Myers, the evil psycho who may or may not be something supernatural, comes up on Halloween and kills a bunch of babysitters.

The one babysitter he tries but fails to kill is named Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. Jamie Lee Curtis is back, as is one of the people who played Michael Myers. John Carpenter is back, not as a director this time, but as a film composer and as one of the producers, and the franchise is back.

Let me just say flat-out: this film has absolutely no right to be as good as it is. It’s a very well made film, creepy as hell. It is impossible not to feel disturbed, frightened, on edge.

I don’t generally like slasher films. I don’t think they’re really good for the culture or individuals seeing them. However, there is an artistry there, and I think one of the reasons people like and go to them is because when you are caught up in the some of the tension, you kind of forget about what you have to do when you get home. You forget about that bill you have to pay; you’re just there in the moment, and film can do that. This film does that well.

John Carpenter was very inspired by Hitchcock in his original film — in terms of the shot selection and the way he made the film — and similarly, this film understands that the most frightful impact you can have on a viewer is forcing them to use their imagination. You see a bunch of teeth on the floor, and you think, “Oh my god, where did that come from?” It’s thinking about that that’s scary.

A lot of the most grotesque violence is away from the camera–you hear things, but most of the violence is happening behind a closed door. You’re looking through an open door and it’s happening in another part of the room.

The guy who made this — David Gordon Green — has a writing partner for virtually all of his films named Danny McBride. Kudos to them in making this “Halloween” movie. If you don’t think you like slasher films, don’t see it. But as slasher films go, this is almost as good as it gets. I give it three stars.

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