Note: This article/review/bitch fest/whatever is full of spoilers for HALLOWEEN (2018) and HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021). If you don't want these movies spoiled for you, stop reading now.
Still with me? Okay...
John Carpenter is my Horror Hero(TM). Growing up, I'd say THE THING (1982) and HALLOWEEN (1978) were two of "The Big Four" Horror films that turned me into a lifelong Horror fan (the others being INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978), and FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981). I loved HALLOWEEN II (1981) and HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1983). What can I say? I've considered myself a big HALLOWEEN fan from an early age.
I was in High School when HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS came out, and of course I absolutely loved seeing Michael Myers back behind the mask. Other films in the franchise followed, some better than others. I saw them all in theaters. I really thought H20 was it: a perfect swan song for the franchise. Jamie Lee Curtis came back and took care of business. It was all over with a nice bow on it. It's a shame they couldn't leave well enough alone. They produced a sequel, and let me tell you: the first 10 minutes of RESURRECTION were so bad I wanted to walk out of the theater. (For the record, the rest of the movie was actually pretty okay).
I wasn't a huge fan of the Rob Zombie HALLOWEEN films. I felt like they gave too much back story on Michael Myers. I had no desire to see him as a child, pulling the wings off of flies. I didn't care about his broken home. I didn't like Malcolm McDowell as Loomis. The mystery of Michael being "pure evil" was no longer a mystery. Yes, these films were brutal and Tyler Mane made a menacing bad guy, but I could honestly take these films or leave them. Zero attachment whatsoever.
Then, years later, along comes HALLOWEEN (2018).
Hollywood stoner goof (or "that EASTBOUND & DOWN guy, if you prefer), Danny McBride, has somehow convinced the studio to hand him the keys to the HALLOWEEN franchise. Frequent McBride collaborator David Gordon Green (PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, EASTBOUND & DOWN) is in line to direct. Jamie Lee Curtis, whose star power has cooled substantially since 2000, is set to return as Laurie Strode (even though she's died once, and faked her death once in this series). Carpenter, of course, doesn't give a f***. He's going to get a nice check for "consulting." For obvious reasons, I'm skeptical from the word go.
HALLOWEEN (2018) is going to be a direct, 40 Years Later sequel to Carpenter's HALLOWEEN (1978). Say what now? Yes, the plan from the word "go" is to ignore all of the other films. Even HALLOWEEN II. That means that Laurie Strode is just a random victim and babysitter, not Michael's estranged sister. That means Michael's endless body count is wiped out, as are most of his superhuman feats of survival and Hulk-like strength. Basically, they're going back to the beginning to try to give the franchise a proper end. Again, I'm not liking this idea, but they didn't really ask me, did they? Let's see how this goes.
HALLOWEEN (2018) opens, as promised, as a direct sequel to the OG. Michael Myers has been locked up in a sanitarium for 40 years. Two British podcasters (what?) show up at the Smith's Grove sanitarium looking for Michael. They want to do a story about "whatever happened to that guy?" After all, at this point, he killed his sister some 55 years before. I guess no one but podcasters would really care after 55 years (or 40 years for that matter).
Somehow these two dopes have managed to get their hands on Michael's original mask. How? On eBay? Should that not be locked up as evidence somewhere? Is it a copy? I doubt they still manufacture them 40 years later. This is absurd. Plus, how did they talk their way in here and arrange to see Michael? And not get searched beforehand? They just meet up with Michael, standing around chained to the ground, and show him his old mask. Okay, sure. Whatever.
Later we find out that Loomis is dead and Michael's new doctor isn't exactly tightly wrapped. That explains some of it, but regardless, this whole beginning is just off to an epically D-U-M-B start.
So what has Laurie Strode been up to all these years? Apparently she...hasn't left the area at all. Hasn't moved to a new town. Hasn't changed her name. She just hung out and built her home into a survivalist compound (some serious Sidney Prescott vibes here). Had a kid. Did her part as the town recluse. She was attacked 40 years ago and is still extremely traumatized and apparently she has let that "lifetime ago" attack govern every decision in her entire life.
HALLOWEEN II (1981) and all the sequels don't exist, so Laurie and Michael aren't related. Why does she feel compelled to stay around and keep an eye on Michael? I could see feeling responsible if he was her brother, but he isn't. He's just a loon. And he was locked up before the Internet, so how would he ever be able to find her if she moved away? And why would he even want to find her? Because she's no longer his sister, that makes the 1978 attack random. He was out killing. She got in the way. If he got out, what possible motive would he even have to try to find Laurie again?
Sure, he might make a beeline for Haddonfield again like he did in '78 because that's where he grew up and that's where he killed his sister, but you know what? If you don't want to get killed by the killer who attacked you in Haddonfield, JUST MOVE AWAY from f***ing Haddonfield! But nope...she's in it to win it. Even her own kid is telling her to move on. That just serves to drive home how f***ing stupid this whole thing is.
Now that we've met Laurie again, let's get down to business. Michael escapes from the Sanitarium and the film heads off into fan film territory. The escape scene is a mashup of the original HALLOWEEN and PART 4 and the ensuing hunt down and killing of the podcasters steals the bathroom scene from Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN (2007). None of the sequels exist, yet let's just start lifting things from them wholesale while pretending this is a direct sequel. Podcasters dead? Check. Michael has his mask back now. Good thing the rubber hasn't disintegrated in 40 years. Myers does kill a little kid here, which is not something I expected to see. Points for shock value and "originality," I guess? Bold.
The movie meanders now and introduces a bunch of teens and kids and random townsfolk that we really don't give a flying f*** about. But hey, Michael is home and we need to up the body count. Let's get this baby rolling. What year is this, by the way? This whole section of the film looks right out of the 70s, from the home decor, to the lighting, to the fashion. I get they're going for nostalgia, but it just feels sloppy. Oh, and it's a shame they ruined the "open up the door and Michael is in the closet" scare because that would have been a real pants-shitter of a scene if the trailer reveal didn't ruin it.