Set forty years after the first film, Halloween (2018) follows up on the events of the first movie and ignores all sequels, reboots, restarts, re-imaginings, and whatever else has gone on before except for the events of that one movie. So it's a direct sequel to that first movie.
But it really isn't.
Laurie Strode is a hermetic shut-in, agoraphobic and sequestered out on a lonely stretch of road where she lives in both fear and anticipation of the Shape's return. She has had two failed marriages, she's tried to raise a daughter of her own, and her fear and alcoholism have destroyed many of the dreams she once had for a normal life. She's not a hero. She hasn't overcome her demons. This is not the Laurie I hoped to see, frankly. And it's that much more heart-wrenching to experience it.
Two investigative journalists are hoping to use the Haddonfield murder case in an upcoming feature story. They visit Laurie and they also pay a visit to the asylum where Michael Meyers has spent the last several years of his life. He is the living embodiment of evil. He hasn't said a word since his killing spree forty years prior. He's just been waiting.
A bus transfer to a new facility is just the opportunity that Michael needs, and the killing spree starts anew.
I knew this was going to be a different movie, but the truth of the matter is that this is so far removed from what I expected that it is hard to discuss without spoiling it. There are layers to this film and I'm glad they decided to not slap a number on to the end of it, leaving it as just "Halloween" and letting it sort of speak for itself. Because this isn't really a sequel, despite revisiting the characters of the previous work. This is a whole new Halloween film, a whole different story with entirely different themes and completely new nightmares for the audience. You'll get your familiar beats, but this is a new creature in and of itself.
Jamie Lee Curtis gives a layered and complex performance. I'm going to be a little too honest here- I did not LIKE what Laurie had become. My heart broke to see her taken by her own demons, to see her living with a guilt and shame over not being able to move on. A specific scene cut close to home as I saw the kinds of things I feel when my own PTSD is triggered and it was hard to watch it reflected back to me in that way. Though it will never happen, she should be nominated for an award in this movie.
10 out of 10.