Halloween ★★★★★

Hooptober 5.0: 31/31

We'll be debating the merits of David Gordon Green's new Halloween sequel for quite a while. But for me, if it does anything right, it gives the first Halloween movie back to us. We can say (if we want) that every movie after this one doesn't count. No sister, no Samhain, just a very motivated personification of evil and some nice girls who were trying to have fun on October 31st, until . . .

In letting go of all that mythology baggage, so many things in Halloween '78 felt weirdly new to me. The biggest was when Michael sees Laurie for the first time when he's hiding inside the old Myers house and she drops off her realtor father's keys. In that moment he's looking at this sister, but not in the way we were conditioned to think of it by Part II and onward. By getting that close to his home, random Laurie Strode becomes Michael's sister from 1963. He had come back to Haddonfield to replay the old tapes of that awful night, but he didn't know exactly how he was going to do it. Until he saw Laurie. That's chilling to me. You could be terrorized because a psycho happens to have his face turned in your direction.

The other thing that struck me is that in 1978, no one had yet seen the iconic Michael Myers mask. For the first half of the movie his whole being is indistinct, always shot from behind or far away. We can tell something is going on in the face region but we don't know what. So when he appears in the window at the house Annie is babysitting in, the white mask is a real jolt. I also never thought about how you can see Michael's neck below the mask. That's also the case in at least Part II and the Gordon Green movie, but it lends an odd vulnerability to Michael. He's a monstrous man, but he's a man.

Anyone chasing Michael has to be as insane as he is. Dr Loomis fits that to a T. He's not so much a man of science as he is a prophet of doom. When he learns of Michael's escape from Smith's Grove, he doesn't snap into action or get help for the nurse who was injured when Michael stole their car. He proclaims, "the evil is gone! The evil is gone from here!" How is that good news, or helpful? Well, it's great news if you had all your emotional chips on the square of "Michael Myers will someday escape and try to repeat his original murder."

One more thing and I'll put this review, myself, and Hooptober 5.0 to bed (90 or so minutes late, but I did all 31, baby): Annie's boyfriend is a dangling thread waiting for exploitation. She was killed before she could go pick him up. We never even meet him. Is he in mourning, racked with guilt? Was he maybe going to break up with Annie that night? Could he become another rabid Michael hunter, competing with Laurie Strode's endless quest?

But that's a review for another year.

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