Michael Myers returns for Laurie Strode.
The new Halloween is the 11th installment in the 40-year-old horror franchise, and it easily ranks as “the best chapter since the first,” said Brian Truitt in USA Today. It ignores the other sequels—shrewdly—and operates instead as a direct follow-up to John Carpenter’s 1978 slasher classic. Jamie Lee Curtis returns to play Laurie Strode, the babysitter who survived a psychopath’s killing spree all those years ago. The mature Laurie, though, fears that Michael Myers will one day escape from his mental asylum, and she has turned into a paranoid survivalist estranged from her only daughter. So the movie has a reason to exist besides tracking Myers’ latest rampage: to explore the lifelong impact of traumatic violence, said Bryan Bishop in TheVerge.com. Unfortunately, because this Halloween regularly pokes fun at the franchise, the result is “simultaneously the funniest Halloween film that’s ever been made and one of the most disturbingly brutal, which makes for a tricky mix.” The drama’s fundamentals save it, said Leah Greenblatt in Entertainment Weekly. Myers is still a silent, masked menace and Curtis a great star. At 59, she’s an undisputed midnight-madness queen, and “she has a great time swinging her shotgun around and screaming at everyone to get in the safe room.” ■