Review / ‘Halloween’ (MA) *** and a half

FORTY years ago, writer/director John Carpenter scared filmgoers big-time when he introduced serial-killing psychopath Michael Myers. In this sequel, writer/director David Gordon Green goes back to see how Michael is getting on in the high-security institution where he has spent the years saying nothing and spending his exercise hours chained to a concrete block in an open yard.

Memories of Michael remain strong in the mind of Laurie whose 15-year-old daughter he murdered under the cover of Halloween festivities. In both original and sequel Jamie Lee Curtis plays Laurie, her first feature role after a brief career in TV series, propelling her into a distinguished career. Although made up to show Laurie’s age, she still looks rather spectacular.

Laurie still fears that while Michael remains alive, she is at risk of him escaping and coming to kill her. Living alone in a rural house built along fortress principles, she does regular target practice with a collection of guns that I suspect that the American Rifle Association will clasp to its bosom as an example of the stupid mantra: “The way to deal with a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun”.

Shooting enthusiasts may agree that in the confines of a house a rifle is a more unwieldy weapon than a handgun, preferably a revolver, that’s easier to train on a target quickly in a confined space.

Guns, cooks’ knives, hammers, that’s what this sequel is about, with a considerable body count, a credible narrative structure, powerful tensions, dreadful murders following scary stalkings. Mercifully, there’s but scant time for the film to visit All Hallows Eve as practised in the US and, perhaps alas, also nowadays in this country.

At all cinemas

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