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A horror rematch 40 years in the making 

© Universal Pictures / Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.
     In 1978, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis: New Girl) survived masked lunatic Michael Myers’ murder spree. Her friends were butchered, but Laurie lived to see Michael captured and committed. Still, she couldn’t move on. 
     Over 40 years, Laurie prepares for what she believes is Myers’ inevitable escape. She learns how to booby-trap her home, how to shoot, how to fight off an attacker in close quarters. She runs drill attacks and teaches daughter Karen (Judy Greer: Ant-Man and the Wasp) to shoot by the time she’s 10.
      Laurie thinks her preparations perfectly reasonable. However, the state disagrees, forcing her to seek psychiatric care and taking Karen from her. Having grown up thinking her mother pathetic and traumatized, Karen keeps her from her grandchild, Allyson (Andi Matichak: The Boonies). But Allyson is curious about her grandmother and keeps reaching out. 
      Laurie’s fears prove justified. When Michael does finally escape, he makes a beeline back to her and her family. Can the Strode women work together to save their lives? 
      This examination of how trauma trickles through generations is a worthy follow-up to the 1978 classic. A sequel that shames the other nine films in the franchise, Halloween focuses on the inherent strength of women instead of a madman. It’s a good decision, as Myers is at his best worst with little backstory. He isn’t a traumatized little boy who needs hugs; he’s a shark — a silent killing machine that doesn’t understand fear or care about logistics. When two podcasters seek to humanize him, he dispatches them.
      Director David Gordon Green (Vice Principals) pays homage to franchise history without recycling too much from earlier films. Iconic shots are reimagined with clever twists. The original tension returns through great camerawork. After 40 years, Myers reigns at popping up with a knife.
      Green worked with Danny McBride (Vice Principals) to craft a screenplay that balances murder with laughs. The humorous scenes, especially featuring newcomer Jibrail Nantambu, are a welcome break from all the slashing. Then, just as you drop your guard, Myers reappears. 
     In this Halloween, Curtis transforms Laurie from frightened coed to avenging angel. This drunken, mess of a woman is spoiling to settle the score. Her preparation to defend her family makes the second half of Halloween an action movie. It’s as frightening as ever as the female star takes charge of her destiny and takes her nemesis by the throat. This is a movie for the Me Too Era. 
      If you’re new to the franchise, see the original classic so you have a sense of the history of the movie before buying a ticket. 
Good Horror • R • 106 mins.
~~~ New this Week ~~~
Hunter Killer
     After a Russian coup destabilizes the superpower, America seeks to save the kidnapped Russian president and restore world order. Submarine Captain Joe Glass (Gerard Butler) leads the Navy SEALS on the rescue mission. 
     This latest in Butler’s parade of dumb action movies doesn’t even offer interesting fight scenes.
Prospects: Dim • R • 121 mins.
     Darren Turner (Justin Bruening) becomes an Army chaplain to bring the word of God to fighters for our country. His faith sustains him as he serves soldiers in Iraq. On the home front, his wife tries to help military families keep the faith. 
     With a sermon rather than a script, it’s unlikely to uplift any but the devout. 
Prospects: Dim • PG-13 • 119 mins.
Johnny English Strikes Again   
     Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is enjoying retirement when disaster strikes England. A cyber-terrorist cracks into the government’s secret files, exposing every undercover agent. It’s up to Johnny to uncover the hacker out to destroy the English. 
      The third in these dire little spy spoofs should be full of sight gags, pratfalls and silly James Bond jokes. Atkinson is a legend in British comedy, but while his Blackadder is a stroke of genius, Johnny English is more a pie in the face.
Prospects: Dim • PG • 88 mins.