This is quite spoilery, but the film is over 20 years old! Get over it! Also, watch the film, because it’s great fun. Anyway..
No other franchise before or since has attempted to reinvent itself quite so forcefully. Star Trek “rebooted” as a teen flick? Bond “reinvented” as a troubled, monkeyish Bourne-alike? The Planet of the Apes “reimagined” as the fever-dream of a particularly stupid monkey? Child’s play compared to this. Carpenter was determined to do something new with his Halloween property and this was how he did it.
Failed, didn’t it? Oh, well. It’s given us a briliant, mad, flawed film. Creepy, low-key and apocalyptic in that way that 80s horror films often were. Where are the films like this nowadays? It’s all zoombies and torture porn. Bah. No fun! I want a film which starts with a robot assassin in a car park, counts itself down to doomsday with a cheery earworm of an advertising jingle and ends with a stone from Stonehenge essploding and THE DEATH OF MILLIONS OF CHILDREN! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IIIIIIIITTT!
Surprisingly effective in its use of gore, too. Really, you hardly ever see anyone killed by the masks, but the image really sticks with you. I suppose there’s a decapitation, but that’s funny more than anything. The film is long stretches of things happening quite quietly punctuated by a head full o’ bugs.
I was tempted to say it’s more of a character piece, but that’s just a lie. The main dude is barely there, a moustache and a flannel shirt who cheats on his wife with, like, two seconds of hesitation and claims to be a doctor. Pfft. Dan O’Herlihy (“We had a time getting it here!” I WANT TO KNOW!) approaches a character, but ends up caricature. Which is fine, he’s the villain. Boo, hiss and all that. And the love interest literally disappears about halfway through, only to re-emerge as the most persistent robot assassin in history. Arnie looks like a total quitter in comparison.
An interesting glimpse into what never was, as Myers returned for the fourth part. The public, eh? You have to give them what they want.