FILM REVIEW | True scream queen returns

In 1978, a little-known director named John Carpenter released a horror movie called Halloween and changed the film industry forever.

Halloween was a game-changer and inspired a myriad of teen slashers in the ensuing years, falling on every holiday you could think of. In Michael Myers – the creepy mask-wearing, unkillable baddie – we had a villain for the ages.

Now, 40 years on, we have been treated to the continuation of that classic story – again called Halloween.

Sure, there have been 1001 Halloween sequels in the time between the first and the latest releases but the new film ignores all the others and picks up as though this is the first time audiences have dived back into that world.

Jamie Lee Curtis’ original scream queen Laurie Strode has spent the past 40 years trying to come to terms with her near-death run-in with Myers – or the Boogeyman, as she calls him.

But the Laurie we meet in 2018 is not the shy, repressed Laurie of 1978. She’s had the full Sarah Connor treatment and is now a gun-toting, uber-prepared, paranoid revenge-seeker.

Guess who's back: Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode 40 years after the original Halloween film in its same-name sequel, rated MA15+, in cinemas now.

Guess who's back: Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode 40 years after the original Halloween film in its same-name sequel, rated MA15+, in cinemas now.

But her preparedness has come at a cost – her relationship with daughter Karen (Judy Greer, Ant-Man) and granddaughter Allyson (newcomer Andi Matichak) is far from ideal.

Family ties and weapons training are all put to the test when the long-incarcerated Myers escapes from custody and makes his way back to Haddonfield, Illinois – his hometown where he murdered his sister as a six-year-old and killed several teens 15 years later.

The new Halloween is filled with good scares, interesting deaths and plenty of creepy head-tilting villainy from Myers. It also feels very 2018, but not in a box-ticking kind of way.

The film starts with a podcaster seeking to interview Myers, something that could easily happen today.

We then meet the new batch of teenagers, who are still concerned with their own romances but aren’t tied to stringent ideas of masculinity and femininity.

There’s also a fair amount of girl power on show from the trio of Strode women.

Whether you love the franchise or you’re a newcomer, you’re going to love the new Halloween.

RATING: 8/10