Entertainment & Arts

Halloween: Jamie Lee Curtis reboot gets mixed reviews

Jamie Lee Curtis at the Los Angeles premiere Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jamie Lee Curtis attended the Los Angeles premiere for Halloween on Thursday

The Halloween reboot, which sees Jamie Lee Curtis reprise her role as Laurie Strode, has received mixed reviews from critics.

The 2018 version marks the 11th instalment in the horror series, which began in 1978.

The reviews, which have been published ahead of the film's release on Friday, range between two and four stars.

Many critics said the movie was predictable, but others said it was the best Halloween movie for some time.

"Here's an idea," wrote Ed Potton in The Times

"If you're reviving a franchise that has been brought back from the dead nine times, why not make your rebooted version memorable in some way?

"Rather than, as David Gordon Green does here, serving up the kind of painfully workmanlike horror that could have been made at any point in the past four decades."

He awarded the film two stars, adding: "[Green] did well to secure the services of the estimable Curtis, yet they're wasted."

Image copyright Universal

Writing in The Telegraph, Tim Robey said: "Where Carpenter's original was a magnificent tease, this has a habit of baiting its audience in semi-jokey ways which prove surprisingly irksome.

"Good run for all its dodgy points, this isn't in any danger of rivalling Carpenter's legacy, but stalks behind it, at a safe distance, mostly hitting the spot.

Geoffrey Macnab praised the film in a four-star review for The Independent.

"It's a mistake to expect this new version of Halloween to explain the riddle of Myers or to get under the skin of the characters so terrified by him.

"This is an exploitation movie, after all. Its main purpose is to startle and frighten its audience.

"This is a goal it achieves just as effectively as the John Carpenter original to which it pays such affectionate homage."

Image copyright Universal

"This new iteration is more gruesome yet much less scary, its sleekness and efficiency poor substitutes for foreboding," said Jeannette Catsoulis in The New York Times.

"Sorely missing are Carpenter's moderation and patience, the restraint that turned simple shots of a darkened stairway and a hushed, leaf-lined street into dread-filled spaces."

Brian Truitt of USA Today gave the film three stars out of four, writing: "By staying true only to the initial narrative, this Halloween solidly ranks as the best chapter since the first - not exactly the highest bar - mostly by making Laurie anything but a victim.

"And while it sticks mainly to the usual successful template, sending Michael on a slashing, slicing murder spree through Haddonfield, Green's worthy revamp is also a nuanced look at mass tragedy in America through the lens of a survivor forever haunted by one deadly incident."

Writing in Forbes, Scott Mendelson added: "If you're someone who just wants to see another Halloween movie where Jamie Lee Curtis faces off with Michael Myers again, you'll probably get your money's worth.

Image copyright Universal
Image caption Jamie Lee Curtis worked on set with director David Gordon Green

"The film looks okay (although not as striking as expected, considering the pedigree) and features plenty of punishing violence (which, by the way, is arguably crueller and nastier than the Zombie remakes).

"But it's not very good or tightly-directed, and it fails as a character play and a scary movie."

Empire's Chris Evangelista said: "This is Curtis's film through and through, and the actress easily slips back into one of her most iconic roles."

"Audiences longing for a Halloween to rival the original are going to be sorely disappointed, but there's enough raw power here to hold viewers rapt.

"Perhaps realising emulating Carpenter's would be a fool's errand, Green instead opts for cheaper thrills. Still, after 40 years and some questionable sequels, it's a blast to see Michael Myers back home where he belongs."

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