Movie Review: Halloween reboots a haggard tale

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Mumbai : Michael Myers, the masked marauder is back. 40 years is a long time to reboot a horror cult classic which pitched a suburban American housewife , played with a fiery yet reined-in intensity by Jamie Lee Curtis, against a serial killer who was to Hollywood what Raman Raghav was to Hindi cinema.

"Is this how it feels?" A psychiatrist wonders aloud after slaying a colleague just to feel what Myers feels. If the unintentional humour of this episode doesn't have you choking on your popcorn then there is the same psycho shrink declaring that Myers must not come to harm as he is State Property.

Kasab, anyone?

Times have changed. Women all over the world have worse things to worry about than a crazy man with a hammer. The new Halloween film, given surprisingly indulgent reviews by American critics, does nothing to update its concerns about violence against women.

It simply picks up the story -- hammer, knife, sickle and all -- dragging and kicking, from where it left off and begins again.

Scream your head off.

The scream-play assembled by three eggheads, follows the slasher-on-the-prowl routine with deathly earnestness. It doesn't miss a single opportunity to jolt us. But after a point the killing rampage runs out of steam and gore becoming an unnerving bore.

Sad, because we would want to know how Laurie Strode (Curtis), now looking 40 years older (because she is!) has dealt with the trauma of being savaged by a serial killer.

We get only a glimpse or two into her traumatised psyche when at the outset two investigative reporters barge into Laurie's self-imposed exile to pry open her wounds.

The journalists could have amply served the purpose of carrying forward the plot which needed a serious helping hand (it limps and groans!). However, the nosy twosome are quickly and brutally murdered by -- guess who -- in what must rank as the most tasteless toilet terror-attack ever shot in a horror film.

Brutality, like compassion, has no rationale to fall back on. Once Myers is "back" he takes over the little town's destiny on Halloween night (what timing!) with any weapon he can lay his hands on.

While the slashing spree goes on, many questions remain unanswered. Why is a man so hysterically homicidal, transferred from one prison to another(thereby given the pretext to escape) rather than swiftly executed?

Tragically Michael Myers isn't put to sleep. But we are.