40 years on from the original 'Halloween', David Gordon Green's direct sequel pretty much swept away the intervening movies, the Rob Zombie reboots, and even that one with Josh Hartnett where Michael Myers died at the end.
So much of the movie is wrapped up in what happened in John Carpenter's original and the concept of trauma being passed from generation to generation, which is ultimately what made the finale so powerful. Jamie Lee Curtis' performance as Laurie Strode really did call to mind Linda Hamilton's transition in the first 'Terminator' from screaming final girl into hardened yet damaged avenger in 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day'.
'Halloween' uses familiar tropes and shots from the original and mirrors or inverts them for the sequel, but the final fight in Strode's bunker was incredible. You had Judy Greer and Andi Matichak as Strode's daughter and granddaughter, turning the trap on Michael Myers and burying him beneath the house and locking him in. The reveal comes that Strode's house wasn't a bunker, it was a trap meant to lure Myers in. She sets the house on fire, it collapses down on top of Myers and we see the Strode women, tearful but alive.
If the movie had ended right there and then, this would have been the perfect end to the franchise and as best an ending you could hope for. Laurie Strode's journey has come to an end and we know that she has faced her fears in Michael Myers and come out the other side, and destroyed the house - basically a metaphor for her past - she built by setting it all on fire and walking away.
Of course, if you know horrors, you know nothing's dead until you see the body - and we saw no body at the end of the movie. As if to hammer the point, the end of the credits featured a brief clip of laboured, heavy breathing - meaning that Michael Myers survived, or at the very least wasn't finished in the fire. You've got 100 minutes of solid horror, the crescendo when Myers finally reaches Strode's home, she catches and kills him with her daughter's help - and then it's all undone with a post-credits sting.
Think of 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day' - how galling would it be if right after we saw the T-800 go into the molten lava, there was a post-credits sting of him climbing out of the lava? The emotions built around that ending are completely undone. It's probably why none of the sequels following 'Terminator 2' have never worked quite so well. That ending was note-perfect. We left them to determine the next path of their life, free from the terror they'd faced for the past two hours.
'Halloween' ended on a similar note, so the question now is how do you convincingly push on the story without cheapening what was experienced? What 'Halloween' got right in the first one, built upon in this sequel, and was lazily stretched out in the intervening sequels, was that Michael Myers was supposed to be a mystery left unsolved. It's like the shark from 'Jaws', you're not supposed to know any more about it because when you reveal the workings, you lose the mystery and it's that mystery which makes him so scary.
Trying to ring another sequel out of 'Halloween' is a mistake that was made back in 1978. Here's hoping the mistake isn't repeated again.