A generous reading of Halloween—a follow-up to John Carpenter’s 1978 original that ignores all of the other installments in the series—would be to say that it’s a visceral #MeToo parable in which traumatized women confront their abuser. Surely that’s how the movie will be regarded years from now, when it will be looked to as a reflection of its era. But in truth, the film clumsily stumbles into feminist significance in its final moments, without having laid much groundwork for it beforehand. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode, the teenage target of masked maniac Michael Myers, yet inexplicably the movie never offers a coherent vision of the character, now 40 years older. At first she’s a fearful hermit who has locked herself up in a heavily fortified house in the woods. Then we meet her family—daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak)—who regard her as a boozy basketcase (out for dinner with them, she chugs a glass of wine). When Michael Myers escapes once more from a mental-health prison and returns to haunt the streets of Haddonfield, Ill., Laurie turns into a suburban Furiosa, brandishing shotguns and stalking the stalker. Which Laurie is she? If the original film—like all good horror movies—explored a specific fear (I’d suggest Carpenter’s flick was about Laurie’s fear of sex), this Halloween has no central focus (Michael is much more of an indiscriminate killer this time around). All of that said, there are a number of nice callbacks to the 1978 film, including a single-take homage that employs Michael’s masked reflection in a window. These come courtesy of director David Gordon Green, who can now add middling horror to his eclectic filmography (All the Real Girls, Pineapple Express, Joe).