Halloween as a film franchise has a bizarre timeline that went so out of the box. By the fifth and sixth film, there was a cult and then aliens—killing the franchise until the 2018 instalment, which follows the timeline after the first movie. Laurie Strode came back with a traumatised family in tow to reinvigorate a horror staple. With the latest release, Halloween Kills, now out in the cinema, did Jame Lee Curtis, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green do it again?
Micheal Myers returned, but Laurie Strode believes she has nothing to worry about after burning him alive. Or so she thinks! As Micheal Myers returns to Haddonfield, he leaves a trail of destruction and death in his path. Will the Strodes and Haddonfield be able to put the shape to rest, or is he more than man?
The first thing that struck me was James Jude Courtney/ Nick Castle’s interpretation of Micheal Myers. Whilst Micheal is still a slow walker like in the original movies. However, there are scenes in the film where he has such speed going towards some of his victims it jumpscares you. They do a good job making Micheal this terrifying silent force.
When reviewing a horror movie, you are obliged to talk about the deaths in the film. How gruesome they were and whether the movie lived up to the genre. And I’m happy to report that the kills in Halloween Kills are inventive, gruesome and whilst not all of them are full of blood. They do show a lot of body parts, i.e. bones and brains. And I think that the inventiveness and presence of Micheal help make these kills both terrifying and impressive.
Laurie and original characters
And with that terror naturally, a lot of suspense follows. Halloween Kills interweaves this expertly as the chime of the Halloween theme brings you to attention and has you immediately asking characters to either look behind them or run and don’t stop! Even then, without the musical cue, you are begging characters to be careful.
I also think Laurie, whilst not being used as much, makes sense because she’s injured. And I like the irony of being in the hospital for the sequel like the original. Also, Allyson and Karen, and Laurie are all strong female characters which I love!
Also, I appreciate seeing the original characters like Lindsay and Tommy returning and trying to take down Michael. If they hadn’t considered the forty-year time jump as an audience member, we’d want to see how the events of the previous movies had affected these characters, so I don’t think there would’ve been a point in this sequel otherwise.
Does the movie do right by these original characters?
With all the original characters returning, such as Lindsay Wallace and Tommy, does Halloween Kills do right by the characters?
The movie got the trauma of these characters. It made it work well in culminating in the trauma of an entire community coming to the fore, which expands on the themes of generational trauma into the community very well.
The movie also sells the camaraderie between all of these characters through the survival of the first movie. And it adds to the suspense. Also, Lindsay has a kickass moment in the film! And I think it fits her character well, and I can’t wait to see her in the next instalment.
In terms of Marion Chambers, I’m not sure how to feel about her death. The screenwriter side of me is screaming that it’s right. She died in the car because they needed to get the characters moving, and it’s a horror movie. If they didn’t have a death in five minutes, they’d ruin the flow, and Micheal wouldn’t leave a person alive, so it makes sense she dies where she does. Plus, it adds to the tension and the terror, so it isn’t wasteful!
However, a small part (and I mean minuscule) feels like the character was underutilised. Like she was the original nurse that worked with Doctor Loomis. She understood Micheal could’ve helped trap him or something, so it feels like she’s only there for the movie to say, ‘Look, we’ve called back to the original, don’t you love this movie!’
The Hospital mob- Good parts
There is also the scene with the mob in hospital (which I have many problems with, which I’ll explain later.) The mob scene does an excellent job of showing the trauma and the tension. It makes sense after forty years for the town to rise, and I enjoy seeing that and its psychology. The Mum finding Eric’s body in the Morgue is also heartbreaking and adds to the scene’s impact.
You want to join the mob. You want to see them defeat Micheal, and when they unknowingly go after the wrong person, you are begging them to stop.
Karen trying to help, pulls at your heartstrings. This film, besides being horror, is emotional and hits home.
Now I’ve spoken about the good, let’s talk about the bad. As much as I love the hospital mob scene and how it shows the ongoing communal trauma Micheal Myers has forced on to Haddonfield come to a head. How it makes the audience agree and want to join the mob. The fact they go after the other psychiatric patient that escaped is both brilliant symbolism and superbly stupid.
Because and I quote when they finally get the man, Tommy says, ‘He’s always wearing a mask how are we meant to know.’ You know because he never takes it off! Hence the always! You know it’s Micheal Myers when he wears a mask, and the characters know he never takes it off!
And so because he always wears a mask as you say, and you know he is always wearing the mask. Why are you running after him! When the man isn’t wearing a mask, why are you chasing him?
How Halloween Kills could improve the bad
I can commend Halloween Kills for what it says about a vigilante mentality and mobs and the messaging behind the moment. And you can slightly see where Tommy is coming from because they are on edge. The whole mask thing and the excuse Tommy gives doesn’t work! And so sort of renders this scene useless to me. Then once the emotion from the set runs out, I no longer care.
And it makes me feel like they could’ve changed that scene to the mob properly going for Micheal instead of the other man, and we could’ve seen the community being on edge in another way.
And I do understand why they didn’t because you want another setting for the film and more characters, but it doesn’t work in the end.
Another thing is because the entire town takes on Micheal Myers, you want to see them all go after the man with all their might you beg the movie to do it. And it doesn’t happen in full force. It is meant to with the mob going after the wrong person instead.
It takes too long for that mob scene to happen, and I think if we saw more of the town going after Micheal Myers instead of that mob scene, it might’ve made the movie a bit stronger. But then I’m worried we’d lose the message on vigilante mentality!
I’m giving Halloween Kills three stars (at a push three and a half stars, but we’ll stick with three.) Micheal Myers kills are inventive. The character beats strong. The town going after Micheal is brilliant and delivers a great message but with stupid reasoning. Overall I enjoyed seeing the film even though some scenes annoyed me.
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