Halloween Kills

Rating: 2 out of 5.

When it comes to the ever-divisive horror genre, you can’t help but think of the big baddies who have garnered their own distinct reputations over the past 30 or so years (namely, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and Leatherface). These reputations are so much larger than life, that even non-horror fans are still likely to, at the very least, recognize their names. But for those of us who are fans of the genre, we’ve been watching all of their stories for those 30+ years. And the stories told of Michael Myers in the Halloween franchise have been some of the most muddled, reinvented, and ultimately confusing of all the individual franchises thus far. (See image). In our most recent outing with Michael, we pick up right where 2018’s super-confusingly titled Halloween left off.

The Halloween franchise has a complicated continuity.

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: this is still a slasher film and that means lots of kills. Now, many slashers are known for killing off teenagers. Why? It’s simple. Regardless of who the viewers are (age-appropriate, of course), no one feels bad for these dead teens. As adults, we don’t feel bad, because we were all teenagers once and we know how stupid we all were. In a way, it’s cathartic for us to watch them get, shall we say, “cut down” to size? Our other audience members are the teens themselves, who don’t usually have complexity of emotion enough to feel bad for watching their peers die. So at the end of the day, the rules of slasher films generally make for a fun ride, especially if they’ve added a bonus mystery element of “whodunit” as in the Scream franchise, Urban Legend, or even as uniquely done as 2011’s You’re Next.

In Halloween Kills, after dumping buckets of exposition all over us, we are forced to watch as the most sympathetic of all demographics are infuriatingly brutalized. Narratively, I get it. The film leans heavily into the curious nature of Michael Myers; that being, why does he do it? And how does he decide who he kills? Well, there’s no real answer given there, so don’t get your hopes up. The deaths we witness in Kills, are maybe meant to rile us up to a level of anger similar to that of the townspeople we watch rally against Myers? It may succeed there, but it fails to do much else.

While it’s commendable that the filmmakers would try to do something original with this new Myers tale, it still succumbs to the tired tropes we’ve seen before.

While it’s commendable that the filmmakers would try to do something original with this new Myers tale, it still succumbs to the tired tropes we’ve seen before. It’s full of the same stupid decisions by characters, predictable moments, and worst of all: it is no secret that director David Gordon Green announced a full trilogy. So anyone with a brain stem can deduce what that means for this movie’s ending.

Applause can be given to the effects crew, and the writers, for some creative kills (not all of them, but a handful). These kills are absolutely bloodsoaked, and they look great (relative term). Additionally, fans of the original will likely be pleased to see three actors from the original 1978 film return to Haddonfield (Kyle Richards, Charles Cyphers, and Nancy Stevens). However, neither of these two implementations can change the simple fact that though Halloween Kills tries, it ultimately fails to provide a story worth watching.

The many stories of Michael Myers

Published by Stuart "Doc" B.

As an avid lover of both film and writing, I have decided to watch movies with intentionality by choosing films based on critical acclaim (for now) and discussing my thoughts on them. This site is my passion project and I'm thankful to have it finally realized.

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