Micheal Myers is bloodier than ever in a story where fear and trauma take centre stage.
The iconic slasher film franchise is back after the success of Halloween (2018). We see Laurie Strode (Jaime Lee Curtis), Karen (Judy Greer), and Allyson (Andi Matichak) exactly where we left them three years ago: hurt and rushing to the hospital. As for Michael (James Jude Courtney), he miraculously survives the fire in Laurie’s basement just to get back to his killing spree. We then get to meet some familiar characters like Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) and Lindsay (Kyle Richards) along the way. The set-up of this instalment is interesting and nostalgic at times, but the execution ends up being flat and never gets to the level of drama and tension of its predecessor.
As Myers continues his bloodshed, the hospital becomes a focal point for the Haddonfield townsfolk. This movie builds on the trauma of John’s Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), and rightly so, as the citizens have had enough. Tommy leads an angry mob determined to bring Michael down, and as they chant “Evil dies tonight,” people become rowdier and more violent. Now, this might not be the most original of scenarios, but in the context of Haddonfield, it ends up making a lot of sense. This is the result of Myer’s stalking and tormenting. As Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers) says, fear has turned people into “monsters”. Even though this is symbolic (in the most obvious and simplest of ways), it starts to paint Myers as an indestructible and immortal being that is right on the edge of absurdity.
It doesn’t help the story that Laurie Strode appears only until minute 19 and spends all of her time in a hospital bed (reminiscent of Halloween II). On the one hand, she’s been through a lot, and having her not have a face-to-face confrontation with Myers makes the expectations for Halloween Ends even higher. On the other hand, this made the narrative faulty at times, relying exclusively on flashy, shocking, gory sequences. Something to be said is that the horror elements worked very well as the Halloween movie with most on-screen killings ever. Director David Gordon Green proves he’s still a master at displaying gruesome, visually painful deaths.
As the mob storms the hospital, Allyson and Karen begin to deal with their generational trauma by physically fighting their enemy. We also get new-ish information through a flashback which helps to make it clear which movies are canon and which ones we can forget about. Aside from that, the character’s arches stay relatively un-touched, and the narrative doesn’t introduce any fresh ideas other than nice easter eggs for the fans.
The suspense reaches its peak when Allison and his ex-boyfriend Cameron (Dylan Arnold) challenge Myers in his childhood home. Through some corny speeches, we end the film with some heart-breaking deaths, not a lot of Laurie, but a satisfactory slasher experience. The presence of Micheal Myers lingers in the air, more powerful and chaotic than before, and what seems like a Psycho-inspired montage-finale leaves the door open for a hopefully more well-rounded, fruitful, and steady third instalment.
Halloween Kills is currently in UK cinemas. You can watch the trailer below.