HALLOWEEN KILLS AGAIN
There have been a number of the ‘slasher’ sub-genre of horror films that have garnered cult followings, and proceeded becoming successful franchises.
by Cameron Schuster I 31 October 2021
Slasher films always involve a stalker who hunts down and murders a group of people usually with sharp or bladed objects and is difficult to stop or terminate. Sometimes these characters are bigger than the movie they associate such as Jason Vorhees on Friday the 13th, Freddy Kruger on A Nightmare on Elm Street, Chucky on Child's Play or Leatherface on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. My favourite, and also the movie that kicked off the Golden Age of the slasher film era is the 1978 John Carpenter classic “Halloween” and its main antagonist, the ultimate killing machine and Boogeyman, Michael Fucken Myers.
HALLOWEEN KILLS AGAIN… AND AGAIN
Since 1978, the Halloween franchise has produced 12 movie sequels (part 3 The Season of the Witch was a failed attempt at an anthology and did not feature Michael Myers), comic books, novels, video games and with the most iconic soundtrack cementing a place in American pop culture. The Michael Myers story has been chopped and screwed over the decades with various timelines and remakes. The first reboot “H20” marked the 20th anniversary of the original film and concluded with 2020s “Halloween: Resurrection” when Michael is finally put down by Busta Rhymes. The second reboot of the series in 2007 was a two-part movie remake by Singer, Songwriter and Filmmaker Rob Zombie, his sequel “H2” was considered a flop, Box Office sales were low and the films distributor Dimension Films bailed the rights.
Enter Producer and Director David Gordon Green and Blumhouse Productions who took a fresh look at the series (on John Carpenter’s blessing) with 2018’s 3rd reboot release “Halloween” which follows the events of the original 1978 movie and abandons every Halloween film made thereafter wiping clean the Jamie Lloyd storyline which concluded in the 1995’s “Halloween: Curse Of Michael Myers”. Instead, Halloween Kills carries on from where we left off from the 2018 film and acts as Part 3 of this new timeline. Confused? Don't worry, I will probably follow this up in a Halloween timeline explanation piece at a later date, probably next Halloween, but so we are up to speed the current timeline goes: Halloween (1978), Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills (2021)
sweet?... cool... Let's go!
HALLOWEEN KILLS C.G.I.
Five minutes into Halloween Kills we flashback to 1978 to the fictional town of Haddonfield and the scene picks up immediately after the end of the original film where Dr Loomis shoots "The Shape" who falls from the balcony and disappears. Local police are chasing Michael Myers through the backyards of homes. We see Michael caught and is eventually sent to the insane asylum where the previous 2018 film begins.
The scene also shows the return of an original character Dr Samuel Loomis who was played by the late Donald Pleasence in five of the Halloween films. The likeness on the actor was done without CGI face imaging like we saw with Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” or digital face-aging which was used on Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” but amazingly executed with make-up and prosthetics.
The conclusion of this flashback scene effectively disconnects 1981s “Halloween II” from this new timeline as we dont see Michael burnt to a crisp at that film's closing thus tying up a major loose plot end.
HALLOWEEN KILLS FIREMEN
If you have watched the trailer to Halloween Kills you already know Michael survives the fiery house trap created by Laurie Strode played by scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis in the last film, but you also see Michael kill his way through a bunch of FireFighters sent to combat the blaze. It's interesting to note here that this scene played out like an 80s action movie rather than a horror. It was reminiscent of John Matrix appearing from the bullet riddled tool shed to slice open his would-be attackers in Commando. This scene also caused a bit of controversy in real life as it hit sensitivity strings to many JW hearts, culminating in a petition to delete the scene from the movie: “It is wrong because firefighters have been lured to house fires and murdered by the people who set the fire. And it’s wrong that Michael killed the firefighters with the gear from the other firefighters he killed. There is no reason for that horrible disgusting scene." My response to this reaction is that yes, it doesn't make sense that a dude can survive a house fire, walk out without burns and take on an entire regiment of firemen with axes and water hoses. Movies shouldn’t be so unrealistic it's wrong. Let’s be real... kefe
HALLOWEEN KILLS THE SCENE
One of the common attributes these horror film stalkers have is the art of design, or the ability to decorate their victims corpses for the next unsuspecting victim to discover and provide jump scares for the audience to endure. One of the scariest scenes of Halloween Kills is when we see Michael put these design skills in action, and it works in terms of shock factor, just like the previous film where Michael murders two women in their homes next door to each other all in one camera shot. It is important for the filmmakers to keep kill scenes fresh and with Michael's kill count at well over 200 over the course of 11 movies it is imperative that the creativity comes through and Gordan Green does a good job of this. And you thought there was only so much you could do with a kitchen knife.
At the same time there is a subplot that doesn't work well for me and gets the dreaded "cheesy" stamp of my review which is where you don't want to be. Jamie Lee Curtis gets less screen time as her character recovers in Hospital and so the film focuses on the people of Haddonfield and their desire to hunt down and end Michael's murderous rampage and terror. This direction the writers took was make or break for me as a fan of the series and because of its flaws in certain aspects I would acknowledge that Halloween Kills is an inferior movie to its predecessor in terms of the plot devices and story. However, the scares are in full throttle mode and the stalking scenes are intense (I can never get how Michael can walk at running speed every time?) The ultimate boogeyman will never disappoint.
HALLOWEEN KILLS AND THEN SOME...
The Michael Myers' scenes really steal the show and will be remembered but the storyline for me was disappointing and I hope that the final instalment Halloween Ends which is released next Halloween in 2022 makes up for it. The David Gordan Green vision for this Halloween reboot is somewhat intriguing as we still don't know the origin or true intent of Michael Myers like previous reboots have explored. Maybe that is the last bit of information Halloween fans have been waiting for to make this storyline interesting. In “Halloween II” it was the Samhain curse that motivates Michael. In “Halloween 4” they introduced a lost niece of Michael and a devil worshiping cult that uses Michael as a conduit for the protection of mankind… What the!? … ok, on that note I think the storyline right now and what we do and don't know is fine.
2 out of 5 Panipopo