A crowd of chants becomes prominent at some point in the new movie, Halloween Kills .
Haddonfield residents, who have endured the memories and consequences of Michael Myers’ calamity 40 years ago, as well as the events of ‘present’ evening, are taking the law into their own hands. And so an angry mob, led by a now-grown Tommy Wallace (Anthony Michael Hall), erupts into cries of “Evil dies tonight! Evil dies tonight!”
Since this movie fails on just about every level imaginable, it’s an easy change of wording to offer this: “This franchise is dying tonight!”
Inspired by the sequel of the original movie (1981. Halloween 2 ), and picking up right after the events of the original (in this case, 2018’s Halloween ), Halloween finds Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) slaying. ) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) driving off what they believe is the last they’ll ever see of Michael Myers, “dead” in a devastating house fire. But we all know you can’t keep a good Michael Myers in, and so the chaos of the previous episode continues into this 2018 Halloween.
I rewatched the 2018 episode (only my second viewing), just before I started Halloween Kills . And damn, it still works. Check out my review of that movie here . It was exciting, emotional and felt like it belonged, a valuable part of the franchise and of the Myers legend.
Halloween kills ? Not so much. This episode is somewhere in the dumps, like on the level of Halloween: Resurrection Horrible. really, it’s that bad.
The central problem here is that we get little to no insight into Laurie’s ongoing journey. There is no driving force for us as an audience to root for. Curtis may have as much as 15 minutes of screen time, and the rest is given to supporting characters – namely Laurie’s former wards, Tommy and Lindsey (Kyle Richards). Why, Curtis doesn’t even appear in the movie until a good 20 minutes. Instead, we have to wade through an ultimately pointless and awkward flashback and then an overly long bar scene, introducing several characters from the 1978 classic.
In that aforementioned flashback, we see how Sheriff Hawkins (Will Patton) was involved in Myers’ 1978 murder escapade and how it had a lasting negative effect on his life. Granted, this subplot is coming back, but right away I was wondering, why do I care?
Also the nonsensical intro of Lonnie as part of the “Myers’ Survivor Gang” is strange. He was a bully in the 1978 film, and the run-up with Myers in ’78 doesn’t work. And for that matter, how/why would Sister Marion have developed a relationship with Lindsay Wallace and Tommy Doyle? It is possible? Yes. But probably? No.
Bottom line: I’m here for Laurie Strode. Yes, we love Michael Myers, but I’m a character man. I want to see what Laurie is doing. The previous episode brilliantly introduced us to her estranged family, her legitimate PTSD, and how one-sided her life has been for the past 40 years. If that’s not character baggage for an audience to cling to – building immediate sympathy – then nothing is.
Giving Laurie so little screen time and frankly doing nothing – is the big deal here.
How much time did we spend on one-off characters (sometimes two-fold)? The old couple who lived down the road from Laurie’s property. Why should I worry? The gay couple (despite my admiration for Michael McDonald) lives in Myers’ beautifully converted home. Why should I worry?
And to fuel the fire of my disappointment with this film – you introduce characters from the past, in some cases played by the same actors – and then systematically and unceremoniously kill them. I’m looking at you, Nancy Stephens as Nurse Marion. Or Sheriff Brackett (who brings Charles Cyphers back into the mix). My apologies for the blatant spoilers, but…why? What’s the point? Letting ourselves into the lives of characters we’ve loved or admired for decades, only to slice and dice them without sadness or reverence?
Reminds me of another trifle in an earlier installment of the Halloween franchise: Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers . We were made to love Rachel Carruthers in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers: Her spunk, her ingenuity, and her love for little Jamie, to see her murdered in the first few minutes of that 1989 release. These are bad writing choices and just plain lazy.
But again, it all boils down to this: Where’s Laurie? That’s what we care about. And by association, her daughter and granddaughter. It’s worth pointing out that while these are our main characters, I didn’t give a shit about their well-being. And that, my friends, is a huge failure, especially for Laurie, whom horror fans have loved for over 40 years. If the audience can’t love Friggin’ Laurie Strode – and it’s a built-in love – then man – you filmmakers have really failed.
Even Carpenter’s score this round was not good. The 2018 score was a genius mix of everything we wanted as fans, with new additions and the themes we love. Namely that music signal when Michael starts his big chase on Allyson… beautiful and shocking. But here there is a lot of melodramatic piano, which gives an unwelcome and strange taste of ‘soap’.
And there was a striking lack of plausibility around every corner. I often find it disturbing when something pops up that wouldn’t happen in real life (and this is a “real” story, which is basically set in the real world). A morgue with windows? On the ground floor? Naked corpses available to observe near the main hospital waiting room? Or that Karen is risking life and limb to help a random mental patient? I know she’s a psychiatrist, but weren’t there other more pressing things to address, like “Where’s my daughter?” or “My husband just died” or “My mother is in an ICU”. I mean come on…
Acting was also quite a problem. Even seasoned veterans like Curtis couldn’t wade through these horrible stories and blindingly bad dialogue. But of all the performances, none was as painful as what Anthony Michael Hall brought to the procedure. I didn’t buy anything he sold, and just as excited as I was about his casting – his performance felt monotonous and flat.
Overall, the movie can best be described as “filler,” but I honestly can’t recall a whole movie with trivial detours into the lives of other characters who don’t serve the story, and who spend so much of its running time. of a movie.
As an aside, but related note, if you’re telling us a “Laurie Strode” story, make sure it’s about Laurie Strode. If you want to make an off-shoot television series entitled “The People of Haddonfield” where you take in the personal stories of Haddonfield residents each week and how the Myers legacy has damaged them over the years, then do it. . Right, that’s a great idea. But don’t promise me a story about Strode and give me 20 minutes or so with her. It’s just bad form.
I just can’t understand how basically the same team from the movie three years ago were able to masterfully rejuvenate this franchise – with fun Easter eggs, giving us more time with beloved characters, and providing a wonderful sense of nostalgia, that’s stamp caught on well – could then turn around and fumble terribly. It is truly mind-boggling how badly this movie has failed.
I hate to be so bold in my proclamations, but this is terrifying me before Halloween ends . Not because I know Michael Myers will return (a la James Bond), but because this second year was such a horrible movie experience. Obviously, lightning doesn’t strike twice.
“This franchise is dying tonight”. And it pains me to type this: maybe it should.