Michael Myers breaks free from the trap that Laurie Strode set up for him while the town’s people have had enough and want to put an end to Michael once and for all.
Why would anyone want to make a movie that fits into the universe of a timeless classic? I’ve thought about that a lot over the years, and even after hearing the excitement in producer Jason Blum’s voice when I interviewed him about the last Halloween film didn’t make it any clearer for me. Sure I get that excitement stemmed from the fact that Blum had always dreamt of making a Halloween but part of him must of wondered whether or not it would be worth the comments from the haters out there who were only too ready to troll once the film was released.
To Blum and director David Gordon Green’s (Stronger) credit the first film is this trilogy was probably the best Halloween film since Halloween H20 and it introduced the fan-base to a more modern and brutal take that was certainly not the re-make that so many haters out there were expecting.
Now comes the difficult second child in the trilogy and it is a bit of a double-edged sword. While Green ups and the violence and gore this time around to make it one of the most graphic and gruesome Halloween films it does suffer from what I call ‘second-film syndrome’ in that the ending of the film is so focussed on setting up things for the third film that it seems to forget that audiences deserve something decent to finish things this time around.
Halloween Kills starts where its predecessor ends. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis – True Lies), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer – Ant-Man) and her grand-daughter Allyson (Andi Matichak – Orange Is The New Black) are being treated in hospital after luring Michael Myers into his fiery trap, however the trap failed and after Myers battles with the first responders he heads into town once again looking for his nemesis.
In town though everything has gone crazy. While Officer Hawkins (Will Patton – Armageddon) tries to not only hunt down Myers and restore calm to the town a group of vigilantes led by Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall – The Dark Knight) have decided that enough is enough and that the only way to end Myer’s murderous rampage is with some old-fashioned mob justice. The result is a catastrophic turn of events where nobody is safe.
There were so many things about Halloween Kills that I loved. Michael vs The First Responders is a classic Halloween moment that is going to be long remembered by fans of the series – it also may well be David Gordon Green’s legacy stamp on the franchise. I also loved the fact that instead of just introducing random characters that nobody has ever seen, or care about, into the battle with Michael that Green has gone back and chosen characters that have appeared in the franchise in the past to re-appear. That not only shows Green’s love of the material that his expanding on but also adds something a little special for true fans of the franchise.
That decision actually results in one of most memorable moments of the entire franchise as actor Anthony Michael Hall steals the show as Tommy Doyle. Hall’s performance mirrors what the town is going through – the anger, the determination and the hope that they can finally be rid of Michael once and for all. His performance here is something that Hall should be incredibly proud of.
I also loved the fact that the events of the film seem to mirror what has happened in recent American history. The vigilante group looking for justice and the mass panic at the hospital seemed to be ripped straight out of newspapers with what happened with the storming of the Capitol Building and some of the recent riots in the US. It is moments like that that make you realise that Green has been very capable with bringing this franchise into the modern day and you can’t help but wonder if he wasn’t making a sneaky comment about modern day American society with some of the scenes depicted throughout the film.
What I didn’t like though, aside from the limp ending, was that it felt like the film wasted the talents of Jamie Lee Curtis. While it would have been unbelievable to have her fit and spry after the events of the last film it did feel like she was wasted being bed-ridden for a majority of the film. At least if the believability of the film did need her in hospital then perhaps the film could have used the fact that she is a sitting, wounded duck waiting for the hunter better as a suspense mechanism.
Overall though Halloween Kills does work as a film though. There are some truly memorable scenes in the film that will be forever etched into horror folklore while the creative kills and extra gore make sure the film is above many of the sub-standard horror films out there on the market. Now all I can say is bring on the finale.