Halloween Kills


I only wish I had time and headspace right now to write on this one like I wrote on the last one. But, alas & alack, to even get this one into my head, I had to wake up early enough at Telluride Horror Show to stream it before hitting all the films at the fest. No worries, though—or, only some worries: I did at least play it through my hotel room’s tv, didn’t just have it on my little laptop screen. And now I have, I think, six things due, one of which is a fast revision of Don’t Fear the Reaper, but, in short?

I had a great time with Halloween Kills.

What I dug especially:

  • The nod to Halloween II: Laurie in the hospital
  • The nod to Halloween III: the kids at the playground’s masks
  • The nod to Halloween 4: the mob out to get Michael, and of course getting the wrong “Michael”
  • The nod to Halloween: the Curse of Michael Myers: Tommy Doyle, back in the thick of things
  • That nurse from the station wagon coming back for round 2 . . .
  • (what nods am I missing?)

Which is all fan-service, or, in this case, kind of “franchise” service, but . . . what’s to complain about? I am that fan, I believe in this franchise.

Also cool: Micheal’s capture in 1978, which breaks no rules I can see, and that cool make-up job on the Loomis stand-in:


But, most of all? I’m glad that the core crew isn’t invulnerable: they, too, can be killed. Or, apparently killed. In the slasher, it’s hard to ever be sure, right? Just as important: after the coming-together/believing-Laurie thing from 2018, they’re now kind of at cross-purposes again, which can only be good for the story.

And, yeah, the trailer kind of tricked us into expecting Laurie to hero-walk up the hospital corridor for some final showdown, but, really? Why would we even invest ourselves in that, when we know that happens in the third installment?

Anyway, I haven’t slowed down enough to read through any of the negative reviews/responses/etc to Halloween Kills, but . . . are people pushing back against it because Laurie never goes toe-to-toe with Michael this time? That didn’t bum me out. I mean, largely because of that Halloween II shuffle: this is continuous, this is the night-of. Meaning: she’s plus-sixty, she just got stabbed. Yeah, maybe it’s pushing credulity that a person with Important Flashbacks gets wheeled into her room to convalesce beside her, but, this is movieland, where such dramatic expediences are pretty much the order of the day.

And, man, in 1978, and in 2018, Michael’s bodycount wasn’t just all that much for a slasher. But he makes up for it here. I don’t know how many people he leaves behind it, but it’s a lot.

But, no, there’s no ‘fun with the motion-sensor light’ or ‘the wise-cracking babysat kid’ like 2018 had. And, yeah, I do miss that kind of stuff. And, sure, Tommy Doyle gives us a lot of exposition through a microphone, and Laurie’s roommate in the hospital’s story doesn’t quite seem to find a natural ending, but . . . ? This is the second installment. I feel like Halloween Kills was doing a lot of setting up. Which is to say: Halloween Ends can tell itself a lot more efficiently now, I suspect, since Kills got so much of the dirty work done.

Anyway, off to other duties, other deadlines. But one thing I definitely want to try to sneak in this week, maybe this weekend, is catching Halloween Kills on the big screen . Maybe two or three more times, even. Slashers are at the box office again. We should all be there.

Though, as for me, I’ll of course try to go at some off-time, and with a mask I don’t take off. But? Stream it too, of course—I wouldn’t want to tempt anyone out into the COVID air. Slashers at home or slashers down the road, they’re both good, and—to me anyway—so, so necessary.

Author: SGJ