by Kevin Muller
The true terror of a good antagonist goes beyond the countless and gruesome ways that they murder their victims. True evil seeps into the society where it exists and affects negative change. This is one of the many reasons why The Dark Knight succeeds as a film, especially using the Joker to push this very idea. In Halloween Kills, director David Gordon Green applies this idea to this famous franchise. Does he succeed?
The film picks up right where the 2018 version left off. Laurie, her daughter, and granddaughter are all in route to the hospital. As Laurie tends to a wound, she sees fire-fighters racing towards the house fire where she trapped Michael in, thinking she had put and end to his madness. Her pleas, for them to let it burn, go unheard as she knows that a new line of victims will now face certain death. Even though Laurie is heroine of this nearly four decade long franchise, this movie isn’t about her, but the people of the town, and those who survived Myers past attacks. Tommy Doyle, played here by Anthony Michael Hall, is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Myers’ capture and imprisonment, along with others who dodged death. Little do they know that events of the previous film have made the local news. Doyle’s fight or flight instinct kicks and decides that “evil dies tonight.” A mob forms and its goal is to take down the masked killer.
Green, once again is joined by co-writer, Danny McBride, and Scott Teems, who is the- new scribe in this entry. The concept mentioned above, can add a lot to a standard horror story, if done right. While the IT movies, from the previous decade, and the one from 30 years ago, did capture a lot of what made the novel a blast, including Pennywise himself, neither of those captured how the town of Derry became poisoned by the clown’s presence. Here, the three screenwriters had an opportunity to add something new to the franchise but come off with mixed results. The main problem with this section is Anthony Michael Hall. Hall, who has been in the business for almost forty years, totally misfires as Tommy Doyle. There is a saying called “chewing the scenery” in Hollywood. The basic definition is when an actor or actress overacts to the point of mockery. Hall’s Doyle is the walking example of that phrase. This is exactly what makes the film lose its focus. When he starts to form a mob, like Michael, his presence infects the other actors to become just as hammy as he is. This in turn, takes the movie off the rails and makes the entirety of this project seem misplaced.
One thing that this film does deliver on are the kills. Michael Myers isn’t messing around in this one. His murders are raw, rough, and unforgiving. Some hardcore fans maybe upset that he has been turned into a killing machine, like Leatherface or Jason, while robbing the mystery and suspense building nature of the character.
Jamie Lee Curtis, who this whole entire franchise is built around, takes more of a back seat, while the unfocused mob aspect of the film, takes center. This would be great but Green abandons this idea with Hall’s obnoxiousness and Michael Myers’s killing spree. Overall, Halloween Kills is a fun movie if you are just looking for an excuse to watch gratuitous violence. If the lore and character mean something to you, this will be a letdown.
I am giving Halloween Kills a 3 out of 5 Hairpieces!
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