“Halloween Kills” Enthusiasm
Since 1978’s Halloween helped create perhaps the most popular subgenre of horror, the franchise itself has always been at its best when it takes itself less seriously (see: “Season of the Witch”).
Compared to brothers-in-slashing, Freddy and Jason, that hasn’t happened so often, as not many people agree with me. The Halloween franchise is the “serious” one, and it often wears its badge as Victim Zero in a way that holds itself in higher esteem than it should. John Carpenter’s music is the best, but after that, Freddy and Jason often have the most creativity, artistry and newness on display. Say what you want about Friday the 13th, but they’re always trying shit, even and especially when it resembles shit.
Halloween Kills is the bridge movie in a trilogy from David Gordon Green, which feels like the Halloween equivalent of the Daniel Craig Bond films. On the surface, that gets my heart pounding, as if followed, threatened by a thrilling idea.
But this film, so obviously built as the midpoint, crumbles under any scrutiny. This is all a roundabout/Halloween Kills way of saying: I didn’t like it. I get everything’s intentional — we as a species are inept, stupid and continually try to solve problems in the same violent, antiquated ways. We even make the same movies over and over again (and I’m the sucker buying a ticket). We’re run by hate, by fear and our need to be a hero/martyr and so easily fall into mob mentality. We have seen many such moments in our horrifying recent history. But… that doesn’t make this interesting to watch. With the exception of the Haddonfield mob driving a scared inmate to suicide, I don’t think there’s a single moment or scene that felt original.
Is being unoriginal to make a point about our species’ unoriginality a worthwhile exercise? What I see in Michael Myers’ reflection is merely a ramshackle bridge to Part 3/more money, which undercuts any worthwhile message I can parse out. It took over 100 minutes (not to mention the ten films that feature Myers before this) to figure out that we can’t kill Michael Myers with brute force.
I guess I have a little bit more faith in humanity if that comes as actual news.
Halloween Kills is in theaters now and is available on premium Peacock TV.