Warning: This article contains some spoilers for the film Halloween Kills
Over the weekend, I saw Halloween Kills, the second installment of the reemergence of the 1978 classic horror film Halloween.
The new trilogy, whose first installment came out in 2018, follows Laurie Strode 40 years after her first encounter with Michael Myers. In this second installment of the modern trilogy, Laurie, her daughter, her granddaughter, and other citizens of Haddonfield all band together after realizing that Michael is still alive, yet again. The plot for this film is supposed to be the very next moment after the 2018 film, having all these events occur in the same, violent night.
I have been a loyal fan of the original Halloween canon for years — i.e., all of the stories that involve Jamie Lee Curtis’ character, Laurie. My mom and I truthfully watch the first one every Halloween — it has become a fun tradition. Being a fan of the original and its subtle, suspenseful style, I was extremely hesitant about this new set of films, but I have been pleasantly surprised overall.
Truthfully, this second chapter I found to be much better than the first one in 2018. This one proved to pack quite a punch and offered layers to the already enriched story that I’ve grown to love for many years.
The best part of this film is its callbacks to the 1978 original. It pays to be a true fan of this franchise as it feels much more personal to recognize these scenes and characters. The coolest part to me was that a handful of the original actors from 1978 reprised their roles for this film. It felt like you had actually seen their development and it felt very full-circle.
My biggest anxiety when it comes to rehashing old films is the possibility that new storylines will disturb the quality and integrity of the original. While there were certainly some fates of original characters that truly saddened me (and that I will likely ignore whenever rewatching the original) I was very impressed by the insertion of a new storyline.
The character of Officer Hopkins, who made his first true appearance in the 2018 Halloween, was surprisingly very successful for me. The choice for the writers to insert this character through flashbacks to suggest that he was in fact present in the original film was actually done rather well — the attention to the original detail was immaculate and the impact that those scenes set up for the climax of the film was amazing. There were beautifully mirrored scenes that I respected so much, particularly in the flashback, where Michael has surrendered and is about to be executed, which directly reflected the scene from the original film where Michael freezes up to his parents after killing his sister at the age of six. It was really well done.
Another aspect of the film that I found interesting was this aspect of mob mentality. I am not entirely sure that this landed exactly how they intended, nor have I decided whether it was unnecessary or unique, but it was interesting to insert this social commentary within this horror film regarding how innocent bystanders can turn into villains themselves.
The beauty of the original Halloween was its sheer suspense — the aspect of a masked killer lurking in the distance, carefree of his surroundings, and being sure that he was going to get to you. The best scene that demonstrated this in the new film was when Lindsey is running away from Michael in the woods. The scene was truly breathtaking — you felt every second of nervous silence, every heavy step that he took in her direction. For me, scenes like that steal the show much more often than directly violent ones.
And boy, were there a lot of those. I don’t know whether I’ve just gotten older and more mature, or perhaps I’ve regressed, but I truly could not take the gore in this film. There was so much bloody, awful violence that caused me to look away several times.
A part of me is mad about this — because, as the original conception of Halloween read — you should be more scared of what you cannot see. The first film had mere flecks of blood.
But, the other part of me has accepted this. For one, simply because it is over 40 years later and the style of horror films has changed along with the technology available. For another, I am able to attribute this a bit to the plot as well — whether or not it was actually intended by the writers and director. The increased violence, lack of remorse, and truthfully, the ingenuity of the killings, just showcase how Michael’s character has evolved. He’s angry. He’s ruthless. He’s unstoppable. It makes him all the more terrifying.
Which brings me to the end of the film. I want to say spoiler alert, but there is already a third and supposedly final film in production titled Halloween Ends, so I think it’s fair to let the cat out of the bag and say that once again, at the conclusion of this film, Michael STILL doesn’t die.
And for once, they seem to be really acknowledging his true, psychological power. My prediction for the final film in the trilogy will be that they will be discovering ways to officially destroy him. And, I think this could go in a couple of directions. First, it could be merely psychological, kind of like how the characters in It have to overcome their fears, I think they could go in that similar fashion and aim to eliminate Michael’s power psychologically — as he seems to only get stronger with each kill and with each reaction he gets. The other option is figuring out how to destroy his physical self. Clearly, gunshots, stabbings, severe beatings, and quite literally being burned alive will not kill this man. I truly think he needs to be blown up. I am curious as to whether the final film will follow in the very next moment, or if there will be a time jump. I am also hopelessly crossing my fingers that some characters did not actually die.
While I love this franchise and will absolutely be flying to the theaters once again next year to see the next film, I really do hope it is the last. This story (at least following Laurie’s plot from the original film) needs to end. And, frankly, he needs to die.
Prior to watching this film, I did not read any reviews, as I wanted to form an opinion on my own especially being a fan of the series. While I understand some of the criticism, I think a lot of it was far too picky. The movie was scary, suspenseful, intense, exciting, and new. It had its flaws, but overall, was really rather good.
Until next Halloween and the next impending review, which will hopefully, finally, be the end to Michael’s havoc.