Photo: ‘Halloween Kills’
Michael Myers first appears in John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween,’ in 1978, and he still remains a known haunted Halloween figure to this day. Masked and catatonic, his eerie likeness to walk after his victims with his lifeless eyes makes Myers a timeless villain, one that makes its grand reentrance in 2021’s ‘Halloween Kills.’
Now, despite attempts to subdue him, Myers is on the run again with a new murderous streak that’s going to require all the Strode women and gang to stop him. Making $50.4 million in its debut, theaters experienced the perfect fall-time reinvigoration and boost with this movie’s drop. When the pandemic shut down theaters, key in-person experiences were lost, but as the president of Universal’s domestic distribution said, with this genre and franchise, being in person and being surrounded by others makes it all the better.
‘Halloween Kills’ – Full Commentary, Behind the Scenes and Reactions
“People want to be scared together. Our core audience was eager and enthusiastic.”
‘Halloween Kills’ – Michael Myers Kill Count Reaches All-Time High
Plenty of horror movies rely on carnage and gore as a marker of success and entertainment. But tons of dead bodies and intentionally graphic bloodied corpses and dismemberments don’t translate to a good quality horror movie, something that’s proven in this Myers installment.
‘Halloween Kills’ has a title that doesn’t lie, with the most number of onscreen deaths for a Myers film to date. But with Universal behind the production and Myers’ legacy guiding the film, the violence wasn’t necessary. Myers and the original ‘Halloween’ stand on their own as rightly scary, the suspense and isolated piano notes creating the dark and horrific atmosphere that has given fans many a sleepless night.
The Vision Behind ‘Halloween Kills’
Directors and producers, David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and John Carpenter redeemed the story with an accurate and exciting portrayal of Myers. Not only did his arc match with the previous films’ trajectory, but it made him the sinister and stoic villain we know and love. Perhaps even an advantage of the heavy violence, is that Myers’ bloody legacy was accurately represented and nothing was held back or censored.
This combined with the cinematography, the quiet shots from behind bushes and through the branches of trees created the effect that Myers was everywhere and nowhere at the same time, even when he wasn’t on the screen. He seemed like an omnipotent presence and it solidified the impossibility of the crew’s task in getting rid of the masked menace.
His increased lack of humanity also makes this version of Meyers one of the coldest and terrifying. He is unnerving and unnerved throughout the entire film, which next to the warm, caring, and thoroughly humane Strodes, seems even more callous and calculated.
New Cast and Crew Join Myers
This film featured a lot of new, modernized characters that joined the fray. One such included Sherrif Bracketts, who appeared in the hospital, and the other, Tommy Doyle, who reappeared after having an integral role in the very first Myers films. These two plus the addition of Lindsey, whose babysitter was killed in the OG film, and Nancy Stephens, one of the original survivors, we had many favorite legacy characters returning to the screen. It helped recreate some of the authenticity of the slasher series and help keep things true to their origins which is something that’s important for many die-hard fans of the character.
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John Carpenter and his superb soundtrack also tied everything together, creating a “horror renaissance” drama and score to match the true disconnection from humanity that Meyers experiences in this 1h 45m film.
Jamie Lee Curtis who plays the heroine of the story, Laurie Strode, does a fantastic job of fulfilling her role. She is quick-witted, smart, driven, and the perfect leader for the group of brave individuals willing to take on Meyers.
Strengths of ‘Halloween Kills’ As It Drops in Theaters
One of the benefits of such a gory twist on Meyers is the psychological warfare that the directors employ to make their films more gripping and personal. Laughing and being entertained by the death or celebrating the inherent absurdity of needless killing, is a way to disarm the natural fear of the unknown. It creates a psychological technique where you feel empowered and less anxious about mortality if you’re making a joke out of the thing that scares you most.
The director is able to accomplish this and make the audience mourn some of the deaths but become entertained by other ones, creating an opportunity to feel a mix of emotions every time on the screen.
Is This Movie For the Fans or For the Fame?
Most who watch the film will agree that it’s more a nod to the original fans than anything else. With tons of easter eggs, throwbacks, and allusions to the first Michael Myers, it watches like a fan service rather than a standalone horror film.
Easily not the best-crafted horror film of this season, with certain flaws and holes in the plot and general arc of the story, ‘Halloween Kills’ is not perfect. But it’s entertaining, with amazing spanning shots and the right amount of comedy to maintain a sense of mirth.
Skip or Stream: ‘Halloween Kills’
It had its faults but ‘Halloween Kills’ was a fun and perfect horror movie to indulge in this holiday season. It had been pushed back because of the pandemic and its eventual release did not disappoint, especially with the added gusto and pizazz from watching it in person rather than on a streaming service.
The star-studded cast did a great job of honoring Myers and the origins of his slasher story now just with newer, darker themes that allude to a more twisted trilogy in the future. Either way, we’re excited to see what’s coming and how the directors are going to take that cliff-hanger of an ending and deliver something just as scary and entertaining for fans of the series.
By Mireille Karadanaian
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Mireille Karadanaian is an entertainment journalist, whose passion for reviewing upcoming TV shows and movies has existed since a young age. She writes reviews and feature entertainment stories for The Hollywood Insider’s inclusive and authentic platform, contributing to the important stories being told in media today. Mireille loves discussing the impact today’s media is making on younger generations who emulate what they see on screen and the Internet, a double-edged sword. Her stories often include the importance of creating content that inspires inclusion, positivity, and productive messages to all audiences and generations. Mireille’s love of covering TV shows, movies, and exciting questions that are being asked in the media world is seen in her writing and her ability to not just report facts but also tell a story.