In classic horror movies oftentimes the beleaguered villagers rise up against the monster who has been terrorizing them wildly wielding their pitchforks and their torches on the creature’s front door step. Perhaps the most famous is the finale of Universal’s 1931 masterpiece Frankenstein in which the angry denizens march on the Creature’s hiding place, an old mill, setting it on fire with him trapped inside.
Naturally, the Creature survives the community barbecue to star in a sequel: The Bride of Frankenstein. It is what inspired the ending of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and the beginning of Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and that plot point has been resurrected once again in Halloween Kills without any lightning storm or Colin Clive in sight though.
The timeline of this soon to be trio of Halloween films is not to be confused with the raw sewage that were Rob Zombie’s movies or the original series which got very convoluted and silly once they were completely out of John Carpenter and Debra Hill’s expert hands, except for Halloween: H20. Halloween Twenty created its own timeline which bled briefly into the horrendously moronic Halloween: Resurrection.
That goofy Kung Fu fighting Micheal Myers scene still haunts my nightmares to this day. What the hell were those ass clowns thinking? We may never know.
It is little wonder though that those who aren’t horror fans have trouble understanding how the shattered pieces that are the Halloween franchise all fit together. If you are one of those peeps, don’t fret as Kills begins right where Halloween 2018 left off. The Strode women are heading to the hospital to seek medical attention following their showdown with the unstoppable killing machine that is Michael Myers. There is one massive, Godzilla-sized wrench in their plan to trap and destroy The Shape once and for all though. Unlike the Creature from Frankenstein and the previous incarnation of Myers who relied on underground streams to save their bacon, it is the local fire department who screws everything up for the Strodes and boy do those first responders pay the price when they bumble into Myers. They are chopped up like so much firewood so that Myers can continue cutting a path full of gory detours to his final destination: Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).
The decision to have their movie monster battle groups of people like scenes from any seventies Kung Fu or motorcycle gang movie where the hero is surrounded by adversaries wielding chains, swords and baseball bats instead of stalking and sneaking up on their victims and snuffing them out one by one is a bold choice for the filmmakers. It pays off in the firefighter scene and in the mob rules finale where a group of Haddonfield vigilantes led by Tommy Doyle, the brat Laurie Strode was babysitting in the original film now played by the Breakfast Club’s and Dead Zone’s Anthony Michael Hall, surround Myers with furious anger in their hearts and vengeance on their minds.
Having your slasher monster stabbed, bludgeoned and even shot once or twice doesn’t really push the believability boundaries all that much, especially if your psychopath is assumed to have some sort of supernatural connection. Deadpool – Wolverine rapid fire healing and all that can come into play. In Myer’s case, the original storyline had him possessed by the spirit of Halloween – Samhain – which is why he literally pops back to life when dealt any kind of killing blow. This time around the inference from Laurie Strode is that Myers’ invulnerability is based on his kill count and the fear he inspires in others. It is why he has been able to become so powerful and that he can withstand anything less than a bazooka blast and just keep on beheading, disemboweling and eviscerating anything that breathes.
In Halloween Kills, Myers wades through the blood and the bodies. He is hacking and slashing more than a department store on Black Friday. The kill count is approximately 30 people but that also means we see Myers doing what he does best quite a lot. In that way, much of the mystery, much of the suspense is gone especially when so many of the dead people walking make some really, really, really bad decisions. Some of the worst in horror movie history.
Who out there would take a stand against Myers if he invaded your house?
Who out there would hunt Myers in his own house?
Who would face off with Myers carrying nothing more than a baseball bat?
Yeah. I didn’t think so.
Not only are the majority of Myers’ victims stupider than the aforementioned Busta Rhymes trying to use karate against The Shape in Resurrection but there are so freaking many of them. There are just far too many characters involved in far too many storylines big and small in Kills. It is a horror film. We don’t need reels and reels of character development for those who are going to bite it sooner rather than later. The pacing and the momentum would have been better with the less is more approach that the previous film followed. I understand it being the second movie and the need to follow the Alien/Aliens succession template but when Kills isn’t drowning in blood, it is drowning in minor character exposition that we just don’t need and doesn’t matter at all.
In a time where many brainless critics particularly in America mistakenly believe that catering to fans who pay to see the movies, buy the graphic novels, buy the blu rays, buy the posters, buy the character figurines, buy the t-shirts, buy the video games, buy anything and everything even when there is no movie or TV series to support an IP is some kind of crime against humanity, writers Scott Teems, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green continue to pay tribute to Carpenter and Hill’s original vision with all manner of amazing cameos and references unlike many of their peers who instead of adding their own voice, touches to an established mythology want to burn everything to the ground that came before them . It really has established this entertainment era as one of the most disrespectful, ignorant and destructive of any ever.
Like Halloween 2 before it, Kills is the Aliens of the series. The violence, the blood, the visibility of the monster and the action is ramped way, way up. When that decision is made something has to give and that is usually the suspense and the chills which is the case with Kills. Among all of the quick kills the filmmakers still take the time though for some deliberate and vicious brutality such as when Myers methodically uses every, single knife in a knife block to pin a victim to a kitchen counter top like he is mounting a butterfly for display or when he casually shatters a tube light and rams it into a victim’s throat then tilts his head back and forth as Myers does when he admires his handiwork like an animal who has ripped its prey into pieces. Kills ranks higher than any of the Halloween movies except the first two and the previous film in this trilogy. It is a cut above the rest. If only its blade would have been sharper though then it would have surely been so much more.