Halloween Kills: Good or Not?

Tyson Head, Editor

Halloween Kills was released Oct. 15, with almost every media outlet trashing this film beyond relief.

The film boasts a mediocre 5.7/10 on IMDb and a disappointing 46% on Rotten Tomatoes, but why is the general consensus that this movie was a disappointment? Well, because, in some ways, it was. Yet, according to Grant Bebow, “People don’t know what they’re talking about. This movie was great.” 

Let us get to the main attraction this movie has up its sleeve; Michael Myers. Though Myers has been through multiple actors over the four decades he’s been around, the only one who can manage to compete with Nick Castle’s original portrayal has been the current actor: James Jude Courtney. Courtney nails Myers in every sense of the character; he can now be compared to Jason Voorhees’ Kane Hodder, Freddy Krueger’s Robert Englund, or even Chucky’s Brad Dourif. 

Speaking of Freddy and Jason, while the Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Child’s Play movies have seen plenty of new releases, the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th series have both laid dormant for over ten years at this, which can be attributed to Myers’ intrigue as a character. This is easily the most intense and amazingly brutal portrayal of Michael we have seen to date, putting every other version of Michael to shame. 

Courtney nails the idea of Michael Myers even if he isn’t the originator of the character. Perfectly described in the film by Officer Hawkins as, “A six year old boy with the strength of a man.” Michael has been terrorizing Haddonfield, Illinois, since the same night he came home in 1978. Michael’s inait creepy factor comes from the fact that he is human, he has thoughts, he has strengths, weaknesses, and he’s coming for you. 

The most maligned part of this movie, however, is the story. Do not get me wrong, the story has great parts. This movie starts off the same time the 2018 movie ends with the attacked Officer Hawkin’s being found bleeding out and the Strode family being rushed to the hospital. Haddonfield’s Bravest are rushing to put out the fireball that Laurie Strode’s bunker of a house has become. While the Fire Department is putting the fire out, Michael emerges from the house armed with a Halligan Bar he stole after he murdered the two firefighters in the building. Here is my first problem with the film. Michael manages to own an entire squad of firemen armed with axes and their own Halligan bars.

While this may have been an attempt to show us just how dangerous Michael is, I see it more of a showcase of how the Haddonfield Fire Department are all complete jobbers. I mean seriously? People whose jobs are to break down walls with brute force and carry full size people out of flaming buildings cannot take out a single guy? While one fireman comically uses the firehose to spray Michael, I have to say this should have worked. That water pressure should have been strong enough to knock Michael on his donkey. 

It doesn’t end there though. In one of my favorite scenes of the movie, a couple goes to leave a bar and finds a stalker in their back seat. In a nice homage to the original, you can instantly tell someone is in their car by the fog on the windows. The couple runs back into the bar for help, and it seems Michael picked the wrong parking lot as none other than Anthony Michael Hall’s Tommy Doyle comes outside of the bar armed witha baseball bat and a mob. Tommy’s not about to stand by like he did as a kid in 1978. In my personal favorite shot of the movie, we see Michael’s point of view as Tommy slowly walks towards the car, the only sound being Michael’s breathing and the crowd encouraging Tommy. 

Tommy slams the front of the car with the bat which is just like, dude that’s not Michael’s car, you’re really going to mess with this couple’s insurance rates? No matter though, as soon as the bat makes contact, the driver floors the car and crashes into a telephone pole anyway. Just as I am about to give this movie a 5 star review, it reveals that the driver isn’t Michael, but a second escaped Smith’s Grove Sanatorium patient. While this may be a smart setup for this character to show up later, it kills the meaning of that moment for me. Just as many other quirks, this is a big problem with the movie. It brings back multiple characters from the original but does not use them effectively at all. 

Tommy is used plenty, but Laurie is barely a character in this film; she’s held up in the hospital,hich brings me to the worst portion of the movie. With a substantial crowd in the hospital where Laurie is being held, the second mental patient shows up asking for help. The entire crowd turns on him, thinking him to be Michael. Hold on. Think for a second. Lets ignore the fact that they’re kind of ridiculous for being this passionate about three people dying over 40 years later. You’re telling me they are this upset but cannot remember what Michael looks like? That’s not the worst part though. Upon seeing this poor mental patient kill himself, Tommy can only then tell the crowd that it is, in fact, not Michael. Sheriff Bracket, the returning Sheriff from 1978 says, and I quote, “How do we know?” This is the same man who arrested and processed Michael. This was the height of his entire career in small-town Haddonfield, Illinois. Yet he cannot tell a 7’3” mute from a 5’8” Danny DeVito look alike. 

So, all in all, Halloween Kills is great, but also not great. According to viewer Adam Shattuck, “This movie was overall great, (and) it was fun in the theater even if it has problems with the plot. People don’t know what they’re talking about.” 

Think about it, Empire Strikes Back, the best movie in history, was misunderstood when it came out. And it was also the middle of a trilogy.  Later, it took the release of Return of the Jedi to put things in perspective. So let’s see how the next film, Halloween Ends, shapes the other preceding movies in this timeline. Halloween Ends will be released next October.