By Sam Acosta
The relatively solid second installment in the “Halloween” reboot series acts as a bridge between the first film and the planned finale slated to come out next year. With an intriguing plot and a rather heartbreaking scene about the reality of human nature, I found this film to be an entertaining addition to the franchise.
That said, the gore is unnecessarily gratuitous and over-the-top, especially when compared to the film’s predecessor. Obviously, this is a slasher film, and you know going in that Michael Myers is going to kill a lot of people. In the previous film, he had many victims, yet the gore was relatively restrained for a modern R-rated film.
“Halloween Kills” tries to make up for that lack of violence, with some scenes causing me to look away from the screen in disgust. While violence is to be expected in these types of films, this film takes it way too far, making it not for the faint of heart (or stomach).
With that aside, however, I found the rest of the film to be filled with compelling plot points and cinematically appealing visuals. The film brought back some of the original actors from the first “Halloween” released back in 1978, including the actors who played the teens and the sheriff. With their return, the film has the chance to examine how Michael’s first rampage has affected these characters throughout their lives.
Compared to the relative restraint of its predecessor, “Halloween Kills” is gratuitously gruesome, with murder after brutal murder at the hands of Myers
However, it seems most of these characters were brought back simply to die as gruesomely as possible, meaning the long-lasting effects of their trauma are barely touched on. Still, I still appreciate the idea of bringing them back and found their inclusion endearing.
Additionally, this film somewhat breaks the stereotype of characters in horror movies making stupid decisions. While there are still those morons who think they can take on Michael Myers alone, the surviving citizens of Haddonfield eventually have the common sense to group up and hunt Michael down.
Together, they almost succeed in killing him (though with one movie left in the trilogy, I’m sure you can guess how well that ends up going). Regardless, I appreciated that they acted in a realistic, believable way, responding aggressively in the face of the massive danger Myers presents.
The part of the movie that affected me the most, however, was a heartbreaking scene in the hospital. An escaped mental patient is mistaken for Michael not wearing his mask, and the mob goes after him. The patient is clearly scared and even after Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) explains that he is not Michael, the mob refuses to listen, continuing their bloodthirsty pursuit.
Even after receiving help from Laurie’s daughter, who hides him in a locked hallway, the mob starts to break their way in. With nowhere left to go, the patient ends up throwing himself out of a window and falls to his death. As one character later laments about Myers, “Now he’s turning us into monsters.”
This scene made me almost cry from how poignantly filmed and executed it was. To see an innocent person who is already unwell be practically murdered by people who are equal parts scared and vengeful is such a heartbreaking situation. It served as a compelling image of how capable we all are of evil, even when we don’t necessarily intend to be.
In the end, Michael survives and escapes capture (after practically executing the entire mob) and kills Laurie’s daughter in the film’s final shots. The finale of this trilogy will hopefully bring us some of the answers we are looking for: Why can’t Michael die, what is it that is driving him and is Laurie the only one capable of stopping him? With a full year until the movie’s release, we will have plenty of time to think about it all. In the meantime, if you are a fan of horror, this is a decent film to get yourself in the Halloween spirit.
“Halloween Kills” is now in theaters and available to stream with a subscription on Peacock.
Sam Acosta is a Junior Theatre Comprehensive Major and an A&E writer for Cedars. He likes spending his time watching movies, drinking Dr. Pepper and writing plays.