Some Thoughts on Halloween Kills
CONTAINS SPOILERS: TURN BACK NOW TO AVOID.
I watched Halloween Kills on Peacock last night. I was excited when I found out it would be streaming on television. The story starts with a flashback to 1978, right after Dr. Loomis has shot Michael and he's on the loose. This was one of my favorite parts of the movie, perhaps because of my love for the original Halloween. And the fact that Dr. Loomis was depicted with practical make-up effects was pretty astounding. Amazing job by the makeup team there.
The story then shifts to 2018, after Michael has gone on his rampage and Laurie strode trapped him in her house to burn alive. Laurie is rushed to the hospital after being stabbed by Myers. As the story progresses, the residents of Haddonfield get fed up with being afraid of Michael Myers and set out to deliver some vigilante justice, fearing he's returned to town.
The movie has a good amount of gory kills, and Michael is particularly brutal. The mask also looks extra creepy with burn marks on it. The Shape mask is one of the creepiest in all of horror, and the burns add to the creep factor. The movie generates a few scenes of genuine tension, most notably when Michael is stalking one of the would-be vigilantes in the park. Michael creeping in and around people's homes also gives us some tense moments.
Halloween Kills continues the tradition of horror movie characters doing dumb things. Characters who've never fired a gun go off hunting Michael Myers with firearms. Another set of characters, seeing that someone has entered their home (and left a bloody hand print on the doorframe), investigate noises upstairs armed with kitchen knives. Wouldn't you just get out of the house and call the police? I should add that these characters live in the old Myers home and the whole town is aware that dangerous inmates have escaped a psychiatric facility. The character of Tommy Doyle also sets off with nothing more than a baseball bat, intent on confronting Myers, which is like trying to hook a Great White with a toy fishing pole.
The vigilante mob angle didn't work well. Most of the characters don't have a strong motivation to take up arms and go after Michael Myers, other than chanting "Evil Dies Tonight!" The police are also notably absent from Haddonfield's streets, I'm guessing to allow the vigilante angle to play out. After Michael slaughters a number of firefighters, we see a bunch of police investigating the scene. After that, there's little police involvement. Should they be out patrolling the streets? Going house-to house? And why wouldn't they stake out the Myers house, knowing he's likely to return there?
The sheriff, who declares that he's the law in town, also spends the entire movie at Haddonfield hospital. I understand he was there to talk with Laurie's family, but why spend the entire movie there? Shouldn't he be out coordinating a search for Myers? The cop who dies in the 1978 flashback also lets his guard down during the hunt for Michael. While standing in the old Myers house, where Michael is likely lurking nearby. The police in the 1978 flashback also spot Michael, who then disappears quickly. They don't bother to search the area, and casually walk away. Again, that didn't make any sense to me.
Laurie Strode spends most of the movie at the hospital recovering from her injuries sustained in the last movie. The mob that gathers at the hospital is convinced Michael will show up there, which leads to them tracking down one of the other escaped inmates, who does show up at the hospital. They ultimately have the wrong man, thinking he's Myers, and the inmate leaps to his death, rather than be killed by the mob. For me, this took away from the main story line in order to make a half-hearted statement about mob mentality.
The police again fail to search for MIchael after the final showdown with the mob. Police and first responders show up at the Myers house to tend to Laurie's granddaughter after a confrontation with Michael. At this point, Michael was roughly a block away and just slaughtered the vigilantes, who had trapped him. The police don't look for him, and it's never mentioned that he was basically just around the block. This left me questioning why they wouldn't search for the homicidal maniac who's plagued the town for 40 years. Especially when he was just around the corner.
Ultimately, Halloween Kills raises a bunch of logic questions, which diminished the enjoyment of the movie for me. The vigilante angle didn't play out well, and the police are conveniently absent during the movie. Myers also lacks a worthy adversary, and mows down would-be vigilantes with relative ease. I enjoyed Halloween 2018, but this the weaker of the two films. Despite the flaws in Halloween Kills, I'm looking forward to the final film in the trilogy, which will likely set up a final battle between Laurie/Laurie's granddaughter and The Shape.