By Lee Romero
“EVIL DIES TONIGHT!”
For starters, I wasn’t too thrilled at the idea when I first heard this was being rebooted. Well, not rebooted, but giving it a contemporary continuation. But slowly as it unfolded and knowledge of John Carpenter’s blessings, it seemed promising. 40 years after its birth, its “first swing” was released and although reaction was a bit blah (at first), we’d all be liars if we said we weren’t interested to some capacity. Where would they take the story? Piqued interest or not, HALLOWEEN is one of the most well-respected horror franchises to date. The 1978 original, of course. All that other sh*t that followed… Eh… Well, let’s just say they were unnecessary, but I get it. Like most sequels, it was a license to print money – and that’s exactly what happened, aside from amassing a rabid fanbase. Several sequels later – including a Rob Zombie remake – HALLOWEEN remains rough, rugged, and raw. Reason being… Michael Myers!
HALLOWEEN KILLS sets the pace by playing with a timeline. If anything, a trip down memory lane. One being minutes after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor. But it doesn’t quite work that way, because of course Michael manages to free himself and continue his ritual bloodbath. But gloves are off as Laurie continues to recover, then finds out he’s out on the prowl. As she prepares to re-defend herself from him, she riles up and inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against the monster. The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all.
In a nutshell, this is the next step in a series that’s due to end next year. It’s simple, subtle, sinister setup. There really isn’t much to say other than this flick puts the word kills in HALLOWEEN KILLS. If brute, bloody killings is what you want, than brute, bloody killings is what you’ll get. Overall, the flick’s visceral appeal and layout isn’t only exposed, but felt as the whole Michael Myers mythos continues. Can’t hate on it. It’s entertaining, violent, and gives its hardcore fandom what they want. I’ve become callus to these flicks, but what keeps me coming back is wondering where they’ll take it next. What gave me chills was Curtis’ monologue at the end, which kind of teases what may happen in the next and final piece, HALLOWEEN ENDS. For that alone, I can’t wait.
Is HALLOWEEN KILLS scary? No. I didn’t think so. If you consider that a “downfall,” well, that’s up to you. There are “jump-scares” here and there (keeping it old-school), but what makes this piece work is the edge and intensity it rides on. It generates an atmosphere of shock-and-aw as it plays along. At a little under two hours, it covers all bases it needs to by giving its old fanbase what they came for, and new fanbase a newfound respect and appreciation for a iconic character and movie created over forty years ago. While horror films generate a much better effect at a theater, this one one can also be enjoyed at home on Peacock. There’s absolutely no way Myers can escape your radar. Somehow, someway, you can embrace his purity of evel on Friday, October 15th!
Genre: Horror | Rated: R | Run Time: 1:45