In one of David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills scenes, Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie peers into the mirror. There is a similar scene in John Carpenter’s original Halloween and the parallel is inevitable. But beyond that is the way the director sets a common thread between both characters.
The woman who survived a brutal murderer against all odds and the one who is about to face him again share a drive. And not just something as clear as survival. Laurie, forty years after her first film appearance, is ready to destroy evil once and for all.
But Michael Myers, become a monster that surpasses all his previous versions (even the most fanciful) comes to Halloween Kills as a symbol. Of violence, of evil, of brutality, of fear. But above all about the ability of a story to reinvent itself with a completely new power.
Reminiscent of the most inspired points of Rob Zombie’s version of the character, Halloween Kills brings together all the elements of the franchise. He takes them to another new dimension and this time unleashes the sense of evil as purpose. Michael Myers returns from the dead, but he also has a goal.
If something is appreciated about Halloween Kills, it is the feeling that the story opens up to encompass all the elements of its long journey through the cinema. It’s not just about a raging Laurie, transformed and reborn from trauma to anger. Also from his family, the old memories, the whole town rebuilt as a fortress.
With a more than evident relationship with the original 78 film, Halloween Kills manages to create a sense of legacy. And not one based on the private odyssey of the Myers victims, as in the 2018 film. This time around, the sinister mythology created by Cameron reaches a new level and a bewildering extent. A look at the terrors that are now widening to turn the fight against the assassin into a relentless hunt.
Monsters are coming for us
The ’78 movie was based on the notion of destroying privacy. Halloween Kills emphasizes the horror that devastates the everyday. Michael Myers is no longer a secret, nor is he a story amidst dusty archives. It is a perfidious and monumental creature which David Gordon Green takes to a haunting level and which he finally endows with personality.
If there was anything he lamented about Michael Myers’ big screen resurrections, it was his lineup with other slasher icons. Turned into an unstoppable extravagant murder machine, his ruthlessness seemed subservient to a unique method. Or rather, to a wild instinct without the slightest real sense. Killing for killing can be a simple formula for a slasher with unclear historical ties. After all, Halloween – as a concept – has crossed all borders. From the supernatural, the strange, the magical and the sinister in its purest form.
But this time around, the script by David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Scott Teems matches the charges to create a fresh look at the myth. From the decision to start exactly at the same point in which the previous one ended, to the reorganization of power. The film is determined to create a realm of fear that evades simple explanations. It’s no longer about the heritage of the Strode women, again played by Karen (Judy Greer) and her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak). Nor of a crack in normality that a violent murder goes through. The fact that the people of Haddonfield are faced with a murderous fury comparable to that of the murderer is quite a first.
Ultimately, all residents decide to face their worst specter in a whole declaration of intent. Halloween Kills finds its best moments when the film’s rhythm turns the townspeople into a bloodthirsty horde. What motivates them? In fact, the big question is where this anger of decades is leading, this furious persistence over a dark past. For Michael Myers, who always acted from the shadows, becoming the target is another scenario. One that will transform the monster into a cunning creature capable of consuming fear for fear. Gone was the search for the meaning of the predator’s brutal need for slaughter. Now, they are all predators.
Forty-year nightmare ends tonight: ‘Halloween Kills’ as epilogue
One of the best things about Halloween Kills is that notion of shared evil. It’s not just about the hunt for Michael Myers, but who carries it out. As Laurie tries to recover from the wounds of her encounter with the murderer, the entire town flares in a rage. And it’s Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens) and Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet) taking the lead.
Turning the film into a substantive look at the fact of the great secrets and the scope of hatred, David Gordon Green makes a brilliant decision. Instead of creating a kind of blind chase, Halloween Kills weaves the hive mentality from an evil point of view. For its last installment, the film made it clear that what fuels Myers’ need to kill is the very emptiness of revenge. It is the substantial perception of something more regressive and powerful. Faced with the hatred of the hundreds of secrets that are kept and the traumas that hurt the gaze of fear, the film creates its own mythology.
Evil will end on a bloody night. But which of them will be the culminating point of a journey into darkness? David Gordon Green does not say it nor does he raise it. But the movie, in all its rowdy and brutal glory, makes that clear. There’s a horror waiting in the shadows and this time, he’s not just wearing the face of a masked killer.