By Kory Glover
It’s hard to come up with the words to describe a franchise like Halloween. It’s hard to creatively critique a series of films that have become so devoid of any originality or suspense that the first picture brought to the genre.
The first Halloween, released all the way back in 1978, was a true staple to the slasher-horror genre. Granted, there were others before it, but whenever you think of a masked killer, chances are that it closely resembles Michael Myers. However, that was supposed to be his only feature film.
That’s right, the Halloween franchise was never actually supposed to be Michael Myers centered story. These films were actually planned as an anthology of horror stories tied together by the spooky season of Halloween. But suddenly, the character got popular, and the producers figured that they should roll with it.
Looking at what the franchise is now… I wish the studio went with their original idea.
As ground-breaking as the first film was, the rest of the movies merely deteriorated down to horror cliches that weren’t just laughable but also boring. How many times are we going to watch a scene of someone tiptoeing through a dark house or street only for Michael to pop out and kill them?
Now we have Halloween Kills, the second film in Universal’s attempt to breathe new life into the franchise.
Three years ago, Universal announced that they were rebooting Halloween, but with a twist. Instead of continuing the, quite frankly, ridiculous plot of the several other sequels, they were going to scrap them all except for the first film. Completely erasing the brother/sister plotline, the plot twist with Michael’s niece and even that bizarre moment when he went up against Busta Rhymes.
This could’ve opened up a lot of possibilities for the franchise. Shame that the studio could stick the landing. While the previous was a nice nostalgic trip for fans of the franchise, it lacked any suspense and just became another slasher film like the rest. Sure, Jaime Lee Curtis’s transformation from the innocent girl to a hardened fighter was a welcome change, but it wasn’t enough to save the film.
Now, we have Halloween Kills picking right up where the last film ended off. Laurie Strode (Jaime Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) ride off, leaving Michael to burn in Laurie’s house.
As the trio rush to the hospital for Laurie’s stab wound, she notices firemen on route to said blaze and cries, “Noooooo! Let it burn!” Unfortunately, nobody told the firefighters that fire is merely a sunburn for Myers, and he quickly disposes of them; once again unleashed upon the streets of Haddonfield on Halloween night.
Basically, rinse and repeat.
However, this time around, Laurie is incapacitated for most of the film, so the shift is focused on more of our nostalgia… no, seriously. A scene opens in a bar, introducing Tommy Doyle, one of the kids Laurie was babysitting back in the day (Anthony Michael Hall), who retells the events of the 1978 classic. In doing so, he raises a toast to the survivors, including Dr. Loomis’ former assistant Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), Lindsay Wallace (Kyle Richards) and Lonnie Elam (played this time by Robert Longstreet).
Instead of Laurie taking charge against Michael Myers, Tommy Doyle leads a mob to deal with the psycho. Ordering a town-wide search to effectively naturalize the threat, but of course, it never goes quite to plan.
To say that this is a messy film would be an understatement. I say this because it honestly feels like even the writers don’t know where else to go with Michael’s character development. What started as just a psychopath with little regard for life has now evolved into something that feels oddly reminiscent of another famous slasher from decades ago… *wink* *wink*.
As the credits rolled, I felt the same emptiness when The Rise of Skywalker ended. A trilogy that had such a strong start is muddled by a lack of long-term planning, so they compensate by pandering to the fanbase with nostalgia.
The next and final film, Halloween Ends, is set for a release next year. At this point, I honestly do hope it’s the end.