Thursday, January 20, 2022

In Retrospect: Halloween Kills

This I think is the in retrospect most sorely deserved.

Because I kinda had a love/hate thing going on with Halloween Kills, I thought the story needed to focus it's attention more, I thought there was a ton of fan stuff thrown in for no good reason, and like most sequels didn't reach the same heights as the previous installment. On second viewing, a lot of that has been mended for me and I better understand the point of the movie. After all this is the middle chapter of a trilogy, it would be kind of redundant to see Laurie go toe to toe with Michael and come up short yet again so I completely understand why the filmmakers did what they did. I mean really think about this, Haddonfield has been the setting for the majority of these movies but you never really get a firm grasp on what the town's mentality is around Halloween, how do the residents feel when Michael has struck again, we genuinely don't know much about this famous fictional town and this movie if nothing else gives the setting some depth. You see more of the neighborhoods, you see a ton of people both survivors of past attacks and people who just live there. I very much complained the movie went on tangents with all these different folks and didn't give any time to the Strode family, now I think that was entirely the point. And I was foolish to think that because this series has spent a fair bit of runtime on side characters who just end up dying later on, hello Tina, hello John's friends from 20 Years Later, and so on. Slasher movies do that. It wasn't even because it was boring or badly acted, it isn't and I know a fair few people gave this movie good grief and I even agreed with them until I watched it again. Many people pointed to how does everyone mistake the other escaped patient from the last movie for Michael? I firmly agreed with them until they show two photos on TV in the bar, umbrella guy and Michael, they do not make any distinction as to who is who and when an angry, illogical, irrational lynch mob forms with the resounding chant of "evil dies tonight" starts jumping at shadows and chasing the wrong guy it's easy to see where such an audience reaction would come about. And there is no doubt some big message in that scene where something along the lines of, a hateful, irrational, and quickly growing mob will chase anyone and anything even if they are told it is wrong and through their blind anger and witch hunting, innocent lives will be lost. Okay, I get it. Humans are bastards and idiotic bastards at that. Fear is an insurmountably potent weapon. I know. Really that was the only thing that did not improve on second viewing, I still hated it just as much as I did the first go around. Everything else, I'm down for. Production was good though made on a relatively small budget of 20 million, music was still excellent throughout, the cast God bless them for coming back even if just to be a corpse so well done to every single one of them, the kills are still just as disturbing and gruelling as I remembered I mean this guy when he kills people is a hateful motherf***er and it is wonderful, the story worked better mostly and even though I watched the extended cut with the different ending I didn't notice that much new stuff and I dare say I like the alternate ending better. It's decent, it's not a dumpster fire, it's not a modern horror classic, it's good. I bump it up to 3 stars, 7.5/10, and we will see how it ends this October. If it somehow gets bloodier, I shall approve.

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