What we’re obsessed with right now: ‘Halloween Kills’
San Diego Union-Tribune editors and writers share what they’re currently obsessing over.
What I’m obsessed with: “Halloween Kills,” the latest installment of the Halloween franchise.
Why? Sorry “Citizen Kane.” John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic “Halloween” is actually the greatest movie ever made. Unfortunately, that can’t be said about the rest of the Halloween franchise, which is full of bizarre backstory and increasingly silly variations on killer Michael Myers’ iconic mask. However, in 2018 director David Gordon Green rebooted the series with “Halloween,” a movie that successfully made Michael Myers scary again. Green’s recently-released sequel, “Halloween Kills,” ups the scariness, body count and nastiness, with some death scenes that I haven’t been able to shake from my head.
Tell me more: The movie picks up right after the events in 2018’s “Halloween,” which (spoiler!) found Michael Myers trapped inside a burning house. “Halloween Kills” begins with a crew of unfortunate firefighters releasing him from that inferno and, oh boy, is he pissed. The viscera he leaves in his path can be difficult to watch (even by seasoned horror buff standards), but it’s the fear he instills in the town— which quickly erupts into vigilante violence — that makes “Halloween Kills” a little too close to comfort.
Horror is as horror does: Critics are slaughtering “Halloween Kills,” and the movie definitely has many faults: characters make laughably stupid decisions, the filmmakers try to shove in too many social commentaries (“Michael Myers is COVID!”). They also take bold liberties that mess with Carpenter’s original timeline . However, behind it all is The Shape, Michael Myers, who has never looked scarier in a “Halloween” movie. In terms of movie monsters, you’re not going to find a better one this year.
Wait, so is this a recommendation? If you’re fatigued by “prestige horror,” and just want to watch something that’ll tingle your spine and churn your stomach, “Halloween Kills” uh ... kills it. There is plenty of subtext if you look for it, which will be interesting to revisit in a few years (and the film seems to have a better understanding of what it wants to say than “The Purge” movies), but “Halloween Kills” works best when it’s taken as dumb fun.
Easter eggs: Fans of the series will be stoked about all the callbacks to past films. For example, a number of actors return from the original film, including Kyle Richards, who played the little girl Jamie Lee Curtis babysits in Carpenter’s original. “Halloween Kills” also gives a cool shout-out to the much-maligned “Halloween III: Season of the Witch,” which I have to respect considering I have a “Halloween III” tattoo.
Watch it: “Halloween Kills” in in theaters and also streaming on Peacock.
Bradford is a freelance writer.
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