Halloween ★★★

Happy Halloween, Michael.

Pushed this one off for awhile even though I was hyped for it leading up to its initial release, there was mixed messaging from it with people I trust on movie reviews who said they either loved it or loathed it. Took me awhile to build up the guts for it, but ahead of Halloween Kills, here we are. I think this is a decent movie. I am more mixed on its themes but find most of its aesthetics rather appealing. I think it's well-shot, Green offering an occasionally strong eye to Midwestern rust and suburbia in equal measure. The violence is strong and appropriately messy, creative, and gory. (I imagine each kill Michael commits as if he's doing the serial killer equivalent of making a new piece of macaroni art. He's still as much of a wandering child as he is a great white shark.) The score from John Carpenter is damn good stuff on its own, and will frequently make each scene it's prominently featured in a little better. Now, for those themes. A core concept this gets into because it is only a sequel to the first film is how it confronts and processes Michael's original murders in Haddonfield being an unfortunate instance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Michael seems drawn to his town, his house, but beyond that, Laurie Strode and her friends simply had the worst timing in the world during the worst possible night. Because of this aimless cruelty, she's fractured for the rest of her life. I liked that. I think that is a cool thing for a horror film sequel to be about. What I am more iffy on is how it further portrays trauma, how people with it can cope, and what it seems to be suggesting about trauma being familial. I guess I shouldn't be too specific about it because of spoilers, but yeah, that's sometimes a bit underwritten or misguided. It's like the movie is wanting to be really about things yet doesn't push it far enough for it to feel worthy of the topics at hand. Because of muddled execution, some of the ideas and visual motifs can feel unintentionally problematic. The big thing with that is how there are clear visual allusions to Laurie being like Michael in her own way, in danger of being a monster in her own right as much as she is a survivor of one. That's something that feels like the film should have gone more with one or the other, and because it kinda tries to split the difference, it's a bit of a bad taste in your mouth if you choose to linger on it. Halloween I would say I "liked" with some reservations. If this is a movie where you are wanting to see it for gore and scares, then it's a good movie. (In regards to both, the best kill involves Michael stepping on someone, and the best scare involves motion sensors that has good fake-outs before a guaranteed jump.) If it's a movie that you want to take a fine surgical knife to, then problems will become unavoidable, and they should be addressed.


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