This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Sofa Sinema’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Michael Myers is the stalk 'n slash GOAT.
As someone who was mostly bored and dissatisfied with David Gordon Green's Halloween, I had some trepidation going into a sequel to that film. The decision to ignore the range of sequels seemed an odd choice. Even after watching Halloween Kills I still think that Rick Rosenthal's 1981 sequel would work better to be included in this chronology. That version of Myers was equally nasty and unforgiving and Myers needed to have amassed a higher body count to bring us to the more broken Haddonfield we get here. Also, there is talk about Ben Kramer's death which wouldn't necessarily have occurred in this timeline.
Some fans have taken issue with the flashbacks and the insertion of them into the narrative. I wasn't as blown away by the 1978 footage and I might need to review some of that again. I know that one of the trailers featured a shot of 1963 Michael, but I don't recall that moment. Surely will watch this a second time to uncover what I think are a bevy of Easter Eggs. Like what movie were they watching with Seymour Cassel? Forgot to look that up.
"Evil Dies Tonight" is the mob's incessant death chant that also becomes one of the movie's most ironic gags. Evil does indeed die, but that evil dies at the hands of the most badass rendition of Myers (one that owes a lot to the Rob Zombie version). From his deadly emergence through flames of hellfire, Myers is like a nineties action star...walking away from a blaze in slow motion and ready for the next impossible challenge. Michael is in high vengeance mode and he is about to unleash it upon the townsfolk of Haddonfield. If the WWE needs a new contract star to boost ratings, give The Shape a call.
This seemed more influenced by the Friday the 13th films where there is anticipation for the kills. The denizens of Haddonfield are almost exclusively unlikable. Not just horny shallow teens, though. The script has populated Haddonfield with nasty trick or treaters, vile bullies, drunken mobsters, and a wild assortment of losers and degenerates of every creed. "This town needs an enema," but Michael has decided that Haddonfield's going to get fucked in the ass instead. I did like Anthony Michael Hall's more brutish interpretation of Tommy Doyle. That also reminded me of Friday the 13th’s Tommy Jarvis. Thankful that Paul Rudd was "too busy" to accept the role.
Here, The Shape has transformed into a blood-lustful killing machine and the ultimate slasher antihero. It's his revenge story this time and he will stop frequently to toy with his prey. Sometimes it's just to contemplate the most effective knife for the job, or to pause to relish one of his devastating finishing moves. He saved one of his most delicious for Cameron, the insufferable kid who tossed his girlfriend's phone into a bowl of leftover pudding in the previous movie. Seriously dude. Who does that?
As a fan of the Rob Zombie films, this one was much closer tonally to those than I was expecting. I do think we needed Rob Zombie to suggest a few classic tracks to add alongside the brilliantly effective music score. I did smile wide hearing fellow Canadian Anne Murray's lovely "Can I Have this Dance" during the tense sequence in the Myer's gayly refurbished house. This technique can be so effective and reminded me of how cool it was hearing Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in The Strangers: Prey at Night, another highly effective slasher sequel with lots of guts. That fire escape needs to be set to "Disco Inferno". Maybe we can save that for the musical version, Halloween Rocks. Come on, you know that one of the Akkads has thought of that before.
I don't really like to support a slasher without T&A, especially when that black "nurse" was so stacked and was wearing blood red lingerie. But you can't have everything these days it seems. Happy to see that a "Karen" died brutally and I didn't expect that final slaying. Seriously that character was annoying as fuck. This ending was perfect and it's too bad that the producers won't stop here. Apparently it was first pitched as a duology and that would have been fine. I think Rob Zombie's two movies worked well back-to-back in a similar way. It kind of looks like Laurie Strode will be front and center again next time. She's not quite as cloying as her daughter, but I still want to see her completely disemboweled, Let Allyson be the surviving female, or even Lindsey. I don't really want to spend more time with the senior Strode character. At the end of the day, He Came Home and it's His story I'm here for. 8.6/10