Halloween Kills

Halloween Kills ★★

So the fact that slasher movies simply cannot look the same in the 21st Century (or even the 1990s) as they did in the 1980s is expected and understandable, of course. That's a matter of the tools used to shoot movies these days, there's little going back unless you're a rich dude. And to be quite fair, the flashback scenes of Halloween Kills gets very close to the visual softness of the 1978 original (that is the ONLY thing the flashbacks do right).

What I don't get, because there's literally nothing stopping filmmakers except their own personal faults, is why they've abandoned the simple elegance of just watching a figure march along and kill and let things ripple like that and be out the fucking door in 90 or less. Why are storytellers in the 2010s afraid to just make a fucking slasher movie and feel obliged to make their slasher movie about something? Because all it does is bloat the shit out of a movie that should feel efficient and betray just how much they don't know what the fuck they're talking about*. In our current example, Halloween Kills, David Gordon Green and Danny McBride and Scott Teems have decided they were not just apt to take trauma no further than "Laurie becomes Sarah Connor" but I guess they watched The Vampire Bat while developing this because suddenly it half-asses a plotline about mob mentality that honestly undercuts the little their previous film did to suggest a sincerity behind its characters' exhaustion and fears. Which is in turn undercut by having a suicide sequence received a gory money shot, a complaint I would not have for any movie that wasn't trying to be the 13 Reasons Why of Halloween. Characters
in this movie only talk in two forms: "As you know, [elaborative exposition on stuff that happened in 1978 or in 2018, often stuff that happened in front of us in a previous sequence that we don't need to be reminded of]" or ridiculous profundities about fear as an abstract entity in these movies that we gotta fight once we're done speaking in Twitter thread monologues. Every character, from the fan service returning cast to the gay couple living in Michael's home telling kids about Michael Myers to Laurie herself especially because she has nothing else to talk about while she's hanging around in a hospital bed.

And I'm mad as fuck, but I definitely think this would have been a salvageable movie with the same material. Just cut out most of the talking, you can even have the characters act like the same fucking fools they are, we just don't need to know their thought process or even who the fuck they really are in the cases of the elder couple and the gay couple. It's enough to know they're in Michael's way and that dooms them. We don't need to spend so much time in the hospital with Laurie if the movie will do nothing with her. We don't need to have the characters really muse over the consequences of their actions because the movie has no idea where it wants to go with that, we don't need to have a mentally ill character demonized to his grave because it leaves absolutely no one to root for except the incarnation of evil the movie is trying to make us afraid of anyway. Just let the characters fuck up and pay for it: it's the essential difference between The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and baby... this is The Lost World in the worst ways.

Giving it credit: there is definitely gore, there are definitely kills, the cinematography I mentioned, the spooky autumnal atmosphere from the last movie is sustained in the few moments where we do not spend the movie in a fucking bar or a fucking hospital, Michael's mask looks dope, the score is definitely better here than in the last movie, and I like the new Ghost song "Hunter's Moon" (but it's weirdly mixed during the end credits and I prefer the single version). So we'll make it a 2 star.

*The only movie that survives this is this year's Candyman because Nia DaCosta's heart is in the right place: get the themes out of the way fast and just watch people die (and work with modern cinematography rather than against it).

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