What’s Watts Watching? Myers return to Haddonfield

Steven Watts

Halloween Kills (2021) managed to be on my must-watch list since the release of its first trailer. Even though Michael Myers and the simple premise of him being a boogeyman who stalks and kills anyone in his path has never been a concept I found interesting. 

The opening shot of Michael emerging from the burning house sent shivers down my spine. My expectations for this movie were relatively high and the film lived up to them.

Halloween Kills picks up right where Halloween leaves off, with Michael Myers trapped in Laurie Strode’s burning basement. As Laurie, her daughter and granddaughter are rushed to the hospital, Michael escapes the burning house wreaking havoc on the town of Haddonfield yet again.

When the people of Haddonfield hear that Michael escaped, they finally decide that they won’t allow Michael to kill again. They band together chanting the film’s tagline “Evil dies tonight!” The film doesn’t offer many original ideas plot wise. Halloween Kills is a tried and true slasher film from start to finish. The film is extremely gory and graphic. The only new concept that David Gordon Green really explores in this film is the aforementioned mob mentality and its consequences. The furious mob of people from Haddonfield goes through a number of ups and downs on their conquest to kill Michael. 

Visually, this movie was shot better than any other slasher I’ve seen. It pays homage to its 1978 predecessor in all of the right ways with the same type of long, unbreaking shots that created one of the most iconic movie openings of all time. Green also uses quite a few techniques that are new to the franchise to further the impact of some of the scenes.

When the characters on screen fear for their life, the camera moves in a way that furthers the anxiety being built up. The shaky, out-of-control camera movements are contrasted by some smoother shots from Michael’s perspective, creating eerily calm massacres. I really appreciated the stark difference in tones between the different points of view of the killings.

There are also a number of sequences in this film that are shot to look as if they took place in 1978, during the events of the first movie. The color palettes, campy acting, and old music took me straight to the 1970s. I was incredibly impressed with how Green was able to pull this off. I wasn’t much of a fan of Halloween (1978), but even I felt a lot of excitement and nostalgia during those scenes.

The music in the film felt like prime John Carpenter, and hearing that iconic Michael Myers theme updated into something more modern while retaining its intensity was breathtaking. The score added to the mood of nearly every scene. Especially when Myers does not talk in any of the films, the music adds so much to the movie itself. 

The acting and characters in the film were, as expected, nothing special. Halloween has never really appealed to because of the blandness of its characters. Trying to develop victims that will all inevitably die doesn’t work in any slasher, and Michael hasn’t said a word in any of the movies. When it feels like none of the characters in a movie have a personality, it’s hard to care about anything that happens to them.

Halloween Kills shies away from even attempting to develop its characters. Instead, the movie simply provides a scary villain and some crazy kills. I think that worked really well.

This is a fun movie. I don’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed watching a movie as much as I did this one. I recommend this film to everyone who wants a little scare this Halloween weekend.

Halloween Kills is in theaters and on Paramount +, but I highly recommend seeing it in theaters. This movie would lose a lot of value if it was watched on a smaller screen without a group of people experiencing it with you.

I’m happy to say that Halloween Kills could be my favorite film of the franchise. I cannot wait to see how the rebooted trilogy finishes next October with Halloween Ends.

Halloween Kills: 4/5 Stars