Michael Myers Strikes Again – “Halloween Kills” Lives Up to Its Name
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This article was a submission from Jake Breidenbach. Find Jake on Instagram at @j_brdnbch. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three years ago, the Halloween franchise was rebooted for the second time (third if we’re counting 1998’s Halloween: H20 – which retconned all previous sequels.) Despite a raised eye from many passersby, wary after a decade-plus of endless Hollywood remakes, 2018’s Halloween was released to positive reviews. This was largely due to the film’s central conceit – disavowing the previous sequels and bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, the original Final Girl. In doing so the story was rendered much more intimate and believable. The story of a teenage girl who survived a Halloween night massacre and the forty years that had passed since, both for her and for the man responsible. Michael Meyers. The Shape. The Boogeyman. Locked away at Haddonfield Penitentiary, gone but not forgotten.
All of which leaves it’s current sequel in a bit of a tough spot, riding off the high of its predecessor while trying to avoid falling into the trap of all horror sequels – a strained suspension of disbelief and recycling of what came before. First thing’s first: Halloween Kills lives up to its title. The kills start early and they don’t let up. It’s quite possibly the bloodiest chapter in the series yet, with plentiful stabbings, impalements, and human detritus. Which brings us to the real question – does Halloween Kills live up to its hype?
In short, yes, it does. In many ways it is notably inferior to the previous installment. There’s less of a dramatic through line – the story is basically a continuation of Michael’s bloody rampage – and there’s a fairly ridiculous subplot involving mistaken identity and vigilante justice. But the enduring success of the series isn’t hinged around intricate plotting, or even a willing suspension of disbelief. It also depends on a willing suspension of stakes held. As we all know that the Boogeyman never dies, what are the dramatic stakes at play when dealing with a movie monster that is more or less invincible?
Well, none of that really matters. The series continues to thrive because it captures the eternal appeal of Halloween itself. The one day a year when we all dare to take a peek at the darker side of life. Where we allow ourselves to flirt with the idea of danger around every corner, the perverse thrill in acknowledging that the outside world is a mysterious and possibly deadly place. Images of Haddonfield’s leave-strewn streets punctuated by the occasional murder tableau are enough to keep us tuning in year after year, decade after decade. And we know the Boogeyman will be there waiting for us.
Have you seen the new Halloween Kills? What are your thoughts on the return of Michael Myers? Let us know in the comments below!
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