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  Halloween Kills His Name Is Michael Myers
Year: 2021
Director: David Gordon Green
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle, Airon Armstrong, Will Patton, Thomas Mann, Jim Cummings, Dylan Arnold, Robert Longstreet, Anthony Michael Hall, Charles Cyphers, Scott MacArthur, Michael McDonald
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is Halloween night 2018 in the small town of Haddonfield, a place that became notorious exactly thirty years ago when the mass murderer Michael Myers escaped custody and went on a killing spree of whom Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) was the only one to tussle with him and survive. But now, he has returned to kill again, and while Laurie and her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) did their level best to destroy him once and for all, as the fire crew who arrive to tackle the blaze at her house discover, Michael is very much alive. With everyone of a certain age having a Myers story, it seems there will be many more...

Halloween in 2018 was a genuine blockbuster, one of the most profitable hits of its year based on how much was spent on it and how much it amassed at the box office, but for once it was not a case of a cash-in that there was a sequel made the year later, it was part of a planned trilogy. Unfortunately, two things happened: Halloweens on consecutive years up to 2021 did not happen, because of course, the pandemic, and that stalled it momentum somewhat. And when this middle entry was released, it was greeted with horror - just not the horror the filmmakers wanted, both fans and casual observers alike felt they had been cheated out of a sequel that had rung the bells like the previous one.

On the other hand, there were voices in the wilderness that pointed out the massed ranks of naysayers were crazy, and if this was not a perfect slasher, for a sequel it was in fact pretty bloody good (bloody being the operative word). The haters despised Kills for sidelining Laurie at the hospital, as she had been in 1981's Halloween II, though in a double twist, here was a horror flick that dared to point out the effects of violence take time to heal, physically and mentally. Usually it was the mental scars that surviving characters were forced to deal with, in this case Laurie is in agony from her gut injury (we even see her on the operating table!) and others who encounter Michael and survive have life-threatening harm done to them too.

If nothing else, this indicated director David Gordon Green and his co-writers Danny McBride and Scott Teems were really considering the effects of American violence, specifically the mass killings that blighted their country from the nineteen-sixties onwards (look at Myers' choice of victims: women and minorities). Though this may place too much importance on a chiller villain's shoulders, he did become emblematic of the way the United States tries to rid itself of its violent impulses only to lapse further into the mire with each passing year, also a neat metaphor for horror franchises that just won't die (though by this point Jason and Freddy appeared dead in the water). This was not a movie that simply used gory kills as entertainment, it considered what the appeal was and why a community would resort to bloodshed to solve its problems, real and imagined.

There was a striking turn halfway through when the massed residents of Haddonfield decide they are not gonna take this anymore and transform into a lynch mob, dead set on stringing up Michael for good. The drawback there is an ingenious one: Myers doesn't often let you see him and live, so nobody grouping at the hospital other than Laurie, Karen and Allyson know what he looks like, therefore one of the stranded mental patients from the bus crash in the previous instalment is landed as the scapegoat (in a sick bit of humour, he looks nothing like the actual murderer). Not only was this brave to condemn the ordinary citizens as containing the potential for aggression on a huge scale as well as the bad guy, somehow they were even less palatable than Michael, who has no psychology and might as well be a rabid dog for all the personality he has. Once again, there were so many callbacks to the rest of the series that you could credibly claim a Halloween Cinematic Universe was invoked, and Michael Simmonds' mostly nighttime photography looked terrific. Way better than it was given credit for. Music by creator John Carpenter and his band.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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David Gordon Green  (1975 - )

American indie director with a strong visual sense. Film school graduate Green made a big impression with his debut film, the powerful drama George Washington, while 2003's All the Real Girls was similarly well-received. An unexpected change of pace appeared when he directed stoner comedy Pineapple Express, the largest success of his career to that point, following it up with the widely reviled Your Highness. In contrast, the acclaimed Joe represented a return to his indie drama roots. After a lot of series television, he enjoyed his biggest hit with the 2018 Halloween sequel.

 
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