Transcribed Ep 28: Double Feature – Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills (2021)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DBbExi3vwQq1sF_xvpg3BrkJBGpGUebunocanI0LR-k/edit?usp=sharing

Welcome to REEL Film Reviewed the show that delivers short spoiler free reviews of films, TV shows, and limited series followed by a deep dive discussion.

Brought to you by your host Kris Chaney, here is REEL Film Reviewed.

Welcome back to REEL Film Reviewed. This episode I decided to do another double feature review. This time on Halloween released in 2018 and the newly released Halloween Kills.

There’s been so much talk about Halloween Kills that I decided to review these two ahead of schedule, given that these are two parts to David Gordon Green’s rebooted franchise. I wanted to review the two together before Halloween Ends comes out next year.

Let’s get into the spoiler free reviews: Beginning with 2018, Laurie Strode now lives estranged from her daughter, raining with paranoia and PTSD from narrowly escaping his killing sprees in 1978 and 1981.

Michael escapes and once again, goes looking for Laurie. In Halloween Kills immediately following the events of Halloween 2018, Laurie, Karen and Alison drive to the hospital, believing Michael is finally behind them, but they soon learn, It’s not the end of their nightmare.

Looking at the stories 2018 and Halloween kills are basically one movie. So this makes this really easy to review versus the last review of 1978 and 2007, and there were differences to go over in those.

The Halloween franchise has been restarted a couple of times with David Gordon Green’s reboot beginning forty years after 1981. This is my favorite restart that they’ve done. Rob Zombie’s were more of a re-imagining of John Carpenter’s story.

The word I’m using to describe Laurie in this film in 2018 is “nutty.” She’s overcome with PTSD, and this has led to estrangement with her family. She lives alone and is basically preparing for Michael’s imminent return, which of course we get in this film. Halloween Kills picks up right where 2018 left off similar to how Halloween 2 -1981 picks up after 1978.

This film was basically a carry over from 2018 and there is not much more I can say and remain spoiler free to 2018. 

2018. Great kill scenes, the beginning of it was a little bit dramatic for me, but all in all a wonderful re-introduction to Michael 40 years later, and neither him or Lori is off of their game. 

In both 2018 and Halloween Kills, we see an added family component to the films. In the past our motivation has been Laurie vs Michael when they’re together anyway. As we know, there are a few films where Jamie Lee Curtis and Laurie’s character are not present. I like that added motivation of not just wanting Lori to beat the boogeyman, but her family to be spared as well. 

Taking a look at the cast of both films, I’m not going to reveal which years the cast appears because that would kind of spoil the story for maybe some that do or don’t make it. The cast was excellent in both films, possibly one of my favorite casts give or take a couple people I would change out. Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode, Judy Greer and Andi Matichak joined the cast as Karen and Alison, relatives of Laurie’s. 

And of course the shape, Yes I learned that he is listed and referred to as the shape in the film. So yes, I did learn that. But yes, the shape is also known as Michael Myers is played by James Jude Courtney in both films also occasionally switched out with Nick Castle who happens to be my favorite Michael so I love that part.

A character introduced in 2018 is Dr. Sartain who studied under Dr. Loomis and who is obsessed with Michael Myers and his history. I’m going to bring him up again after the spoiler warning.

Will Patton is also introduced as Officer Hawkins as kind of a heroic relief. Anthony Michael Hall was a surprise character added, he plays the now fully grown Tommy Doyle.

There is one surprise character that I will mention after the spoiler alert, but all you fans of the Halloween franchise will probably be pleased with this character’s appearance. 

Coming up to my REEL review, 2018. Four and a half stars.

There were some continuity errors as there typically are, especially in horror films, they’re hard to avoid and oftentimes too expensive to go back and fix, reshoots can be expensive of course and when the mistake is minor, they often remain in the film. I know a lot of people get really excited when they catch those types of things, but sometimes it’s not necessarily a mistake. It is a mistake, but it’s something that they’re probably aware of.

There were also some audio and visual synchronization mistakes, factual and geographical errors, full lists of course are always available under Goofs on IMDB if you’re nit picky about things like that.

Halloween Kills, my REEL review. Three and a half stars. 

This is not a bad score, In my opinion. I’ve said that in the past, I’m going to tell you the general reasons why I scored it this way and then I’m going to explain that more specifically after the spoiler warning.

But here we go: The lack of storyline, keeping that very general and simple. A lack of interaction between some characters. Kind of wild out there situation near the end. Great kill scenes, some of the best I think that I’ve seen and also a fantastic score by John and Cody Carpenter along with Daniel Davies. 

Film facts, Halloween was directed by David Gordon Green and was released in 2018.

Not mentioning the cast further, to again avoid any spoilers. It is rated R and has a runtime of one hour and 46 minutes and it is viewable on The FXNOW App and available for rent or buy from Amazon and Amazon prime video. 

Halloween Kills was released in 2021. It also is rated R and has a runtime of one hour and 45 minutes and it is viewable in theaters and on the Peacock TV app. 

Stay tuned for the deep dive discussion next. 

All right here is the spoiler alert, warning. Those new to REEL Film Reviewed. After this point, I will discuss this review further potentially and likely reveal spoilers. 

Thank you for listening to the spoiler free review. I’ll be back after a word about my sponsors.

(Sponsors)

Welcome back, everyone. 

All right getting into the spoiler review. 

We’re going to start with 2018. This is probably one of my favorite restarts out of all of the Halloweens. I’ll admit that I hadn’t seen III through 6. I’m making my way through them. Now I know they’re relatively unrelated to the story that’s going on now, but I definitely saw the original and I wanted to go back and rewatch all the ones that I had seen. So now that I have seen the majority of them, I’ve watched 2018, as well as Halloween Kills. 

Those of you that have been following me on Twitter. No, I’ve just been having all kinds of weird recording issues with this so I appreciate everyone’s patience. 

Getting into 2018 and the beginning, this story takes place 40 years after the events of Halloween II,1981, which as of right now is one of my personal favorites, Halloween II.

I just really enjoyed that Halloween hospital backdrop does truly some really terrifying scenes in that one, but going back to 2018, uh, Lori is kind of nutty. She lives with kind of a PTSD mentality. Her paranoia is a little bit overwhelming. She’s estranged from her daughter and granddaughter and her husband, not her husband, but her daughter’s husband and she can’t even go out in public. And she basically just spent her entire time getting ready, that’s what her time consists of firing weapons at mannequins and turning her house into this kind of fortress. At least that’s what it appears. And I remember thinking that with everything that she built in that house, it was still surprising to me that she still had glass in her doors.

That was something that I didn’t know. I was like, is that a little bit of a gap or was that like an intentional thing? Cause Michael Myers definitely grabs people through glass. Any openings that he can grab you through, those are easy targets. But aside from that, There were some really great kill scenes, I enjoyed the story. It started off pretty traditional kind of, almost like the first one did, except obviously with the background story of what’s going on with Lori and now she’s got a family and kind of also restarting the reboot series. David Gordon Green is going to do three of these films. We know that Halloween Ends will be coming out October 15th, 2022.

So he’s doing three of these so Halloween Kills. Halloween 2018 was number one, Halloween Kills was two. Halloween Ends will be three and he fed off of the story from John Carpenter, but he also restarted it in pretty, a pretty cool way. 

There’s been a couple of times where that story has been restarted. I know Halloween H2O was one. But this film starts traditionally in 2018, Michael Myers breaks out of the institution then goes back to go after Laurie. Laurie warns her family that she knows because he was being moved by this new doctor who’s what we think is the new doctor Loomis and even Lori calls him the new doctor Loomis. He’s the new psychiatrist that was studying under Dr. Loomis before he passed away, and that was working with Michael and he authorized him to be moved and Lori was pretty much ready for when he was going to be moved. 

And obviously that bus crashed and she knew that he was coming. So then of course he does come and then they get into this big old battle.

Again, some great kill scenes that we see there and then there’s also this added aspect of now we have not just wanting Laurie to win because we like Lori as the hero, but we also love Michael Myers as the villain. We just liked the interaction between the two of them. There was a lot of good interaction between the two of them in this film and I really enjoyed that.

There was a lot of fight back and push back from Laurie and a lot of bad assnes and also a lot of their history came out because even though his film takes place after the two original films, there were still numerous other films that they were in together and this storyline, kind of continued. For fans of Halloween, we just enjoy seeing that.

2018 overall as a film delivered a lot to the fans in terms of horror, slasher, Michael Myers, Laurie. We got everything in that film. Great kill scenes. Good little story backdrop. I don’t ever necessarily expect horror films to have great storylines, I just expect to be not scared even, but to be at least kind of surprised. Have a couple of, oh shit moments have maybe a decent storyline at least so that it makes sense and it doesn’t just seem dumb. And also I want to have kind of a – I want to pull for one side or the other good vs evil. Normally I like bad guys and I like Michael Myers as a bad guy, but I equally like Laurie as the hero. 

I think 2018 delivered a lot of what we wanted for; A restart and not necessarily a reboot, but a restart to the series and I really enjoyed David Gordon Green’s take on it.

Comparing it – not comparing it, but comparing the way that Michael ends up in a lot of the films. He either ends up dying or getting institutionalized. At the end of Halloween II in 1981, we know he burns up and we see it’s a pretty gruesome story, you see the flesh burning behind the mask and you know that that was him there. And I – as I mentioned I’m going through the Halloweens now, so I haven’t gone through to see how they alter the story in 4, 5 and 6. I haven’t seen that part yet and how they do that but at least looking at Michael, he looks like he’s burned up pretty good and everybody asks this question; “Is Michael immortal?” And I’m going to look at that because in 2018, we do see that eventually we learned that her house that’s the fortress is not really a fortress, it’s actually a trap for Michael and she wants to basically imprison him below her basement, burn him up until there’s nothing left of him.

To me. I was like, well, that could kind of protect him and then the fire department got there. When she throws the flare down there, even with the fire and everything burning, he doesn’t ignite. He’s standing there with everything burning around him. So if the fire department got to him before he burned up, it was very likely and we see that in Halloween Kills. How easily he gets out of that and it was especially being Michael Myers. 

That raises that question: Is Michael Myers Immortal? I have kind of a little theory about that Obviously it’s a horror film and it’s fake so take it with a grain of salt. 

There is a medical condition called congenital insensitivity to pain anhidrosis, CIPA.

It is actually a real disorder, It’s extremely rare. The first time I saw it was actually, well, the only time I’ve seen it was in a little girl, she was missing an eye. She had cuts and scars and things like that on her body. She’d had different bone breaks and different burns and things like that because what she liked to do is grab hot things and light bulbs and because she could not feel physical pain, she wasn’t aware that what she was doing was harmful to her. And it took her parents a long time to figure out what was going on with her because she was young and she – they weren’t understanding why she didn’t – she was getting burned, but why they – why it wasn’t impacting her the normal way.

It is an extremely rare condition and when you look at Michael Myers, the only time I’ve ever seen him make any noise, personally, as a human is breathing heavily behind the mask. But when he gets shot at, hit and kicked and jumping from buildings and things like that, he doesn’t make any noise, you don’t hear him scream or wince or anything. So my thing is, okay, well maybe he’s got CIPA. If he is a real human, that’s what I was thinking that he might have.

It was a little bit of a different take, I was thinking maybe John Carpenter heard about this extremely rare condition and was like, you know, I’m going to build a horror guy around that. It kind of gives you a different take about what possibly might be going through Michael’s head. Maybe that’s the reason why he kills because he does spend a little bit of time enjoying the kill after he’s made it and maybe that’s the reason why he does it. That’s the only time he really can feel anything and he gets the greatest enjoyment from that, because if he can’t feel physical pain, maybe he can’t feel some other physical things. Maybe the only way that he gets feeling is deep, emotional, not, well, I guess, for lack of a better word, trauma. And this is the way that he chooses to display that because he gets more and more gruesome and gets more and more ruthless to people that are presumed innocent. Normally you knew at first we didn’t know if Michael would kill kids and things like that like in 1978, you see him walking around in this mask and you’re like, oh, we don’t know if he’s gonna, you’re terrified with him walking amongst the kids but he kind of pretty much, I left the kids alone. In the later movies he’s starting to get a little more gruesome. The way that he kills the old girl’s boyfriend in Halloween Kills was just brutal, like, I mean, I get that he’s a teenager and he’s killing teenagers, but still pretty much a kid. Like Michael’s what, in his sixties now, just saying. 

The other part that I make about Halloween and Michael, no body no death comic book rule, and a lot of the time we don’t actually see Michael die. The only time I actually really saw him die was at the end of Halloween II 1981.

I don’t know if he dies in any of the other ones cause I haven’t made my way through all of those, but I don’t think that he does. I think it’s only in Halloween II that, uh, I’ve seen. We’ll see in Halloween Ends, who ends up winning. Maybe it’ll be the night they kill him.

All right, so getting into Halloween Kills. Immediately when I was watching it, you think that it’s going to be like Halloween II where it begins where 2018 leaves off and I’ll admit that didn’t hit for me the first time I watched it. I’ve seen it a few times now, but, first time I watched it, it was a little – at first, I was disappointed. I was like, damn, I wanted there to be a little bit of time that had gone by. I wanted there to be, because that would have given us a little bit more of a story and we know that in Halloween Ends, that’s coming out next year. It’s going to be four years post the events of this film, but, you know, it’s okay.

There was still some great things and actually I’m probably going to watch it again sometime this week, but there was some great pieces to it such as of course the flashbacks to 1978. That was my favorite mask, Halloween I and II. The original was my favorite mask so when I saw the mask in the flashback here, I really loved that, I was like, yes, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the detail that the production design went in. They actually went out and surveyed the same areas, made sure the sets and everything were measured the same, They added a glow to their filming to give it the same exact vibe from 1978 and I thought it was wonderful.

I thought it was perfectly executed and it looked pretty good to me. The original Dr. Loomis we know appeared in that prosthetics versus I actually thought they were using James Cameron’s stuff from Avatar but I learned – I read about that. Read about the article about how they used the prosthetics and everything so it was pretty good. 

There were some pieces to it that we can talk about that could have – I don’t want to say could have been better, but some pieces that some individuals didn’t care for, no alarm, a lot of people that slammed the movie said that it had really cheesy dialog. This is true. There are pieces that are extremely cheesy dialogue.

The mob I thought was a little bit much at the end. I didn’t really care for the mob too much, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t care for it as much. The actor that they got to play Tommy; Anthony Michael Hall is a bit dramatic and I don’t necessarily – I don’t want to call him a bad actor, but in this film he appeared to be one. He just appeared to be a little bit too much. I don’t know if it was a pacing issue for a lot of his lines, but I would say pretty much all of them we’re like that. So maybe it was just him. I do like him. He’s not a bad guy is just, I never watched The Dead Zone, I did like him as the little nerd, but in this film he just seemed a little off. Weird kind of.

But aside from the little mob, the ending was pretty good to me. The only thing that I think would have made the ending better, in my opinion, would have been the shots that he was doing at the end. The slashing and the kill scenes when he was attacking the mob. It would’ve been better if it wasn’t a bunch of shortcuts at the end, if they could have backed it up a little bit and shown more of the action and more of the choreography of how they were moving around and incurring all of these injuries and things that were going on. 

I would have enjoyed seeing a little bit more of that. A lot of people weren’t really fans of – they were fans of Karen dying. People knew that it was going to be one of the two and I was like, well, they’re not killing the teenagers so once they killed her boyfriend, I’m like, yeah, Karen’s definitely going. I didn’t think she was going to be safe in this one and they waited until the very end. I kind of liked that, except it didn’t make sense that she went back to the house and went through the bedroom. I didn’t understand that. 

And I’m really enjoying the memes that I’m seeing about what people are saying, what can be seen from Michael Myers’ bedroom window. Like what’s what can you see from Judy’s window? 

So I’m enjoying that because it’s like, why, why does everybody go up to that window and look out what is the big deal with that? And of course this leads to her ultimate doom, the ending of that was actually an homage to Psycho and we know John Carpenter is a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock and Psycho so of course there’s numerous homages to Psycho, which we’ve talked about in the last review about that.

So that’s kind of the reason why Karen gets killed like that at the end. It didn’t make sense for her going back into the house, at least in my opinion. I didn’t get it, but she had to die somewhere so why not there? I guess anyway.

So aside from that- everything about that film. I didn’t think that it was better than 2018 and the only reason for that is because it’s kind of unfair,  sequels – not necessarily that this was, but you know, this was the second of a three-part series for David Gordon Green so it’s kind of that middle piece and when you take the direction of it being the same night, you’ve got two films that are covering the course of a few hours. People lose their patience sometimes, when you get to the end of the movie and they’ve gone through all of this hell and then you start the second movie, which is a brand new movie with the hero and the star at the same energy level that they were at the last – at the previous film.

And that was the other piece that hurt Halloween Kills for a lot of Halloween fans is there was zero interaction between Laurie and Michael. He never made it to the hospital to actually attempt, maybe to recreate a Halloween II type thing and I wasn’t expecting him to do that, but it’s just odd to have a Halloween movie without a Laurie and Michael interaction when they’re both in the movie.So that was kind of another piece that a lot of people didn’t necessarily care for.

The realism was there because Laurie was injured and as she was moving and flanking, she ended up tearing her stitches, which was realistic and that’s usually me. In horror films.I don’t hold them to that type of standard because things are pretty much, especially Halloween movies, things are pretty much unrealistic at that point, but usually me, I would call that out. I would be in the back like; Oh, yeah, she’s supposed to be doing all of that and not tearing her stitches. It makes sense with it being that it’s just a couple of moments after she’s stabbed and has surgery and all of that, that she would be pretty much laid out for this whole film. It’s understandable, but also disappointing for the horror fans.

I thought it was a great film as I mentioned, it was decent. I enjoyed it. It delivered what I felt we needed from a slasher film. It was a good Halloween slasher film, right before halloween. We got some great kill scenes, we had a cool mask. We had some surprises, had a little bit of a continuing storyline. We brought back some characters that we hadn’t seen and all in all. I really enjoyed that film and I’m looking forward to Halloween Ends.

And I appreciate everyone’s patience again, while this was coming out – this was -I actually watched this film over the weekend and it was really trying to get this out for you so I appreciate everybody giving me encouragement through the recording process. So thank you so much for that. 

Before I go two more things I wanted to bring up that I forgot to bring up and I didn’t want to let this episode go without bringing that up. I wanted to talk about the doctor going kind of the other way and being kind of a psycho instead of being like Dr. Loomis and I think I know why the director chose to do that. Cause I think there was a lot of backlash on that, about 2018 about that doctor that put Michael in the back seat and basically wanted to see him in the wild, because he was fascinated by Michael, as opposed to wanting to capture him, kill him end him. Stop his evil, like Dr. Loomis.

He wanted to witness it and he was kind of obsessed with that. So I kind of understood why he did that. He didn’t want to, he didn’t want to recreate another Loomis. And he didn’t want to do or bring back another character to play another Loomis so he just did his own version of a psychiatrist and also a different take on him because 2018 starts with the radio journalists being fanatics about him so I think that’s kind of the reason why he went that route. It may not have been, but I kind of – I didn’t hate it. It was a little random, but it did create a pretty terrifying scene and a pretty cool kill scene too, with her being locked in the back of the cop car and when he puts Michael in the back with her, you immediately get terrified I mean, Um, not that I know about being in a cop cars or anything like that, but cop cars don’t open from the inside when you’re in the back and she was back there with Michael Myers, I would have freaked out. 

Like, no, you – I’ll sit in the front. You can put him back here I’m fine with that. Or you put him up there with you. you seem to be cool with him. 

Like, I was not okay. When he put him back there, I was like, oh no, that’s like a box being trapped with a monster. What the hell? But it was a really great horrifying scene. I enjoyed it very much. There was that piece I wanted to bring up.

Second piece I wanted to bring up was one of my favorite shots from 2018: As I mentioned about the masks, I enjoyed I and II and in the flashbacks from 1978 in Halloween Kills. The mask in 2018 was pretty cool. I enjoyed the menacing look of the mask in the 1978 flashback in Halloween Kills when the camera drops back and all the police are facing him with the guns drawn on him and his mask almost looks like he’s got an evil smirk and I enjoyed that a lot. One thing I will say about 2018’s mask, one of my favorite shots was when he pulls the mask out of the trunk, puts it on and then closes the trunk and we see that. So visually on screen, that looked really good as a still life, as just a shot of that film, he looked like Michael Jackson a little bit so that was the one comment I had to make about that. I was like, you know, it was a good mask, but from that angle in a still life, it really turned my favorite visual scene of that film into kind of a funny joke for me. 

Thank you for listening to everyone. I’ll catch you next time.

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Happy watching everyone.

Published by Kris C.

Kris is the host of the REEL Film Reviewed podcast, the owner of REEL ProduCtions, LLC, (the capital C is intentional) and is an independent filmmaker.

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