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Halloween - The Divisive Trilogy



Before I get into this article, I want to make it clear that all opinions are clearly my own

and should not, in any way, sway you from either enjoying these films or not. I may make some

points you may not agree with, but it is my hope that you can acknowledge and respect my

thoughts. The David Gordon Green Halloween Trilogy is among the most divisive in the long

running Halloween franchise. For this reason, I felt like I should make this small disclaimer.

I pondered long and hard on how I should tackle this article. The only way I figured this

would work best was to briefly go over each movie and then wrap up the experience of the

franchise as a whole. Please note that I will not be tackling every opinion I have on these films

because then this article would end up exceptionally long. If you liked this editorial and would

like me to write another detailing more of my thoughts on one or all of these films, let me know

and I’ll do just that.

I will give you all another forewarning: I love the Halloween franchise! In the days when

people were wondering about what would happen if Jason and Freddy ever fought each other, I

was wondering, “Why not Michael?” Although Friday the 13 th is my favorite slasher franchise,

Halloween is a very close runner-up. With that in mind, know that I will watch any movie

produced that has Michael Myers in it regardless of how shitty it is. I do have a soft spot in my

heart for this trilogy in particular, and to some capacity, I really enjoy all three of these films.

But enough with the warnings and expositions. Let’s start with Halloween 2018.




This movie marks the first in the trilogy and, as it seems, the most liked of the bunch.

On Twitter, I had posted a choice of favorite of the David Gordon Green series, and out of thirty

plus replies, this movie was considered a spiritual successor and the favorite. I couldn’t agree

more. This film was, in many ways, the perfect continuation for the Halloween franchise. That

being said, there were a number of things that were sloppily held together and created a divide

between fans right from the start.

One of those dividing factors, I think, was the retconning of the original Halloween 2; a

cult favorite sequel in the franchise and the movie that gave us the classic cat-and-mouse brother

and sister rivalry between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. This film erases that storyline,

which Carpenter himself admitted was something he had come up with during a drunken writing

session for the sequel and he wrote himself into a corner. With the 2018 film, Myers instead had

been captured by the police and was kept locked away in an asylum for forty years. He spoke to

no one and simply waited for his chance to either strike again or waste away. The obvious

negative with this choice is the loss of that connection between Laurie and Michael. I would

argue that it still works, since the timeline of this series was butchered to hell to begin with. This

was, at the very least, a cleaner way to continue on after Laurie’s death in Resurrection. 2018

wiped the Halloween franchise clean with a few lines of dialogue as well as downplayed the

killing spree in the original movie compared to the violence we see today. It walks a fine line

bordering disrespect to the original film, but I can look past that enough to still enjoy the film.

One of the things I really didn’t like with this film were the podcast characters Aaron and

Dana. I wish this movie didn’t make them podcasters because it immediately dates the film.

Also, I don’t know what kind of authority and notoriety these two had, but I’d like to know how

the hell they got Myers’ mask from the D.A. office and were able to offer Laurie a couple

thousand bucks to talk to her. I would rather these two either not have been in the film and it

started instead with Dr. Sartain cross-examining Myers or giving some exposition on Michael’s

past. In the end, these two felt like a lazy vehicle to fill us in on Myers and give him back his

mask.

Despite this shortcoming, one thing I really enjoyed about the film was the music.

Carpenter returned to help score some of the music and along with the iconic tune that

accompanied all Halloween films, this one had other songs that helped add to that original

classic. One such score called ‘The Shape Stalks Allison’ is a favorite of mine. It is foreboding

and accentuates that danger is very much hiding in the shadows, as The Shape often does.

Laurie Strode’s story is the gem in this film. We get to see a side of Laurie that we hadn’t

in previous movies. Although attempted in previous films, 2018 delved more heavily into the

effects of posttraumatic stress disorder in Laurie after surviving the events of the first Halloween.

Laurie was a hermit in this film, spending most of her time and money turning her home into a

fortress to catch and kill Michael. It was an obsession she could not deny herself and ended up

driving a wedge between an alternate life of happiness she had once attempted to make for

herself. Her daughter, Karen, became estranged from her, and Laurie was unwelcome around

Karen’s family, husband Ray and daughter Allison, even when she was attempting to save them

from The Shape. Karen’s family was a nice addition to the film. Ray had some humorous

moments, and you genuinely don’t want to see him get hurt. Allison was this movie’s teenager,

but she wasn’t given much to do and most of her acting came off as stilted and uninterested.


Another element of the film that shined for me was, of course, any time Myers was on

screen. The Shape in this movie was brutal compared to some of his previous outings. A good

example are the deaths of two throw away cop characters arguing about their stake-out meals

that get lured into Myer’s clutches. One of the cops gets his head chopped off and turned into a

jack-o-lantern with the other cop’s flashlight to illuminate him, which is pretty damned savage.

There are the run-of-the-mill kills, and some other kills that are nonsensical. Ray’s death, for

instance, was just that. He walked out into Laurie’s front yard at night, knowing full well Myers

was out there. It was like he wanted to die. Sartain had an interesting death as well, getting his

head cracked open with one stomp from Michael—his head caved in as if it were an overripened

watermelon or something. These were just a few examples of ridiculous kills, but I’d be lying if I

said I didn’t like them.

Working in tandem with Michael’s on-screen presence was the cinematography. This was

a gorgeous looking horror flick. It managed to mimic the original style of Dean Cundey whilst

bringing a fresh perspective we hadn’t seen before in a Halloween film. The prime example of

this was the Halloween night scene: an almost uncut tracking shot of Myers going from house to

house, as he typically does, lurking in the shadows and picking off unsuspecting victims. I smile

every time this scene comes up.

I could go on and on explaining my thoughts in even greater detail, but I wanted to give

you the main points that I felt best described both the problems and the things that shined. I’d

give Halloween 2018 an 8/10.




Next up is the film that everyone seems to hate, and I can see why. Halloween Kills

tried to bridge the gap between the original Halloween and the new continuity, which creates a

mess of a film. A cast of revisited characters from the original make an appearance in this movie:

Tommy Doyle, Lindsey Wallace, Marion Chambers and Lonnie Elam. Typically, fans like to see

throwbacks to some of their favorite characters, but the characters chosen come off as fairly

useless. Marion had a couple of lines and a brief homage to her first encounter with The Shape.

Lindsey warned some kids in a playground to flee when she saw Michael, then managed to hide

from him. We will get more into Tommy a little later.

The first problem I had with this film started right at the beginning with an extended

scene of forced exposition, explaining to us the night that Hawkins stopped Dr. Loomis from

killing Michael Myers. In this continuity, Dr. Loomis was going to shoot Myers executioner

style right after the police managed to apprehend him. There was also a side plot to this

flashback highlighting Hawkins’ attempt to take down Myers when his partner was being

strangled by him. Due to his poor aim, his partner was killed by his own hand. The truth was

covered up and maintained as a Myers kill, but this only served as some useless backstory for

Hawkins that I felt should have been seeded more into the 2018 film. For hardcore fans, this

flashback to 1978 was a nice little treat, a reminder of where this all began, but, to me, this broke

up the narrative of the film and made it very clunky to the point that and I wish it wasn’t

included.

Following this, we had a bar scene full of forced dialogue between new and returning

characters. An awkward speech from Tommy was used to introduce who each of the legacy

characters were. This scene was meant to cover years of backstory in mere seconds as these

characters conversed.

This was then followed by a scene of firefighters going to Laurie’s burning home and, in

their efforts to extinguish the flames, inadvertently aided Michael escaping from the basement

trap that Laurie had caught him in in the previous movie. A bloodbath ensued as Michael

singlehandedly slaughtered every member of this firefighting team. I have discovered a great

divide in how people felt about this scene: they either hate it or they don’t. I can certainly

understand why on each end. The Shape’s purpose was to lurk in the shadows and kill without

his victims seeing him. This scene is uncharacteristic of Myers and is more akin to Jason

Voorhees. I loved this scene, personally, because it highlighted Michael being this unstoppable

force, but I admit that it was atypical of Myers. That being said, I could understand the negative

reaction one might have to this part of the film.


I felt it important to bring up a segment of the film with the “evil dies tonight” message.

The people in this movie were too easily swayed into doing very stupid things. Their reactions

made no sense both before and after this mob scene. All it took was for Tommy to be in the right

place to cry out the infamously hated line: “Evil Dies Tonight!” The idea of blinding anger in

numbers wasn’t a new addition to the franchise, but it was never done to this scale. In previous

Halloween films, for example, mobs would throw things at or break the windows of the Myers

house, or a group of good ole boys would rally together to go kill Myers. In this movie, all the

blind hatred culminates with the mob causing a wrongfully accused man to commit suicide. It

wasn’t until innocent blood was spilt that anyone came to the realization that Myers was turning

them into something worse than himself. The escalation was clunky and poorly planned out. It

would have worked better if the mob could have extended beyond the hospital, turning the whole

town against Michael. Imagine an entire town searching for Myers, forcing the hunter to become

the hunted, so to speak. We did get a few people, including Tommy, that cornered Michael and

gave him a good beating, but this only lead to a shallow ‘red herring.’

Myers ultimately won in this film. Yeah, think about that! Myers actually won. In most

Halloween films, he was either “killed” or escapes; he’s never actually won. So, I guess there

was one plus for this movie.

Oh, and Karen just gets murdered by Myers after he teleports back to the Myers house

from killing folks on a street three blocks away in a matter of seconds. Of all the kills in this

movie, I hated this one the most. It felt shoehorned in and ended Karen’s story prematurely.

A few positives I had with Halloween Kills were, well, the kills. As with most slasher

movies, good gore is core, or what’s the point? Kills took the violence level in Halloween 2018

and cranked the dial hard. No one was safe: one kid got his head chopped off and thrown at a car, brains were splattered, eyes were gouged out, necks were viciously broken, and two groups of

people (the firefighters and a small mob) were all murdered in brutal fashion. There was no

shortage of blood and carnage in this film.

Another positive, much like with 2018, was the musical score and the cinematography. It

looked great as well as sounded great.

Unfortunately, all the positives were marred by an awkward, disjointed narrative that felt

like it should have been introduced in the first movie, and some questionable choices with

character motives. I’d have to give Halloween Kills a 5 out of 10.




Now we get to the most divisive movie of the trilogy. Halloween Kills did some

experimental stuff with the Halloween formula that was, in a way, reminiscent of the

experimental nature of Rob Zombie’s Halloween series. Halloween Ends’ story took place some

time after the end of Halloween Kills. The Shape had gone into hiding in the sewers beneath

Haddonfield, killing vagrants and small animals to sustain himself just enough to not be fully

forgotten. These kills, however, were still noticed by the town, causing some citizens to commit

suicide or enact acts of public hatred. There is a real sense of dread washing over Haddonfield in

this film, as if the very idea of Myers is enough to change everyone around him. This idea was

akin to that of Batman: Myers had become more of a symbol—the fear he created would

transcend further than his actions. I find that fascinating.

The film started with a babysitter (Corey Cunning) watching over a younger kid named

Terry during Halloween night while Terry’s parents went to a party. Everything started off

wholesome and Terry and Corey even seemed to get along well enough; they would kid with one

other about ‘The Boogeyman’ getting either one of them. Terry decided to play a prank on

Corey, locking him in the third story attic, only to have the prank backfire and Terry was

knocked over the railing of the stairwell from the third floor to break his neck and die just as his

parents arrived home. Although it was an accident, the death of this child haunted Corey

wherever he went since the town painted him to essentially be the next Boogeyman. I liked this

idea, but I felt the film tip-toed too much around it and failed to deliver, which was my greatest

complaint about Halloween Ends. The film wanted to do something different, which it sort of

did, but it never fully committed itself to the plan.

Later on, Corey stumbled upon Michael, homeless and rotting away in the sewer.

Michael gave Corey a vibe check and decided to spare him because Myers saw the same

darkness in Corey that he himself had. Corey, moving forward, was set up to be our main driving

force for terror since Michael was now too old to continue on—a passing of the torch, if you

will. Except, that doesn’t really happen. We end up getting an old Myers with a side-kick type of

approach instead of going all in on a new person becoming The Shape. Personally, I would have

liked it far more if they executed the plan that they clearly were trying to pave a path for. But, in

the end, I suppose they were worried about how fans would react to a Halloween film without

Myers being The Shape.

Another aspect that didn’t work for me was how fast the relationship between Allyson

and Corey developed. They had one scene together, then suddenly Allyson was immediately all

about Corey. In a matter of days, she was ready to leave town with this guy. Admittedly, this was

a minor gripe—I am after all arguing semantics in a franchise with an unstoppable killer in

it—but I just wish their arc developed a little slower, so it didn’t feel so unnatural.


Other characters like Laurie and Hawkins were thriving during this time of distress in

Haddonfield, which was another juxtaposition that I liked. The town was literally tearing itself

apart, but Laurie had a new home with Allyson and was writing a book detailing her past with

The Boogeyman. It was nice to see her moving on instead of continuing to be so overcome by

the fear and hatred she had for Michael. Laurie, for once, was allowing herself to believe it was

all finally over and she could make peace with her past and be there for Allyson, who had also

suffered a similar trauma to her own. Hawkins in this movie was alive and well, using his spare

time in retirement from the force to learn guitar and speak Japanese. The two of them laugh and

even seem to care for one another in a couple of scenes, which was nice. It’s the first time in a

Halloween movie that Laurie seemed truly happy; a great inclusion, in my opinion.

One thing this movie promised was a final showdown between Myers and Laurie. We do

get that, but it was not in the way fans were expecting. For me personally, that climax was a real

letdown. It was established leading up to it that Myers was no longer in his prime, but the final

scene of them duking it out was lackluster to me. Even so, as a fan of the franchise, I loved it for

what it was. Laurie finally puts her Boogeyman down with the help of her granddaughter,

Allyson. What ensued was a touching scene of the town coming together to escort Myers’ corpse

to the local scrap yard to dispose of The Shape once and for all. Seeing the town and all the past

characters that we joined for this iteration of the franchise was satisfying. It was a reminder of

where it all started and who was lost along the way as it led up to the end of Myers. In the final

scenes of seeing Myers’ body ripped to shreds by the scrapper, a feeling of finality emanates

from those lingering moments. Although I suspect that this will not be the last time we see a

Halloween film, it will most likely be the last time we see Jamie Lee Curtis play Laurie Strode.

The film ends with Laurie’s monolog as we see Laurie and Hawkins finally uniting and

committing to the relationship they’ve both sorely wanted.

For all the flaws that Halloween Ends had, I think it was the second-best movie in the

trilogy. I wished they would have given Corey more of a spotlight as The Shape since the

buildup with him worked well and we got some fantastic kills out of it. In the end, it was a fitting

end to this trilogy; one that felt more about Laurie than it did about Michael. It was endearing

seeing Laurie put her ghosts to rest and allowing herself happiness after a life filled with terror

and sorrow.

I give Halloween Ends a 7/10.



There we have it. If you liked this article and would like to discuss your thoughts on the

series, please feel free to post it in the comments. Just to reiterate, these are just my opinions on

the latest trilogy—I’m not here to tell anyone they are right or wrong. If you hated this trilogy, I

get it; I completely understand why these movies could be a turn-off to hardcore fans of the

franchise. In the end, I just like discussing movies and seeing other people’s points. Thanks for

reading and if there is anything you’d like me to review, please feel free to send it my way on

Twitter @Matt_Wildasin.


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