Halloween Kills, the second film in David Gordon Green’s Michel Myers trilogy, has had its first test screening. Early buzz after the screening has given cause for cautious optimism, as apparently audiences enjoyed the film, and have even shared some interesting details that point to an ambitious sequel.
More of the Night He Came Home
The new sequel apparently takes a few pointers from 1981’s Halloween II, picking up moments after the end of the 2018 film. It follows Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) as they’re taken to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital for their injuries. While there, Michael Myers somehow has escaped Laurie’s burning home, prompting other survivors of the 1978 incident to get involved as the Shape continues to stalk Haddonfield.
There is already some cause for excitement over this latest film, such as the return of many prominent characters and cast members. The most noteworthy are Tommy and Lindsay, the two children Laurie gallantly protected in the classic 1978 original (played here by Anthony Michael Hall and Kyle Richards). Also returning are Charles Cyphers as Leigh Brackett, who lost his daughter in the original film and Nancy Stephens as the chain smoking Nurse Chambers who witnessed Michael’s escape. The film will also feature the return of Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, the setting of 1981’s Halloween II which continues to be a fan favorite.
This past month, news of a recent test screening has begun making the rounds on the internet. Apparently the screening went over well, which marks an improvement over how the 2018 film was initially received. That film’s ending generated such a negative response that Green and company opted for an extensive re-shoot. Rather than discontent, this screening has apparently generated healthy enthusiasm from its audience, who even shared some interesting details about the film’s story and style while avoiding spoilers. Now these details are as of yet unconfirmed, but they do warrant some discussion if they are true.
Halloween Kills apparently includes a lengthy flashback to the classic 1978 original. A similar sequence was originally planned for the 2018 film, which would have remade the ending to the original Halloween where Doctor Loomis shoots Michael. The sequence ultimately wasn’t used, but the set was later retooled for Laurie Strode’s home. The sequence in the new film reportedly runs between 7 and 10 minutes, and features a 21 year old Michael Myers wearing a recreation of the original 1978 mask. The purposes of this flashback are unclear, but it’s likely to tie into the returning characters from the first film.
A small detail that greatly excites me is apparently Halloween Kills is a very blue movie. One often overlooked element of the original was its cinematography, which is permeated with an eerie blue lighting once the film transitions into night. Many sequels, except perhaps Halloween 4, are not blue movies, featuring instead yellow and orange colors that don’t inspire the same mood. Even the 2018 film is guilty of this. Color plays a huge part in establishing mood, so the possibility that Halloween Kills will once more be a blue film is of personal interest to me.
Return of the Unnamed
Among the other rumors started by this screening, one of the most interesting is that another major character not yet revealed to the public is coming back. It’s not known if this is a character from the original, one of the previous sequels, or a returning cast member from the 2018 film. There are some possibilities. A likely one is perhaps Will Patton’s character of Frank Hawkins survived the attack by Dr. Sartain and will reunite with Laurie at the hospital. Hawkins was a strong character so his return would be a welcome addition. Another possibility is perhaps series veteran Danielle Harris will have a role in the film, which would be a welcome continuation of her extensive Haddonfield career.
Treat or Trick?
Though not confirmed, these details are still interesting, and the positive reception to this screening gives reason for some cautious optimism on the part of Halloween fans. It’s important to manage expectations like always. We are after-all dealing with the 12th film in the franchise, and Halloween doesn’t have the best track record on sequels. This creative team also brought us the 2018 film, which while one of the series’ best, still had issues of its own.
However, I’m personally hopeful about the film. The 2018 film had faults but was a huge step in the right direction, and the first time anyone with ambition and vision tackled the series in some time. Also, Green and McBride both have said they wanted to see the reaction to the 2018 film in order to gauge audience response. The 2018 film made mistakes, but hopefully Green and McBride have learned from them, and crafted a film that improves on its predecessor.
[Sources, Dark Universe Horror Database]
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