Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for the film Halloween ends. Proceed at your own risk.
If there is any key problem with that David Gordon Green Halloween Movies, it’s their refusal to commit entirely to interesting ideas. Watching this feature trilogy is watching a collection of movies oddly unsure of which direction to go. Potentially interesting character beats are lost in the slasher movie shuffle while eschewing more subversive plot developments in favor of sticking with what worked in previous films. The reluctance to become truly unpredictable in this trilogy is particularly evident in 2018 Halloween movie and Halloween endsboth making the same weird mistake of teasing the idea of creating a replacement for Michael Myers but not going through with it.
The idea of doing without this franchise’s iconic villain might seem like a bizarre concept, but slasher film franchises have often swapped villains. The adversaries of the individual Scream Guess may have a similar costume, but they are all different people. Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer), the killer of the first Friday the 13thShe would be usurped in this saga by her initially deceased son Jason. And lord knows you can’t count how many charges Jigsaw (Tobin bell) hired to continue his work after his eventual death Seen sequels. Although there are so many precedents for torch passing among horror movie villains, not to mention Halloween and Halloween ends If they tease out that idea, they never carry it through.
The first manifestation of this concept in Green’s Halloween Saga comes in Halloween and includes the character of Dr. Ranbir Sartain (Haluk Bilginer). Up to this point, the character acted as the successor to Dr. Loomis (donald please), to the point that he is mentioned as having trained under Loomis in the past. But shortly before the third act begins, Sartain shows his true colors. After incapacitating Michael Myers, it turns out that Sartain had released this masked psychopath from prison after becoming intrigued by his murders. As a symbol of how obsessed he has become with this killer, Sartain dons this classic Michael Myers mask. For a moment, it looks like the biggest monster in this universe is the last person viewers might expect.
Unfortunately, Sartain is quickly dispatched shortly thereafter. After dragging Myers to Strode’s house, this classic slasher villain reawakens and dispatches Sartain. This potential new face of angst in the franchise is now gone, and his only role in the entire storyline appears to be to bring Myers to where he is Halloweens Climax. It’s a frustratingly sluggish resolution to a potentially interesting detour in the plot of Halloween All the more disheartening because it’s superfluous in the context of the plot. This feature only hints at the idea that a Myers successor might emerge, and instead settles for just rehashing what has previously worked in the franchise.
An even more frustrating incarnation of this problem resurfaces in Halloween ends. For much of the running time of this episode, the audience follows Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), a man who accidentally killed a child he was supposed to be babysitting in 2019. Since then he has not been able to escape this tragedy, his life is an unrelenting torment of bad luck. After being beaten up by a mob of high school students, Cunningham finds himself in a manhole where he confronts Michael Myers, who has been on the run for four years. Though it looks like the end for Cunningham, Myers sees the potential to wreak grisly havoc in this young man and lets him go.
Afterwards, as Myers’ protégé, Cunningham begins his killing spree, even wearing a scarecrow mask he previously used for a costume party as a counterpart to the white mask adorned by The Shape. It is easy to see what role this character has in the narrative on paper, particularly in relation to his connection to David Gordon Green Halloween Films and their obsession with trauma. While Laurie Strode has had to learn to overcome the terrors that have scarred her, Cunningham decides to embrace the reputation of a psychopath that everyone in Haddonfield, Illinois has bestowed on him. This path leads to him becoming a modern-day successor to Michael Myers, a point underscored by how Cunningham eventually fights Myers, holding him and taking his worn-out mask for a Halloween night massacre.
Unfortunately, the execution of Cunningham’s role as a chilling replacement for Michael Myers leaves a lot to be desired. For one thing, Myers is still there for most of the film. Each time he joins Cunningham in his murders, it’s Myers who scores the flashy kills that audiences will remember. It’s hard for Cunningham to function as something new and exciting when he’s constantly being eclipsed by Myers. His vengeful battles on Halloween night at least give Cunningham a shot at being a gory solo act, but even that doesn’t last long. Cunningham, like Sartain, is killed before the final half hour begins. Once Cunningham dies, Myers emerges, grabs his mask, and continues his pursuit of Laurie Strode as if this new character never existed.
The wish of Halloween Movies that always return to a showdown between Myer and Strode always undermine the potentially interesting idea of Michael Myers being usurped in this franchise. These movies always stop short of taking this interesting approach to give the audience either what they want or what they’ve seen before. This leaves so much potential on the table while the individual narratives of these films suffer as well. Halloween and Halloween ends Both offer narratives with lengthy digressions that involve new potential main antagonists that simply lead nowhere and aren’t nearly entertaining or scary enough to justify their existence.
The problems with Sartain and Cunningham in these Halloween Movies underscore the problems encountered by so many horror sequels. Scariness almost always requires an element of surprise or shock. This doesn’t have to manifest in some basic form like a jump scare, it can also stem from a storyline that twists what the audience considers “normal” to a warped degree, or provides images you couldn’t imagine before. Unfortunately, horror sequels often work at the behest of what the audience has previously enjoyed. These projects exist only to capitalize on the popularity of other features, which means they often become an add-on rather than something special and exciting that can send shivers down your spine.
Halloween and Halloween kills show an interest in going against the grain and delivering what people might not expect from a Halloween Consequence, especially in terms of who is the main antagonist of these films. Unfortunately, the execution of these projects repeatedly undermines the notion that a new slasher opponent will appear as the face of the Halloween Saga. These films didn’t have to fail Michael Myers to be good. However, her awkward and eventually aborted attempts to attempt just that underscore her larger narrative problems. Plus, both films’ difficulties in going somewhere new relative to their antagonist underscore the greater difficulties all horror sequels face in attempting to be both frighteningly fresh and reassuringly familiar.
https://collider.com/halloween-movies-replacing-michael-myers/ Halloween Movies Keep Chickening Out on Replacing Michael Myers