Venice 2021: Halloween Kills, not deadly

David Gordon Green is showering the excitement of his 2018 sequel / reboot.

There is a fundamental contradiction at the heart of the franchise Halloween. The myth invented by John Carpenter in 1978 opened an abyss so dizzying, so maddening, that the horror industry (and us with) could only jump into it with both feet, to admire its infinite darkness. However, as we know, it is precisely from its minimalism, its silence, its “clear line” that The Night of the Masks drew all its power from fascination. This original purity in a way invalidates any attempt at subsequent rereading. The less you know about Michael Myers, the better. But still: we always want to know more …

This foundational puzzle has nevertheless been solved by some – Rob Zombie in the lead. David Gordon Green struck hard with his 2018 anniversary sequel / reboot, which avoided the pitfalls of our time revivalist (the meta, the nostalgia, the temptation to wink) and returned to the fundamentals: efficiency, brutality, Jamie Lee Curtis in majesty. Hence the monster hopes placed in this new section. And hence the feeling of a cold shower. In wanting to widen the frame, DGG and his co-writers Scott Teems and Danny McBride get their feet wet. The idea ofHalloween kills is to move away from the figure of Laurie Strode (Curtis) and focus on the other residents of Haddonfield, Illinois – Laurie’s daughter and granddaughter, Sheriff Hawkins, survivors of the original film grown up (the little Tommy, babysitting Laurie, played by Anthony Michael Hall) and, through them, a whole traumatized community wondering how to face Absolute Evil.

Jamie Lee Curtis honored at the Venice Film Festival

The photo and the vintage atmosphere of the film, in line with the previous one, are still as seductive but, by dint of pretending to be interested in so many secondary characters (whereas deep down, we know, he doesn’t Laurie and Michael count), the film organizes at its expense a kind of mythological grand bazaar, awkwardly thinking about the meaning to be given to the bogeyman – in addition to being Laurie Strode’s nemesis, a reflection of our souls in spectators thirsty for violence, a mysterious supernatural force, a lost kid looking for the way to his child’s room, he is asked here to be the walking metaphor of an America eternally bogged down in its traumas (echoes ofAmerican Anarchy and the assault on the Capitol). A sum of hypotheses thrown in the air and never worked on by the film, rough, overloaded, unable to stand up and go straight to the point – a shame when it comes to Michael Myers.

These hesitations would possibly be forgivable if the film did not end with the unpleasant admission that it was first conceived as a pass-through episode, supposed to make us wait before the third installment, announced for 2022, Halloween Ends. The end ofHalloween ? Promises, always promises …

Halloween kills, by David Gordon Green, in theaters October 20. Trailer :

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