Say what you will about HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021), but there’s no denying that for horror fans the controversial film is a grisly feast for the eyes. For me it was an immediate, inevitable TRICKS AND TREATS candidate, where I share my personal list (presented in chronological order) of noteworthy observations and curious questions I have about a film while I’m watching it. And with this movie, there was plenty I took notice of; in fact, 35 things in total! Scroll down for the full list and let me know if there’s anything you would add!
Note that for the HALLOWEEN KILLS edition of Tricks and Treats, I went with the extended cut of the film, which is approximately 4 minutes longer than the theatrical release, a significant chunk of that additional footage courtesy of the extended cut’s alternate ending.
1/ When Cameron notices a left-for-dead Officer Frank Hawkins lying on the ground, why does he exercise the yell-for-someone-to-help option instead of the get-on-your-cell phone-and-call-911 option?
2/ The initial flashback to Halloween night 1978 is the first example of MANY to come in this film of just how useless the residents of Haddonfield are, including law enforcers, when attempting to take Michael Myers down using a gun. Here, a young Officer Hawkins shoots at a slow-moving MM, effortlessly missing his target before MM disappears behind the side of a building. When Hawkins appears to catch up to MM a few seconds later, there isn’t any sign of the killer other than what looks like a size 13 boot imprint on the ground.
3/ In 1978, when Lonnie sees Michael disappear behind a bush and decides to investigate, wouldn’t it have been a brighter move to first cross to the other side of the street, walk towards the bush on a parallel trajectory, and then look from that vantage point? That way if MM was hiding behind the bush, Lonnie would have seen him sooner from a much safer not-within-arm’s-reach distance.
4/ Still in 1978, having caught up with Michael, Hawkins continues to shoot at and miss MM, even at a close range; however, Hawkins hasn’t any problem shooting (and killing) fellow cop Pete McCabe in the neck.
5/ In the opening credits for Halloween Kills, the first of the 12 jack-o-lanterns to appear on screen has what looks like blood streaming from one of its eye sockets.
6/ The “Make a Donation – Love Lives Today” sign appearing on the bar at Mick’s Bar is the inspiration for the film’s initially catchy but eventually annoying AF (not to mention misleading) tagline “Evil Dies Tonight”. Talk about a case of overkill.
7/ Tommy Doyle’s description of Michael as “a power beyond any mortal man” is not only in reference to Tommy’s personal experience with MM back in 1978, but also early foreshadowing of just how indestructible present-day MM will prove himself to be.
8/ It’s not entirely clear how MM escaped from the basement inferno in Laurie’s house. There weren’t any stairs to climb, and when the firefighter reached down (thru where a part of the floor had collapsed) with a helping hand, it looked like Michael pulled the poor guy down with him. Perhaps MM used this firefighter and the one he just murdered as a human ladder of sorts to elevate himself to the ground floor?
9/ I can’t remember if it was explained in Halloween (2018) why Karen is wearing a Christmas cardigan? Is that her lame idea of a costume or did she have her dates confused?
10/ The movie appearing on Sondra and Phil’s television prior to [and during] Michael’s grisly murdering of the couple is Tobe Hooper’s 1981 horror film The Funhouse.
11/ How did Michael get into Sondra and Phil’s bathroom in the first place? And why? (Perhaps he needed to powder his nose before continuing with his killing spree?)
12/ Despite the impressive selection of knives displayed on Sondra and Phil’s kitchen wall, MM decides to go the DIY route by converting the fluorescent tube light into his weapon of choice against Sondra.
13/ Not one to turn his back on the opportunity to test the efficiency of a knife, Michael plunges a total of 5 knives into the back of Phil before deciding upon that final blade as the one he will take as a parting gift.
14/ It certainly seems to have taken the ambulance a very long time to reach the injured Hawkins, and Cameron (who is on the phone with his father, Lonnie).
15/ As Tommy bolts out of Mick’s Bar in search of Michael, he places a donation in the charity jar placed on the bar and says aloud its tagline of “Love Lives Today”. Marion immediately chimes in with “But evil dies tonight!” (So it’s beloved Marion the audience has to thank for that gem of a line which will be repeated ad nauseum throughout the film.)
16/ Does anyone else get Danny Devito Penguin vibes from MM’s fellow Smith’s Grove Psychiatric Hospital fugitive Lance Tovoli?
17/ During Big John’s dance scene to the song “It’s Halloween (Stop, Look and Listen)”, his and Little John’s profession as real estate agents is revealed with the “FOR SALE” signs seen in the background with a photo of the couple on the front of the sign.
18/ During Tommy’s recruiting scene outside of the convenience store, a promotional ad for realtors Little John and Big John can be seen immediately behind the bench. It would seem like the Johns are making a killing in selling property!
19/ Marcus’ attempt to defeat Michael by strangling him with his Halloween costume accessory, a doctor’s stethoscope, is a noble effort but also an hilarious epic fail, and yet one that is eventually upstaged by his wife Vanessa when she accidentally shoots herself in the head (with a little help from MM and a car door).
20/ Lindsey’s brave park side face-off (mask, too, briefly) with Michael instantly elevates her to the MVP throne in Halloween Kills. While Laurie divides her screen time between the back of a truck and the hospital, and most of the other characters spend their screen time dying, Lindsey saves the lives of those two brats in the playground, manages to get a couple of super decent blows to MM’s head with that bag of bricks and rocks she quickly assembled, and not only survives Michael’s retaliating attack against her, but successfully escapes and hides from him. All hail this Real Final Girl of Haddonfield!
21/ How did someone move the blood-stained cloth from Laurie’s hospital bed to a chair across the room without realizing that wrapped within that cloth was a big ass knife left for Laurie by Allyson? (Even worse is if a hospital staff member did make this discovery and still didn’t remove the damn thing from Laurie’s room!)
22/ Amidst all the chaos of the evening, Allyson somehow found the time to buy Laurie a “Get Well” card?
23/ The movie Big John and Little John are watching in their (and formerly MM’s) home is a 1971 film by director John Cassavetes called Minnie & Muskowitz.
24/ Haddonfield Memorial Hospital is on a so-called lockdown and yet mentally imbalanced fugitive Lance Tovoli effortlessly walks in off the street unnoticed until he’s stupidly mistaken for being Michael Myers. At which point the lockdown becomes more of a take-down.
25/ The dressing table and mirror in one of the Johns’ bedrooms is reminiscent of the one Judith Myers was sitting at when you-know-who decided he wanted to be an only child back in 1963.
26/ When he discovers Big John’s lifeless (and eyeless) body in the bedroom and then MM on the other side of the room, Little John accepts his fate pretty damn quickly, not seeming to make any attempt whatsoever to escape as Michael crosses the room to kill him.
27/ With Cameron and Allyson watching from the car, Lonnie easily enters the Johns’ / old Myers’ house. Didn’t Big John lock the front door when he and Little John realized that there was an intruder in their home?
28/ When Cameron and Allyson open the front closet of the Johns’ home, why is one of the closet’s contents a pumpkin?
29/ DJ Michael’s song selection of Anne Murray’s “Could I Have This Dance” (originally featured on the soundtrack for the 1980 film Urban Cowboy and coincidentally starring Jamie Lee Curtis’ future Perfect co-star John Travolta), playing on the record player beside a photo of the freshly murdered Big John and Little John, is solid proof that MM’s sense of humour is as twisted and messed up as the rest of him. Either that or he’s a closeted romantic.
30/ Let’s take a moment to reflect on the freakishly high number of people who unsuccessfully attempted to shoot Michael [with a gun] in addition to the young Officer Hawkins back in 1978:
- Dr. Sam Loomis (although thru no fault of his own; Hawkins prevented Loomis from putting a bullet into Michael’s head back in 1978)
- Marion, while in the front seat of Lindsey’s vehicle, and whose gun was out of bullets by the time she had Michael within extremely close range
- Marcus, in the backseat of Lindsey’s vehicle
- Vanessa, outside of Lindsey’s vehicle, and who accidentally shot herself in the head while attempting to shoot Michael
- Lonnie in an offscreen confrontation with Michael; Allyson and Cameron hear Lonnie’s gun shot coming from within the old Myers house. In the scenes to follow, it’s pretty clear that Lonnie missed his target
- Cameron, whose aim was compromised upon discovering Lonnie’s dead body wedged in between the door to the attic (by a very fast-working Michael)
- Allyson, who along with Cameron, is attacked by Michael after the duo rushes into the old Myers house to assist Lonnie
- Leigh Brackett is about to shoot Michael, but in his slight hesitation to do so must settle for getting his throat slit by MM
- One of the street mob eventually unloads 5 bullets into Michael but even THAT isn’t enough to take MM down
31/ Why didn’t Michael finish off Allyson before beginning his pursuit of Karen? Not doing so is completely off brand for MM.
32/ When Karen thrusts a pitchfork into Michael’s back and then stomps on his head with her foot, why does she assume that she’s defeated him? At the very least, she should have made Swiss cheese out of Michael’s head with that pitchfork!
33/ Let’s take another moment to reflect, this time on some less-than-inspired examples of what “weapons” the mob brought to Michael Myers’ (read: their own) execution:
- Brackett brought a gun, not that it made any difference
- The aforementioned gun that MM was actually shot with 5 times
- Haddonfield’s resident Iron Lady brought her signature, wrinkle destroying namesake with her
- A hockey stick
- A shovel
- A few two-by-fours
- A crowbar and/or tire iron
- A massive wrench or pipe
- Tommy’s weapon of choice was a baseball bat. A BASEBALL BAT!!!!
- Karen used MM’s knife and while she plunged it into MM’s shoulder, WTF was she thinking by NOT instead stabbing him in the head or the heart REPEATEDLY?
- There was no shortage of dirty looks being shot in Michael’s direction; alas, none of them were fatal
- Didn’t anyone in the neighbourhood own an axe or some form of chainsaw? An aerosol can and a lighter?
34/ Although the street mob was there to execute Michael, the way the scene ultimately plays out looks like everyone came not to kill but to be killed. It’s like they intentionally formed a line to make MM’s job of killing each of them as quick and easy as possible.
35/ When Laurie calls Karen’s cell, Michael answers it. When did Michael learn how to answer a cell phone? Wasn’t the last time he answered a phone back in 1978?
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