After resuscitating the franchise by embracing the past while pushing the narrative forward, writer-director David Gordon Green’s sequel stalls out.
Picking up at the prior film’s end, Michael Myers makes an improbable escape from Laurie’s burning compound then murders his way back to his childhood house. Meanwhile, Tommy, another survivor from the original film, played by Anthony Michael Hall, incites the townsfolk into a bloodthirsty mob that storms the local hospital in an errant pursuit of Myers.
It’s not an awful film. Michael’s never been so brutal and the ideas it explores around small-town trauma build on those of the prior film. But this time, said ideas never coalesce. I recognize the allusions to the Capitol riots, but is a Halloween movie the best vehicle to explore them? At best, the film amounts to a thematic digression, at worst, a retread.
More troubling is how the film recasts Myers’s character, saying he possesses the “Mind of a six-year-old in a man’s body with an animal’s brain.” That’s not Michael, it’s Jason from the Friday the 13th series.
Indeed, this effort would work better as a Friday film. Viewed through that lens, it’s not half-bad.
- Extended Cut, Universal Studios, 2022↩