Pumpkin Person rating: 7 out of 10
So it was pouring rain last night and I just had to get out of my apartment, so even though I had to be on my computer before sunrise the next morning for work, I decided to drive to the 10:35 showing of Halloween Kills. After showing proof of vaccination and buying some popcorn, I took my reclining seat at the very back and middle of the movie theatre. Two young women sat one row ahead and to the right of me, and then there was a demented young man sitting by himself in the very middle of the theatre (saw him after the movie ended, just aimlessly walking in the rain after midnight). So just the four of us, in this huge theatre built for hundreds of people.
I should make clear that Halloween Kills is a sequel to John Carpenter’s original 1978 Halloween where Michael Myers is from a middle class home:
Not to be confused with the white trash kid from Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake that they want so desperately for us to forget.
In the original 1978 classic, 6-year-old Myers stabs his baby-sitting older sister to death on Halloween night. 15 years later he escapes from a mental hospital, returns to the same town to relive his crime by killing the local baby-sitters.
The original Halloween became for years the most successful independent film of all time, launching the stalker sub-genre and turning Jamie Lee Curtis into the Scream Queen. Curtis played Laurie Strode, everyone’s favorite girl next door. The high IQ bookworm virgin who uses her quick wit to outsmart the killer who slaughtered her promiscuous best friends.
Halloween Kills, like its immediate predecessor Halloween 2018, takes place exactly 40 years after the 1978 classic (ignoring all the other sequels). Laurie is now a grandmother but still traumatised by Myers who has once again escaped from the mental hospital to terrorize his hometown. Laurie had trapped him in her basement and then set her own house on fire to kill him, but sadly, the firemen unintentionally come to his rescue.
The film will be a bit confusing to those who haven’t mastered the original or the 2018 sequel but I enjoyed it. There’s a scene where a police officer recalls being sent by a sympathetic mother to play with Myers as a young child, but all Myers would do was stare out his sister’s bedroom window. Finally confirmation that Myers was weird even before he killed his sister.
In a sign of the times, the franchise gets its first openly gay characters: a couple who moves into Myers’s childhood home where he killed his older sister. At first I was annoyed by the film’s transparent virtue signaling but then I realized, moving into a “haunted” house is exactly the kind of campy thing a couple gay guys would do.
In another scene Myers is described as a 6-year-old with the body of a man and the the mind of an animal. His socialization certainly stopped at age 6 because he spent the next 55 years never speaking, just sitting motionless in a mental hospital, except for the two Halloween nights he escaped. Having the mind of an animal may explain why he never speaks because if you believe Noam Chomsky, no animal has anything even remotely resembling language and even we didn’t have it until 50,000 years ago.
In the original film, Myers’s psychiatrist is told of Myers “there’s nothing left. No reason, no understanding, not even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong”. The demented way Myers tilts his head after killing someone in the original film suggests he doesn’t grasp life or death.
What was Myers’s IQ? Verbal tests are out of the question because he doesn’t speak and can’t read. Performance tests also wouldn’t work because he moves extremely slowly. The only test I could picture him taking is the Raven Matrices because all you need to do is point to the right answer without time limit, though you’d have to adjust for his lack of schooling since the test is surprising sensitive to education.