Review Detail

9.9 7 10
halloween2return_front
FanFix September 10, 2022 1218
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Halloween edits hold a special place in my heart - one only need look at my own fanediting resume to realise how much I love the series. So, whenever a new edit based on this seasonal franchise is announced, I do get quite excited, particularly if it's released around the appropriate time of year - basically September of October! What's more, when it's coming from Ryantology, it ups the ante even more as he's a massive fan of the series and just happens to be an excellent editor too.

Now, I was already impressed with his take on the mess that is Halloween Kills, when he released his recut version earlier this year. It didn't quite save the film for me, but at least it made it more than watchable for me. With the release of Halloween II: The Return of Michael Myers though, he's taken a huge leap forward and created a very special edit indeed. This is the kind of edit that is to be truly treasured, it's that good.

Combining Halloween 2018 and Kills, to make a digestible feature length slasher movie is not an easy task. I know that originally Ryantology was looking at around 2 hours and 40 minutes, but thankfully he's managed to push the envelope much further, to take some risks, and presents a movie of around 2 hours and 16 minutes. But, could the narrative remain intact... could the important character beats survive, and would the awful dialogue and use of classic OG characters from Kills be improved at all? The answer to all these questions is yes... hell yes.

The biggest improvement with this edit comes with the way Halloween Kills now actually feels like it has a purpose, and believe it or not, some narrative focus. There's a brilliant touch when we are introduced to Tommy Doyle, Marion, Lyndsey and Lonnie during the events of Halloween 2018. It works so well that you would never know that it was never intended that way, and more importantly it makes Tommy and company far more likeable, allowing the characters to be introduced in a well paced manner. They feel like they belong in the story now, not just shoehorned in for the sake of it. True, nothing can save the fact that they don't have enough to do - and that Kills should have been about these characters really, but it's a huge leap forward from what we had. Plus, the stupid mob scenes are basically gone - thank you so much for this!

Halloween 2018 is significantly better too. I loved the way Laurie is introduced, and that the English reporters don't even get to meet her now. It's much more to the point, and surprisingly gives much more believability to Laurie's PTSD and obsession over Michael. Less is more, and Ryantology drives this home so skillfully here. All the awkward Danny McBride humour is more or less gone, and whilst one could argue that there were some opportunities to trim Halloween 2018 even further, that really is down to personal preference, and should not take away the sterling work done here.

I know that Ryantology had some obstacles with sound levels during some of the scenes which had new music added, but these have now been corrected on the version I saw. Talking of which, the new music additions work seamlessly. I was a bit worried when "The Shape Hunts Allyson" was missing during that scene where she comes face to face with Michael for the first time, but I should have known that Ryantology knew what he was doing, and it appeared during the finale in excellent fashion. Also, I never ever thought using music from John Carpenter's "The Fog" would work here - but it really does, and just made me smile big time.

Overall, this is one of the best Halloween edits I've ever seen. Ryantology should be proud of what he's achieved. As faneditors, we don't necessarily set out to "replace" theatrical versions, more to offer alternate takes and granted, if you loved Halloween 2018 and Kills the way they are, that would be the case for you here. Personally speaking, this is a replacement for both films. I seriously can't see myself going back to the theatrical versions, particularly for Kills. An editor at the top of his game - truly inspirational stuff.
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