‘Halloween Kills’ And The Attack Of The Geriatric Killers

by Frank Martin

Movie fans are suckers for nostalgia. Even horror movie fans aren’t immune to this. In fact, one could argue that horror fans love nostalgia more than most. That might be why so many horror franchises last for so long. Across all popular genres, though, there’s been a trend of not merely continuing franchises, but bringing them back to their roots. This becomes more difficult as some franchises are decades old and the original actors start to climb in age. Harrison Ford especially comes to mind as he returns to Indiana Jones once again.

Horror films have been attempting to do this too. Specifically, the Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchises. Both have new installments that are continuations of the original films that came out decades ago. They too have been reviving their original female protagonists in spite of age or, in the case of TCM, the need to change actors as the original performer passed away. But what about the villains they face? The original actors don’t necessarily matter as famous killers like Michael Myers and Leatherface wear masks. Pretty much anybody can take up the roles, but that brings a whole new set of peculiar questions.

In most cases, the killers would be a bit older than their respective “final girl” counterparts in the original films — this would put Leatherface and Michael Myers maybe in their mid to late 20s or even their early 30s during those initial encounters. Doing the quick math, it’s not unreasonable to think that these masked serial killers would be in there late 70s or early 80s at the time these newer films take place. Because of their costumes and masks, it’s sometimes easy to forget just how old these guys are, but when you take the time to think about it, it almost becomes comical that these geriatric serial killers are racking up such huge body counts. Of course, these are horror films and they do a great job building the tension and showcasing the gore, but as an audience member, especially a writer myself, it’s hard to overlook just how old these characters are and how limber they are at their age.

Halloween Kills is now streaming on HBOMax. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is now streaming on Netflix.

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