Halloween Kills (2021) Review!!!

Synopsis – The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series.

My Take – Released in 2018, director David Gordon Green‘s retconned sequel to filmmaker John Carpenter‘s genre defining slasher, Halloween (1978), not only ignored all the other sequels of the franchise, including the ones that actually had Jamie Lee Curtis‘s Laurie Strode present, Halloween H20 (1998) and Halloween: Resurrection (2002), but also intelligently removed everything from the series’ increasingly bizarre mythology like its ludicrous twists, involvement of cults and black magic, and the non-digestible blood connection between Laurie and series antagonist Michael Myers.

Thereby reinstating the sense of Carpenter’s lean and mean original horror, resulting in wide spread acclaim along with a box office haul of $255.6 million worldwide on a $10 million budget.

Writing again with Danny McBride and joined by Scott Teems, here, director Green‘s second entry in the announced trilogy, that’s set to close with Halloween Ends next year is as a direct sequel to the 2018 film, acts very much as a middle entry, functional yet an enjoyably efficient follow-up which, true to its title, antes up the brutality, while offering some satisfying nods to the 1978 original.

Sure, it doesn’t add anything to the already long series, nor does it do much to push the plot forward, however, if you have been a fan of the Halloween franchise in general (like myself), it’s fair to say that you’ll get a lot more out of the film in comparison to anyone fresh. As acting as one of the darker chapters of the series, the film finds fulfilling ways to expand the world Carpenter created with a larger focus on the fictional town of Haddonfield and re-introducing characters from the 1978 classic. All the while never denying us the entertainment of witnessing Michael Myers absolutely letting loose.

Beginning with a prelude which takes us back to the night of 1978, the story picks up immediately right were its predecessor ended and once again follows the women of the Strode family — Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis), Karen (Judy Greer) and Allyson (Andi Matichak), who escape after trapping Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle) in a burning house, believing him to be dead. However, Michael manages to escape, courtesy of the Haddonfield Fire Department, and embarks on a town-wide murder spree, killing more than he ever has before.

And when the news breaks about the string of violent murders, the other survivors of the 1978 night, Tommy (Anthony Michael Hall), Lonnie (Robert Longstreet), Marion (Nancy Stephens) and Lindsey (Kyle Richards) along with their new friends, Marcus (Michael Smallwood) and Vanessa (Carmela McNeal), tired of living in constant fear and survivor guilt, decide to form a mob and hunt down the re-emerged boogeyman.

I completely disagree with some critics calling it a thoroughly bad film, as in my books it delivers on everything promised. As the title suggests, the film has plenty of kills, all of which are mostly interesting and creative, and they’re always brutal. This is an extremely bloody film with some pretty great-looking gore whenever the film bothers to show it.

It even tries to be more than just another dumb slasher, though, by fitting in some social commentary. The idea of a makeshift militia going after Michael is actually intriguing. The film specifically tackles the mob mentality many feel both online and in-person and how it can negatively affect both people on the outside of that mob and the people within it.

It’s subtle enough to not feel like it’s pushing an agenda, but the message is still there and works for the story the film is trying to tell. Though it could’ve been handled much better without the disturbing hammering in, but it’s a good message to send on top of a film that’s mostly focused on pleasing its audience and keeping its momentum going.

Where the film actually stumbles is in its persistent need to make some of these murders seem like they matter. The film is awash in guilt and tears, sucking out whatever sick fun there is to be had by suggesting that some of these deaths are tragic, even as it treats others like slapstick punch lines. For example, the whole sequence surrounding gay couple appallingly named Big John (Scott MacArthur) and Little John (Michael McDonald) is just excruciating to watch.

Yes, the film has no real resolution, as it’s the middle entry of a planned trilogy. Though I wasn’t bothered by this, I can see why others would be, as it leaves a lot of loose ends to clear up for the next film.

Performance wise, Jamie Lee Curtis is great as always, even though her role is surprisingly minimized here, Andi Matichak excels in presenting a compelling reinvention of the final girl trope and Judy Greer gets her moments, which she absolutely nails. In other roles, Will Patton, Robert Longstreet, Anthony Michael Hall, Kyle Richards, Nancy Stephens, Michael Smallwood, Carmela McNeal and Charles Cyphers are also good. On the whole, ‘Halloween Kills’ is an enjoyable follow-up which while underwritten delivers on brutality and sets up next year’s finale well.

Directed –

Starring – Judy Greer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak

Rated – R

Run Time – 105 minutes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.