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Halloween Kills (2021) – Review: A Misguided Sequel That Kills The Momentum Built From the 2018 Rebootquel

October 16, 2021

Quick Thoughts – Grade – D – The opening credits of Halloween (2018) feature a pumpkin becoming fresh again. The opening credits of Halloween Kills should’ve featured the fresh pumpkin being overwhelmed by mold and collapsing into a pile of mush.

The David Gordon Green directed Halloween Kills is a classic example of what happens when sequels lose focus, and choose to go big. Instead of keeping it small and dealing with the aftermath of Michael Myers surviving the trap that Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) set for him, David Gordon Green and fellow writers Danny McBride and Scott Teems expand the world, and focus on what happens when a mob forms, and some familiar residents of Haddonfield starting hunting down Myers. What follows is a total waste of time, as nothing is resolved, time is wasted, and the kills become unnecessarily bloody. The worst thing about Halloween Kills, is that it has no idea of who Michael Myers is. Is he the bogeyman? Is he some dude who decided to kill one night? Is he some guy who just wanders around and wants to go home? Is he some immortal monster who just keeps getting stronger and stronger? 

Halloween Kills focuses on the aftermath of Michael surviving the trap that Laurie had been planning for 40 years. Thinking Michael has burnt to death, Laurie, her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), head to the local hospital to get their wounds taken care of, and try to start coping with a horrible night that saw their friends and loved ones killed. The problem is, Michael survived the fire, killed several firefighters, and his presence has riled up the locals into a murderous frenzy. From there, a plethora of former Halloween franchise characters have major roles (and most are killed), and they spend their return to the franchise trying and failing to kill the local bogeyman. None of it matters as it all seems like a time wasting middle chapter, that will make a lot of money, and lead to another battle between Laurie and Michael that will close out the trilogy. 

The majority of the reviews and trailers have focused on the violence found in this sequel, which is fair considering Halloween II (1981) and Halloween II (2009) both stepped up their violence. However, both sequels made less money, and have lower critical scores, which means the ultra-violence (the hot tub death…) doesn’t always mean a step up in quality. 1980’s slasher fans will appreciate the various ways in which Michael kills, but, people expecting Michael to be interesting or layered will be disappointed (watch the 1978 original again, you’ll see Michael is a complex murderer). The idea of mob justice is nothing new to the Halloween world, but mob justice took place on the periphery in movies like Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Halloween Kills is overwhelmed by a screaming group of extras led by the grown up Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall taking over for Paul Rudd), a baseball bat wielding badass who is still dealing with the trauma that occurred in 1978. The focus on the mob takes screen time away from Laurie and her family, who made a big impact in the 2018 film, and are a big reason why the film became a blockbuster smash. Why spend so much time creating a believable family dynamic, and then abandon it with a group of pointless townsfolk who are suppossed to be subverting the trend of dangeous mobs?

The best part of Halloween Kills is the opening flashback that features Jim Cummings (The Wolf of Snow Hollow, Thunder Road) punching Myers in the stomach. I had no clue that Cummings was in the film, and seeing him scrap with a horror legend was worth the price of admission. 

Final thoughts Halloween Kills is a waste of time, that kills any goodwill built up by the 2018 rebootquel.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. John Leavengood permalink
    October 16, 2021 3:38 pm

    Hmmmm… sounds like if I set my franchise expectations to nil and essentially just watch for the brutal death scenes, I might enjoy this somewhat. No big shock that this would disappoint after seeing 2018 and how bleh it made me feel.

    I appreciate you jumping on this grenade and sharing your war story. I’ll still see it and take my share of scarring shrapnel. But at least I won’t pay theater price for it now. haha

    • October 16, 2021 3:47 pm

      You know me, I always try to find positives, but I just have no clue why they went the direction they did. It’s all filler.

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