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Review: Halloween Kills (2021)

5 Star.png
5 Star.png

#Cinema, #Film, #movie review

David North-Martino

Oct 18, 2021

Review: Halloween Kills (2021)

Halloween Kills was directed by David Gordon Green, and stars Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, True Lies), Judy Greer (Ant Man, Jurassic World), Andi Matchak (Assimilate, Son), Will Patton (Armageddon, The Mothman Prophesies), and Anthony Michael Hall (The Breakfast Club, The Dead Zone).

After a strong showing with Halloween (2018), I was excited to watch the next installment. Halloween is such an iconic franchise. I originally saw the first two movies on network TV in the ‘80s. It wouldn’t be until 1988 when I’d start watching this franchise in the theater, beginning with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. In 1995, my wife and I, recently married, went to see Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers in the cinema, and were thoroughly disappointed. It wouldn’t be until the producer’s cut of Curse that we’d get to experience the original conclusion of that middle trilogy. I saw Halloween 2018 for the first time in a theater in New York while accompanying my wife on a business trip and liked it so much I bought the 4k Blu-Ray disc.

I was all ready to watch the Strode women take on Michael Myers again and was disappointed when they weren’t utilized for much of the movie.

The story begins where we left off in Halloween (2018) from Cameron Elam’s (Dylan Arnold) perspective. If you remember, he’s Allyson Nelson’s (Andi Matcichak) boyfriend. Then we’re treated to a flashback to the original killing in 1978. Older footage of Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasance) is mixed seamlessly with new footage, voice acting by Colin Mahan, and body doubling by Tom Jones, Jr. This is the highlight of the film. The flashback sets up a confrontation between Deputy Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) and Michael that never ends up happening.

Returning to 2018, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is rushed to the hospital and that’s where she stays, along with Deputy Hawkins, for the rest of the film. They wax on about who is responsible for Myers’ return but in the end it doesn’t matter. A confrontation with Myers is then foreshadowed with Laurie, but again, it never comes to fruition. Maybe in the next film.

Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) leads a mob to find Myers and ends up going after the wrong guy. The concept that humans are the real monsters is presented but is too convoluted to work.

Myers is particularly brutal in this flick, but it can’t make up for a bad script. The original is a classic not only for what it presents but what it holds back from the audience. The original Halloween is bloodless and is still ten times creepier and scarier than Halloween Kills.

Perhaps it’s just middle movie syndrome. They had an idea and needed to stretch it over two installments. Maybe there were too many cooks in the kitchen, turning the main course into a mess. We may never know.

Still, it’s not all bad. Besides, Jamie Lee Curtis, there’s a handful of actors and characters from the orignal movie. That, along with archival footage of Donald Pleasance, is enough to stir up a great deal of nostalgia.

Although I can’t recommend Halloween Kills, if you like the franchise, it’s worth the slog to be ready for Halloween’s End. Let’s hope that one is better.

Halloween Kills is streaming only on Peacock and in theaters.

Story Doctoring:

Creating one complete storyline with a beginning, middle, and end would go a long way to making this a satisfying addition to the franchise. I would have enjoyed a more traditional approach and it’s the one I would have taken.

Rating: Two out of five stars.

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