Film Review: Halloween Kills
Director: David Gordon Green
In Theaters and Streaming on Peacock: 10.15
Sometimes, the will to survive against all odds so that you can live on and continue hurting the innocent and ruining lives, is unstoppable. This observation describes Michael Myers, the infamous antagonist of Halloween Kills, who should be dead many times over by now, but even more so it describes the movies themselves.
Halloween Kills begins minutes after 2018’s Halloween left off, when Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer, Arrested Development, Ant-Man) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak, Son, Assimilate) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement. Laurie is then rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor. When Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down once and for all—evil dies tonight.
Halloween Kills had real potential to be a clever commentary on mob mentality, turning the tables by making the citizenry the real source of the horror. It flirts heavily with the idea but never commits, falling back on the same old thing with more blood. Director David Gordon Green (Stronger, Pineapple Express), a filmmaker who possesses a lot of talent and very little in the way of good judgement, gives us more than enough blood, seeming to have forgotten that one of the defining elements of the original 1978 film is that it favored suspense over cheap gore. In the end, there is nothing whatsoever to Halloween Kills beyond moments of filler between an endless parade of cartoonishly graphic butchery.
The 2018 Halloween was an overrated film, as people fell all over themselves praising Curtis and the new take on Laurie Strode, one which is really just a very lazy variation on Sarah Connor from Terminator 2: Judgement Day. That said, the film did move swiftly and build tension nicely. While Halloween Kills features solid performances from the always-reliable Greer, Matichak and Anthony Michael Hall (The Breakfast Club) as an overzealous survivor of Myers night on destruction in 1978, Curtis spends most of the film in a hospital bed next to Will Patton (The Postman) as they deliver meaningless and heavy-handed pontifications about the nature of evil.
Halloween Kills is a crass, stupid and morally repugnant mess of a movie that should have been called Halloween Kills Time, as it exists only to be a slipshod middle chapter that allows for a trilogy, culminating in next year’s Halloween Ends (which will no doubt be followed by Halloween Just Kidding, It Never Ends As Long As You People Buy Tickets). It’s exploitation of filmmaking at its most soulless, made all the worse by the fact that it could have been something interesting with a little effort. –Patrick Gibbs
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