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Review: "Halloween Kills"


Define irony. You retcon decades of retcons in hopes of making a better narrative...only to make the same mistakes as those inferior films AGAIN. Such is the case with Halloween Kills which, in spite of being a sequel to the 2018 film that retconned all previous entries except the original 1978 film, is almost a beat-for-beat remake of the original retconned sequel, 1981's Halloween II. Except that film had some kind of character progression.

Karen: "I took your mask! But it means nothing as we know you're back for another film after this!"

I would dare say that the film visually is reminiscent of Rob Zombie's intently violent take on the character, particularly the 2009 film Halloween II. Halloween Kills is bloody to a fault, to the point of excess which is shown as much in Tim Alverson editing as it does with Michael Simmonds' cinematography, perhaps giving the film a grindhouse cinema look that is both raw and visceral, but that wears off quickly. Essentially, using the story set-up of the town of Haddonfield on the verge of forming a mob to hunt down Michael following the events of the 2018 film, the audience is treated to 106 minutes of often pointless kills. In fact, despite the 2018 film teasing a "connection" between Laurie Strode (Played by Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Myers (Played by both Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney), the former is barely in the film, resigned to her in the hospital recovering from their fight in the previous film (JUST LIKE 1981's HALLOWEEN II!!!). All the while, the town finds itself at a boiling point, led to eruption by the return of the various survivors of the 1978 film including Tommy Doyle (Played by Anthony Michael Hall) and Kyle Richards (Played by Lindsey Wallace), the two kids Laurie saved in the original film. This is one of the film's few strong points though there are so many splintering set-ups of characters that the audience hasn't had time to connect with that Green has to intersperse.

Especially since most of them are killed as quickly as they are introduced.

While the film has perhaps two relevant story beats mingled among the film's runtime, one that keeps with the 2018's dive into trauma is a sort of mass hysteria in which the town projects their various fears onto anyone who looks suspicious. This of course ties into the original intent of Myers being called "The Shape" and his face never being shown, something that 1981's Halloween II covered throughout with a mostly absent Michael Myers who continues to kill in the background. No one has seen his face without the mask and, as such, accusation and aimless rage leads to death of innocence in more than one way. And while Curtis has little screen time, she soaks up every scene with desperation and a mental breaking point along with the surprising return of Will Patton's character Deputy Frank Hawkins.

The cast is still game, even if the story isn't.

In fact, no one can dare say none of the cast doesn't give their best including Judy Greer and Andi Matichak as Laurie's daughter Karen Nelson and Laurie's granddaughter Allyson Nelson, respectively. They all carry the trauma of the preceding events to maximum effect but this rarely ties into the story except as motivation and it never develops. The problem is despite the commitment of the characters, the film's intents are not worth a full movie and this installment is basically a holdover for another. It's fascinating seeing the film extend to the entire town and how each has been affected by a seemingly invincible monster, but couldn't that have been part of the final installment?

Perhaps not, though it is interesting seeing how each character accepts Myers being more than a myth.

The constant need for a trilogy often has more negatively than positively affected many franchises, but with Halloween the issue came to retconning the movies people felt did a disservice to the original masterpiece. Yet, director David Gordon Green reminds audiences why no film has ever surpassed the original 1978 film. Because the concept is not capable of extending beyond that. Even John Carpenter's beautifully haunting and energetic score for the film (which he co=composed with his son, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies) takes mostly cues from the original score that are meant to carry scenes of useless violence.

The film leans on various references from the franchise, even giving a nod to Halloween III which separate from Myers' films.

And while Laurie is no longer Michael's sister like she was in 1981's Halloween II (a twist John Carpenter regrets he wrote it into the mythology), the new explanation for Michael's endless slaughters is less satisfying. We get it, Michael is evil and he must die. "Evil dies tonight" is basically the mantra of this film. But the script created by Green, Danny McBride, and Scott Teems isn't able to have a sense of urgency because, in the days of preconceived stories, we know this isn't the end. There is another film meant for next October in 2022. Titled Halloween Ends, hopefully it lives up to that claim and creates a more satisfying entry than this half-baked sequel that is neither daring nor particularly affective. This is not to say this can't rebound with the final film, but Green's middling mid-quel suffers the struggle of being relevant on its own. Even with some truly beautiful shots, like the principal villain, it just feels hollow. It sets up a fascinating conclusive installment, but did we really need an installment that bridges between inception and conclusion? You just read the review. What do you think? Still, Halloween hasn't had over 10 installments in the last 40+ years for brains, but rather brawns and inventive kills. got that right...I guess.




  • Performances (Namely Curtis, Patton, Greer, .

  • Score.

  • Editing.

  • Cinematography.

  • Action scenes.


  • Direction.

  • Script.


Stay tuned!

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Bad - direction, script. Yep, that sums up well 80% of movies these days.

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