Review: Halloween Kills

By Christian DiMartino

David Gordon Green’s 2018 rebootquel/ re-do/ sequel thingy Halloween hit the reset button on the series, thus erasing every movie that came after the John Carpenter original (not all of those movies were bad, FYI, but there were certainly some rotten eggs). The movie was good fun and a huge hit, so naturally a sequel was to follow. Necessary? No, but you know, money. But, maybe you didn’t know this, but they’re actually making a trilogy, of the sorts, out of this. So now comes the… third or er, second or, er, 13th… er, Halloween sequel, titled Halloween Kills. Truth be told, after seeing Halloween Kills, I can wait for Halloween in Space or whatever the hell they decide to do next.

This movie is going to make millions of dollars, and I get it. There is something about Michael Myers that is endlessly watchable. But guys, if you’re really going to fork over the money for a movie ticket, give your money to No Time to Die instead. That’s just it though: my expectations were lowered after the mixed reviews, and I still went, so who am I to stop you? Well, let’s just say that this is your warning. Halloween Kills isn’t a film that pained me to sit through it, but it’s something of a mess. It’s tone is wildly all over the place and part of the time it feels as if the writers wrote a comedy that just happened to feature Michael Myers in it. It’s also a bit thin, but that’s not as distracting as the fact that this is one of those horror movies in which idiotic decisions are made throughout, and you just sort of shake your head as you feel yourself occasionally losing brain cells.

Like the original Halloween II did, Halloween Kills essentially begins after the events of the first film, in which Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis), Karen (Judy Greer) and Allyson (Andi Matichak) caught Michael Myers and left him to burn alive. After seeing Halloween Kills, I wish the story had ended there. Before we get to this though, we’re treated to honestly a pretty kick-ass opening prologue which finds the police apprehending Michael on that fateful Halloween night in 1978 (something which, I described in my review of the previous film earlier today). This sequence is great, in that it feels like a nice throwback to the first film while also answering my question, while also featuring an appearance from Jim Cummings. This last part made me squeal internally, I won’t lie, because if you have seen Cummings’ Thunder Road, you’ll agree with me that this guy should be huge. And now he’s in this movie!

I just… wish this movie was better.

Then we return to present day where Laurie is hospitalized. Along with that, Michael escapes the burning house and probably murders Haddonfield’s entire fire department. You know, you gotta hand it to the guy: he’s probably nearing 70, and he’s in marvelous shape. How? Well, honestly, an explanation isn’t really necessary, but this movie chalks it down to… he’s fueled by… evil. He also got like three of his fingers shot off in the previous movie and he could probably still take on the National Guard, but I digress. Anyways, on another side of town, we meet Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), who Laurie babysat in the first film. Upon hearing the news that Michael is on the loose, Doyle gets all riled up and pissed off, and he announces that EVIL DIES TONIGHT! Frankly, I’m surprised it wasn’t a hashtag or something, considering the amount of times it’s heard throughout.

So Doyle and crew set off to find the dude without much in the way of a plan. Curtis however cashes in on an easy paycheck because the movie is juggling way too much for her to play a significant role this time, so she’s mostly in bed the whole time, under the impression that Michael is dead. Allyson however is furious and upset and along with her pretty little boyfriend they decide to join the mob in hunting Myers down. Bumbling, stupid, idiotic dumb dumb antics ensue. Seriously, just about everyone who holds a gun in this film is a horrible shot. It’s almost like they do it on purpose. Some of their deaths are bordering on cartoonish too. Also, in their search, not a single one of them immediately hatches the idea to check his childhood home. Mind you, I’m not a character in the movie, but a viewer of Halloween movies, but, durrr.

Which… leads me to the next point. I liked the previous Halloween but for my money, it suffered from the fact that it was a bit too jokey. It wasn’t just quirky one-liners being dropped, it honestly felt like sketches were written for these people who were about to be horrifically murdered. I enjoyed Halloween Kills enough until about the 45 minute line. So, what has happened to Michael’s childhood home? Well, it’s currently being owned by a gay couple who refer to themselves as Big and Little John, and they get high, sing, dance, and watch Minnie and Moskowitz together. I’m not kidding. There are scenes in Halloween Kills that feel as if they’re from another movie… and genre. Hell, they even have comedians like Michael McDonald and Lenny Clarke show up. What the hell is going on here?

The silliness doesn’t stop there, either. Tommy Doyle’s goofy ass gets the mob together and they suspect that a short, bald mental patient is Michael Myers, and they proceed to gang up on him because he always wears his mask, so nobody knows what he really looks like. Funny, the previous movie had him in an institution for 40 years without his mask, and nobody caught this? Not to mention, in the 40 years that have passed, has Michael Myers ever spoke, and did he shrink? Not to mention, the scenes with this angry mob are bordering, if not completely, camp. The film builds to a conclusion that isn’t surprising in the slightest.

What did I like? Well, I liked… the score. As well as the opening prologue (seriously, watch Thunder Road, it’s a gem). Some of the plot developments are interesting. There also isn’t really a fault in the acting, necessarily and to a degree it is kind of fun and amusing to watch Michael Myers kill all of these people. When the dust settles though, there really just isn’t much of a need for Halloween Kills. It doesn’t progress the story much further and it just feels like filler until whatever the next movie brings. As I sit here typing, a part of me wants to lower the rating because it honestly isn’t a very good movie. Yet for some it will deliver enough of what they want. I’m just an old lame-o. This I know. What I also know is that, for Halloween Ends, Jamie Lee Curtis better grab a bazooka.

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