Monday, October 18, 2021

Halloween Kills

2018's Halloween offered a final confrontation between a haunted Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Meyers. Better than most of the Halloween sequels, it seemed a fitting end to the franchise offering closure to both Michael and Laruie's stories. However, with big sequel money waiting to be made, unfortunately the story didn't end there.

Set immediately following the events of the previous film, Halloween Kills is an unfocused hodgepodge of bad ideas which, bizarrely, comes to the exact opposite conclusion than the previous film. Michael survives the fire thanks to the first responders he gladly murders on his way to cutting a new swath of blood through Haddonfield, Illinois in a three-minute sequence that turns out to have a larger body count than the combined the murders from the original Halloween.

It takes 20 minutes to catch up with Laurie and her family as the film instead focuses on other members of the town, including those who survived Michael's appearance in the original film, and those it chooses to insert retroactively, while providing flashbacks to fill in events during and after the original film to try and make sense of the jumbled plot that will unfold involving a mob hunting down the town's most infamous resident.

Halloween Kills is a generic slasher film: gory, bloody, and mindless. What it isn't, is a thriller in the vein of the original film. There's nothing scary about the super-killer we see unleashed here whose method of overkill can also be attributed to the overall script. And while going heavy on blood and carnage over tone and thrills, it bares little resemblance to John Carpenter's original film other than featuring a killer in a mask. 

Judy Greer and Andi Matichak return from the previous film as the younger generations of the Strode bloodline, but, like the injured Laurie, they get lost in the gluttony of extra characters here including casting Anthony Michael Hall as the grown version of the kid Laurie babysat on Halloween all those years ago with  Kyle Richards reprising her role as Lindsey and Nancy Stephens returning as Nurse Chambers. With yet another sequel planned, this disaster likely won't be the final Halloween movie, although given the downward protectory between the 2018 film and Halloween Kills you have to wonder if the next one will even be watchable.

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