- Directed by David Gordon Green
- September 8, 2021 (Venice) / October 15, 2021 (US)
Michael Myers continues his killing spree as Laurie Strode helps fend him off with the help of the rest of Haddonfield.
Halloween Kills is the second film in the third reboot of the Halloween film series that is the second to include the original Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) that ignores the timeline of the original films because nobody is either willing to start fresh or just let stuff die. This is the cinematic equivalent of beating a dead horse.
And that goes to part of the problem. This film seems to pick and choose what elements of Halloween are canonical. For example there appears to give a nod or two to Halloween III in that some of the victims Michael kills are wearing Silver Shamrock masks. And I would swear some of the flashback footage used here comes from Halloween II which is not part of this film’s timeline.
So what is and isn’t acceptable to use from the other films? If they wish to be their own thing they should’ve stuck with it and been consistent. Having seen them all at least once and this being part of yet one more reboot it becomes confusing as to what is and is not canonical. Easter Eggs or reminders or whatever you wish to call them just confuse things.
When it comes to the Halloween concept/series, there is the soft reboot of Halloween H2O and its sequel Halloween: Resurrection. Then there were the two reboot films helmed by Rob Zombie and then there is this which counts as being part of the third reboot of the franchise. And if you’re a person who has watched all the films at least once if not a few times such as myself then understanding the continuity can be a bit tough.
And why does Laurie blame herself for Michael? She talks about the evil she created. She was just some random babysitter that became his target. Why? Not exactly sure though it is strongly implied that his encounters/kills are pure coincidence since he was making a beeline for his old house. How unlucky can one person be in a lifetime?? How much terrible coincidence can you ask people to believe in a film series or a sequel?
So now the goal is revealed not be getting to the Laurie Strode but rather getting to his old house and staring out the window of his sister’s bedroom. Why? No hint as to why. I am not asking for an answer since a third film is coming but a hint would be nice. Killing to kill is fine but killing to look out a window is not. Rather it is idiotic.
Which brings me to Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer), Michael’s psychiatrist and Dr. Loomis’s former student. Why was he helping him before Michael killed him? They bring that up again and yet fail to explain it or just hint at a reason why. It leaves a narrative void that is not filled.
Laurie goes on in the end how with each kill Michael gets stronger and something less human and blah blah blah blah blah. It feels like they are now trying to put a supernatural spin (Cult of Thorn?) on a fairly mundane plot. What exactly is the point?
As is becoming increasingly common in horror these days, Halloween Kills attempts to be topical but instead comes off as superficial and simplistic. There are some halfhearted statements about the system or the system having failed as well as mob justice and how that’s ineffective but when it comes to the latter that would’ve been a lot more effective if they hadn’t just simply waited and rather kept striking Michael before he could go all John Wick. Michael was down and they decided it was time to pause.
Tommy Doyle makes a comeback in this film played by Anthony Michael Hall who is the third actor to take on the role. Fitting considering where this film is on the reboot count. He’s just a bit of a blowhard and given to inciting a mob. He’s the main jerk and he gets all the other jerks to be jerky.
Tommy is not the only legacy character to show up. Others do and it makes you feel indifferent ultimately. It’s a nice treat to see the legacy characters coming back, but I feel like it’s ultimately to remind the viewer that this is a Halloween movie and not to do something special with them or for them to be a worthy part of the story.
There is a heavy focus on new character Deputy Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) in this movie. They touch on how he accidentally killed another deputy in ’78 and it was blamed on Myers to protect him. That adds yet another parallel plot to an already stuffed yet not that long movie. And let us not forget the blossoming connection between Hawkins and Laurie while they lay in the hospital together.
This is a slasher film that rarely shocks or scares. The kills, while interesting, feel like stuff I have seen before in this film universe or in others. It wishes to be meaningful and pontificate and try to be deep. Focus on frights or thrills first with meaning second.
Maybe it’s because this is the third reboot. Halloween Kills just is ‘meh.’ I didn’t care about the characters-either good or bad-and I was rather unimpressed with the kills. Maybe it’s because the film itself wanted to be commentary. Michael Myers is an iconic film character that deserves better than this. Between the kills and picking and choosing what to embrace from the previous films it becomes a little disjointed.
Halloween Kills ultimately is a film using a good name and good feelings of an iconic character to prop up a barely okay narrative. I think in the end you could just pass. Stick with anything that came before this.