Halloween Kills (2021) – A Review


A review of the 2021 horror sequel Halloween Kills, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Will Patton, Andi Matichak and Anthony Michael Hall, a pretty dismal entry into the saga of Michael Myers


I learned only after watching Halloween Kills that this most recent iteration of the Halloween saga is meant to be a trilogy. Director David Gordon Green started this journey with Halloween from 2018. Halloween Kills is the second entry and apparently the final film is supposedly going to be titled ‘Halloween Ends’ – although I’ll bet that there will be no definitive end to Michael Myers no matter what they promise and he’ll end up returning in some form eventually. They can’t just cut off this Halloween gravy train.

And if somehow they appear to have a definitive conclusion in the next film that appears to finally put the franchise to rest – they’ll just do a reboot or do some more leapfrogging sequels to the original again. I really am lost with this series and can’t keep track of what movies are connected to what or what is ignored or what the heck is going on anymore.

I enjoy the simple pleasures of John Carpenter’s steadicam story of Halloween 1978 and the mysterious, tense boogey man story it was. Everything that’s come after hasn’t come close to recapturing any of the peaks of that film and has only turned into an embarrassing money machine trying to milk every last drop of scares that Carpenter and Michael Myers is remembered for.

I didn’t care for that Halloween 2018 (I should’ve expected that considering they couldn’t even come up with doing anything new with the title. “Eh, let’s just call this one Halloween too!”). So as for a sequel to that one, I wasn’t too excited to see it. BUT what the heck, I thought I’d check it out. Maybe it would surprise me.

It didn’t.

If you’re looking for gore, I suppose Halloween Kills delivers – although I frankly wasn’t all impressed with that aspect to it and I would like something more than just blood splatter across walls in a horror film. Take away the gore and splatters in Halloween Kills….you’re really not left with anything from this movie.

Halloween-Kills-2021-Jamie-Lee-Curtis-Judy-GreerThe film follows up on the goings on from the previous film. Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode is injured and in bed in the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital – which is where she stays for the entire movie. She sits in bed, tries to get out of it and gives what is meant to be ominous speeches about the evil that is walking around.

She does get a roommate in her hospital room when Will Patton rolls in having survived his attack by Michael in the previous film. I’m so glad he survived so he could lay in bed in this film and talk with Curtis about how they need to kill this personification of evil. That’s pretty much their entire contribution to this movie.

That evil is Michael Myers, who has escaped the flames of Laurie’s decades long-planed trap to kill him. Walking out of her burning house, Michael kills a dozen fireman, heads back to his old house, while a mob led by grown up Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) is determined to track him down and kill him.

And none of it is thrilling or interesting. There’s not one character who stands out, who is smart, that you like or hope they don’t get killed. It’s mainly an annoying cast, giving bad performances, playing ridiculous characters, reciting pretty awful dialogue, spouting cringey humor, behaving erratically in a storyline that makes little sense and the only moments of relief is when Michael kills them – no matter how willingly stupid the victims set themselves up to  allow it to happen.

Halloween-Kills-2021-Anthony-Michael-Hall-Tommy-Doyle-baseball-batOh and I think everyone in the film gets to say at least once – “Evil dies tonight”. It becomes the mantra for all Haddonfield residents.

I could swallow some silly leaps of logic or accept some of the classic horror tropes where victims behave quite irrationally putting themselves in danger. Sure, don’t call the cops! Of course, run up the stairs instead of run out of the house! And naturally you should certainly turn your back on the killer if you think you’ve just killed him!

All of that stuff is fine – IF it pays off with some edge-of-your-seat, fun, suspenseful scenes. But Halloween Kills doesn’t even have any payoffs in that department either.

There’s just so much to shake your head at with this movie. There’s the mob at the hospital who is somehow convinced the short, chubby mental patient is Michael and they want to kill him. Can you picture it – these people think the famous movie killer dubbed ‘The Shape’ is this guy who looks like Danny DeVito!

The older mixed race couple who are playing with a drone in their living room for some reason. There’s the gay couple now living in Michael’s house, who know someone just broke into their house and rather than run out or call the police, they decide to search their house with a little flick knife. Guess what happens to them! The strange and unnecessary inclusion of an appearance by an actor made up to look like Donald Pleasance in a flashback, because you know, we need nostalgic callbacks. Fans absolutely love that stuff!

Halloween-Kills-2021-Michael-Myers-horror-sequelAnd the mob who finally catches up to Michael beat him, shoot him, stab him and stand around him until he miraculously attacks them one by one all shown in bloody slow motion. At first I thought this scene was all a dream sequence, but I don’t think it was meant to be. So, I guess Michael Myers has become some kind of supernatural powerful being now….or something….I have no idea.

Even after having seen the film it’s quickly fading from my memory. The only scene worth mentioning is Myers slaying a bunch of firemen. It was a real head-scratcher of a movie. It ends with Laurie’s daughter Judy Greer being killed – and I was fine with that. For some reason she’s wearing a Christmas sweater in this too. I think it’s meant to be a visual cue that she does not celebrate Halloween. Ok, I’ll buy that. What’s odd is that that one wardrobe choice seems to be more thought out than anything else in the movie.

Halloween-Kills-2021-Andi-Matichak-horror-sequelI guess her death is going to be played up in the followup. Too bad they also didn’t ice Laurie’s granddaughter in this one too. I didn’t like either of those characters from the previous film and both of their deaths would’ve added to the body count – which is what it appears was the most important thing in this movie.

I gave up a long time ago with the Halloween series. The 1978 original was a suspenseful, stylish, atmospheric horror film that STILL stands as one of the greatest horror suspense films. The sequels, NO MATTER what they do or say they’re going to do or manage to get Curtis back to reprise her role, NONE have come remotely close to capturing the magic of John Carpenter’s original low-budget nail-biter.

The Halloween franchise has become similar to The Terminator series for me, in the sense I expect nothing from it anymore and simply watch the latest installment just to see how bad it turns out. 

It’s a real shame too. Obviously there are a lot of fans of Halloween, the movies have done pretty well and audiences are excited for them. It’s pretty embarrassing that this is what is given to audiences. They really could be doing much better.

Halloween-Kills-premiere-Jamie-Lee-Curtis-dress-Janet-Leigh-PsychoI’m sure Carpenter is being compensated for each of these later Halloween films where each one departs further and further away from his original film. Curtis is making some good paydays for these returns and I think she’s the only one really winning with these latest entries to the Halloween series.

It was pretty neat at the premiere for the film she dressed as her mother Janet Leigh in her famous Psycho dress. That was fun to see. That image is much more memorable than anything Curtis does in the film.

I don’t think fans will take away much from Halloween Kills, other than the promise there is third concluding Halloween chapter to this mess on its way. My suggestion is to keep your expectations very, very low for it. This is not a promising setup for a finale.

Then when ‘Halloween Ends’ comes out (and most likely leaves fans disappointed with the results)and it all looks like the saga is over, they’ll just reboot the whole thing once again or do another selective leapfrogging sequel to one of the ‘better’ Halloween movies. They’ll just cherry pick their jumping off point to do more sequels.

They don’t ever want to completely destroy Evil, it’s just too profitable and the loyal Halloween fans are too eager not to turn down seeing another Halloween film.

1 thought on “Halloween Kills (2021) – A Review

  1. I thought the film was ok I loved the Donald Pleasance “cameo” I really thought it was CGI was not was make up and the film does have some stupid dialogue and Danny Devito being 4ft 2 and Michael is like 6ft 3 is bad Marion and Brackett was a insult to the characters but am looking forward to the next one,Evil will never die unless the films stop making money.

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