There are not many film franchises where I hate the majority of the films but love the franchise as a whole, but the Halloween franchise, created by the legendary John Carpenter, is one of those franchises. Out of all of the series’ films, I’ve only liked Halloween (1978), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), and the most recent pseudo-reboot/sequel Halloween (2018), and the latter was easily my favorite of the three. With the 2018 film my favorite in the franchise, I was extremely excited for Halloween Kills (2021) as it picks up immediately after that film. Whether it was because of the heathen children sitting behind me ruining the theater experience, or it was the awful script and overall poor performances, I did not enjoy watching this movie.
Immediately following the events of Halloween (2018), Michael Myers manages to escape from the fiery cage that Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (played by Judy Greer), and her granddaughter Allyson (played by Andi Matichak) believed they killed and left him in. In typical Halloween night fashion, Michael moves through Haddonfield, IL on a ritualistic murder frenzy. While the Strode’s are recovering at the local hospital, the remaining survivors of Michael’s 1978 murder spree lead a vigilante mob to hunt down Myers and kill evil, once and for all.
While I did not enjoy Halloween Kills (2021), the film is not without great moments. In this film, Michael Myers takes center stage: the kills in this film are creatively brutal. Along with the brutality, the film manages to make you root for Myers as well, with several of his victims making you absolutely loathe them. Outside of Myers, Jamie Lee Curtis once again turned out an incredible performance. A massive reason I loved Halloween (2018) was the film’s focus on the Laurie Strode character and how the events of the 1978 massacre affected her in the way she viewed and approached life, and Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance in this film is a natural progression on her performance in the 2018 movie.
With Jamie Lee Curtis’ great performance in mind, every other performance in this film was awful. There was not a single character in this film, aside from the characters in the 2018 movie, that I enjoyed watching on screen. I don’t want to put all of the blame on the multitude of actors in the film: a large reason why these characters and their actors’ performances were so bad, is how awful the script was. Outside of curating incredible slasher scenes, the script is filled with awful dialogue, character motivations and actions that made zero sense, and an overall story that doesn’t lead anywhere. The only part of this film that really moves the story forward, is how the film clarifies Michael’s relationship to Laurie Strode—every other aspect of the plot is how the townspeople set themselves up to be killed while Michael walks down a single path. While the parts with Laurie are the best non-kill scene parts of the movie, Jamie Lee Curtis’ character takes a massive backseat this time around as she plays more of a supporting cameo type role. So, even Jamie Lee Curtis isn’t enough to pull this film into enjoyable territory for me.
If what you’re looking forward in a Halloween film is fantastic kill scenes, you are going to have a good time at the theaters or at home on Peacock (unless you’re watching it with two preteens kicking your seat and talking through the entire film like I was). If you want something more than just brutality—such as decent lines of dialogue or an actual plot—you are going to be severely let down. With the rambling nature of the script and plot, Halloween Kills (2021) is nothing more than a long-winded epilogue to its 2018 predecessor. Hopefully, director David Gordon Green will able to recover from this lackluster sequel to conclude his trilogy on a higher note with the third film, Halloween Ends, currently slated for 2022.
Halloween Kills (2021) is rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, grisly images, language and some drug use.
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