HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021): Movie Review 😱😱😱👤👤

HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021): Movie Review 😱😱😱👤👤

— by Darren Marlar

“Surviving victims of Michael Myers form a vigilante mob and vow to end his reign of terror after they discover that he is still alive.” — IMDb

(WARNING – CONTAINS SPOILERS!) I’m not really one for slasher films.  For the most part they are just a long list of brutal killings with the next kill trying to top the previous one when it comes to blood, gore, creativity, and style.  It’s like watching an All Hallow’s Eve version of the Olympics.  Waaaaaait a minute…. that could be a thing! Halloween Olympics! Olymp-o-ween! Hallow-lympics!  Somebody needs to make this happen!

Michael Myers as a child. Awwww… isn’t he so cute with that clown costume, tussled hair, and holy crap is that a bloody knife?!? What kind of parent allows…

When it comes to the Halloween franchise the only film I liked, until the 2018 sequel, was the original Halloween in 1978.  It still holds up today even without all the gore and blood that later iterations of the franchise added; it had a unique premise with a backstory that made it interesting. You knew what happened to Michael Myers when he was a kid – rather, you knew what he did when he was a kid.  You knew he went to an insane asylum, that he escaped, and then began killing just because, well, because it was what he was born to do.

Posters for Terminator: Genisys (left) and Terminator: Dark Fate (right)

What I like about the recent reboot/sequel series is they have ignored all of the films after 1978 and have made it a direct sequel series beginning at the end of the first film.  Like what they tried to do with Terminator: Genisys, just to abandon and try again with Terminator: Dark Fate – both of which failed miserably where Halloween 2018 succeeded. (Click here to read my review of Terminator Genisys.)  Halloween has finally gone back to the original storyline in a way that we care about Laurie Strode again – as well as her daughter and granddaughter.  It’s more gritty than the original, which modern audiences demand, but it still has much of the same feel and uniqueness as the 1978 film which previous sequels lost somewhere after Halloween II (not horrible, but certainly better than the rest of the original sequels).

Anthony Michael Hall as “Tommy” (the boy being babysat by Laurie Strode in the original 1978 film) leading the townspeople in a mob to kill Michael Myers

I avoided the trailers and reviews for Halloween Kills as best I could, so I was somewhat confused by the beginning of Kills, as it suddenly sent us back to 1978 with an extension of the original film’s storyline, with a new group of victims we never saw in the 1978 film.  It’s only later in the film that it comes full circle – these new older characters are in fact the first victims that got away. It’s surprising that the sequels never went that route, as it is a well-established horror movie trope for the killer to go after the one(s) that got away.  But we are finally brought to that moment, and I smiled, because they did not go immediately to the predictable trope – they waited until now to bring us there, and then they twisted it so the would-be victims that survived are now hunting the one who tried to kill them.

“The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street” from The Twilight Zone original series

The idea that the town itself has now become Michael Myers, hunting down the wrong (innocent of the crime they seek him for) man – thinking that person is the actual Myers – is a stroke of dark creativity that really fits in nicely with the continuation of the story.  It’s very much like the Twilight Zone’sThe Monsters Are Due On Maple Street” where suddenly anyone could be seen as the monster without any proof, and are in imminent danger because of it.  We become the monsters when we try to protect ourselves and others from a monster we cannot comprehend or identify.

The “Town Vs. Michael Myers” showdown was, unfortunately, disappointing in that they made it too easy for Michael to retaliate, with people standing off to the side while he takes out the townsfolk one by one like a bad martial arts movie.  “Just wait until it’s my turn, then I’ll get him!  Waiting… waiting… is it my turn to rush in yet?  Waiting… waiting…”

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, circa 1978 (left) and 2021 (right).

And had I not already known that Halloween Ends is on the way in 2022, the end of Halloween Kills would’ve still indicated strongly the inevitability of yet another sequel.

Will Patton from Halloween Kills – Michael Myers in the center with the 2021 version of the mask.

Jamie Lee Curtis, sadly, doesn’t get the amount of action in Halloween Kills as in previous installments of the franchise, but it makes sense in keeping with the storyline and the fact that her character was injured so badly in the previous film, which ends only moments before this one begins.  Now she is still in the hospital for the end of Halloween Kills – and Michael is (as everyone assumes, at least) coming to get her.  Personally, I’m hoping to see Michael enter the hospital; just imagine all of the Olympic-style killing he could do with all those medical instruments! I’m not giving up hope on that concept – someone needs to make it Horrorlympics happen!

See what I mean? Tell me the 2021 mask isn’t scarier than the 1978 version. Over four decades has put some true terror into that William Shatner mask!

I also hope to see a lot more of Will Patton in this next one – he’s always been a favorite of mine on screen since I saw him in No Way Out (1987) – completely forgetting he was in the first Halloween film.  Wait… wasn’t he supposed to be dead?  Anyway, he needs a heroic scene to redeem his character, or – more likely to happen – go out swinging and in the process save Laurie from Michael just long enough for her to escape and finally kill the monster in the mask.

Heath Ledger as The Joker from The Dark Knight (2008)

Speaking of… is it strange that I find the mask itself almost as entertaining as the film and storyline?  I love how each film is sure to keep the degradation of the mask intact, seeing the “scars” left behind from previous encounters with Michael.  The worse the mask looks, the better it looks, much like the makeup for Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight – it looks more gruesome and scary after the action scenes are over. The images for Halloween Ends are even showing the mask in a more gruesome light, like it is perhaps melted to the face of the man underneath, and I can only hope it indicates how much violence is finally going to be poured out onto the monster wearing it.

Poster for Halloween Ends (2022)

Will Halloween Ends really be the end for Halloween?  We’ve heard that claim before with previous films in the franchise. As long as there are box-office profits to garner from sequels though, they will likely continue to be made, and we’ll find more and more ways to bring Michael Myers back from the grave.  Personally though, I just don’t see how they could possibly top what is being created here.  I am truly anxious to see how they end this particular series.

I’m giving Halloween Kills 3 out of 5 screams. 😱😱😱👤👤

–Darren

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