Halloween Kills: Film Review

Universal

I thoroughly enjoyed 2018’s Halloween – I even gave it 5/5 stars – so it gives me no pleasure to report that Halloween Kills is unnecessary and lacks substance.

The film kicks off precisely where we left off – on Halloween night in 2018, with masked serial killer Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle) locked in a burning house and long-running survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) on her way to the hospital after being stabbed in the abdomen. I don’t think I’m giving the game away when I say Myers escapes (of course he does) and this time around, the Haddonfield community helps the Strode family – also including daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) – try to take him down once and for all.

Fans of the original 1978 movie will be pleased that this instalment features many more familiar characters than the previous one. While the 2018 one focused primarily on Myers and the Strode family, this one expands to the wider Haddonfield community and naturally, there are some faces you might recognise, like Kyle Richards and Nancy Stephens both reprising their roles as Lindsey Wallace and Marion Chambers from the original and Anthony Michael Hall and Robert Longstreet stepping into the shoes of Tommy Doyle and Lonnie Elam, who encountered Myers as kids in 1978.

But that’s pretty much all the film’s got going for it as the story and character development are weak. It feels like a filler instalment of Myers just walking around killing Haddonfield residents to bridge the gap between Halloween (2018) and Halloween Ends, which is due to be released in 2022. By virtue of the fact there’s a third movie coming out next year, you already know Myers is going to survive so it just removes all the stakes. I just really don’t see the point of this film at all. It should have been Halloween then Halloween Ends, without this unnecessary middle episode.

Although there are some much-needed comedic moments (mostly thanks to a gay couple living in the old Myers house), the script wasn’t the best, with so many people (especially Doyle) uttering the phrases “evil dies tonight” and “let’s put an end to this” or similar and it feels so old-fashioned. There are tons of cliched horror moments – like a character running their heart out but Myers catches up by walking – and so many frustratingly dumb character decisions. Frankly, it’s getting ridiculous that Myers is still alive after all the stabbings, shootings and more. It’s pretty laughable by this point.

To try and make up for the weak story, director David Gordon Green has gone OTT with the kills – they are more brutal, gruesome and savage than anything we’ve seen before in this franchise. Some of the kills are pretty inventive and gore fans will be excited by the bloody, extremely violent and disgusting ways characters are dispatched. The body count is super high; there are A LOT of kills, and while these are thrilling at times, it also gets a bit repetitive and boring and I’d rather have a decent story to get invested in.

The heart of the film franchise has always been Strode but she’s in this nowhere near enough because she’s literally just had an operation and is bed-bound in hospital and can’t do anything, no matter how badly she wants to help. Curtis has very little to do and I sure hope that changes in the third film. Her daughter and granddaughter step up to the plate to help take him down but they’re no substitute for Curtis, even though I love Greer in general and Matichak as Allyson; she is ballsy and very much takes after her grandmother.

Given how much I enjoyed Halloween (2018), I really wanted this follow-up to be good and I’m so disappointed it’s not.

In cinemas Friday 15th October

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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