Halloween Kills

Halloween Kills

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

15

Somewhere around the forty minute mark of Halloween Kills, I simply gave up trying to wrap my mind around what David Gordon Green and team were attempting with this trainwreck. Underneath the barrage of absurdly gory kills and tacked-on mythology revisions, it's clear that this middle entry has no idea what to do or where to go. Almost entirely unnecessary. If anything, this sequel needed to be tightened, all killer and no filler, but it's a mess of a narrative, spinning in circles as it tries to conjure up something relevant for audiences to latch onto.

Let's start with what I liked. Michael looks *great*. The burnt mask is hard as fuck and he's menacing as hell. How they utilize him in the actual scare sequences is disappointing, mostly, but the look is excellent. And the trio of Strodes, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, and Andi Matichak, are fantastic. They hardly get any scenes together and they're almost entirely wasted, but what's there is very good. I'll also throw in John Carpenter's score, which really experiments and pushes for new motifs, and the spooky (and *very* Halloween) opening credits too. But at this point, I'm grasping at straws.

This movie is a fucking mess. When it's not twisting itself into knots trying to discuss 'The Shape' and 'Michael' and 'The Boogeyman' all at once (seriously, does this movie even understand its own monster?), or throwing in legacy actors into the mix like it's a sad little horror convention, or blatantly explaining the entire series over and over again as if we're five years old, it's stuck with awful "suspense" sequences where we watch the thinnest, stupidest cardboard characters die gruesomely and without any solid build-up. Watching this, I'm sure that DGG and team don't understand what makes Halloween so special as a series, which is weird because they had me convinced of it with their last movie! Gone is the creeping atmosphere, that scrumptious autumnal look, the Strode family tension of Michael's lingering presence in their daily lives etc. All that Halloween Kills offers is a few choice kills, which you'll be able to find in a YouTube compilation in a couple days anyway (thanks Peacock), and a few fleeting glimpses of the Halloween I know and love. The rest is pure filler.

But this isn't really Halloween. Even the trashiest of the series (4 and 6 especially) have that evocative Fall glow - the transition from the spookiest night of the year to November's bitter chill. That cozy ethereal glimpse of The Shape out and about on All Hallows' Eve. Halloween Kills is cut with such frantic energy (probably to cover up the glaring lack of purpose) that it never settles down and luxuriates in the ghostly feeling that's so important to the franchise. It treats the character of Michael Myers with the supernatural brutality of a Jason Voorhees, which is downright sacrilegious. Not to mention the middle section of this movie about caused my brain to leak out of my ears with a dumb as rocks 'mob mentality' plotline. A decent chunk of the film is comprised of shitty coverage of extras screaming in a hospital while it cuts back and forth to Michael killing random people and Tommy Doyle shouting "evil dies tonight!" while not actually doing anything to stop Michael in the first place. It's so determined to be BORING that I really couldn't blame the dude that was snoring in my screening.

But then we find out that you can't stop Michael, actually (which we already knew), so it's fine I suppose. Wow, what an ending, so exciting and original! You can imagine the cobwebs in the writers' room. And I don't even want to get into the fan-film sleekness of those 1978 flashbacks, complete with a Michael so rigid he might as well be a NECA action figure and a shiny new CGI Loomis, but I digress. I'm very interested with how the trilogy-capper will begin, because there's hardly anything here that seems to be essential in terms of story beats. A bunch of characters die violently. That's Halloween Kills. If that's what you're looking for, have at it, but it's hardly a Halloween movie. A facsimile, a robotic fabrication. People throw this comparison around a lot these days when discussing franchise schlock, but I thought of The Rise of Skywalker while watching Halloween Kills. Just a total misjudgment of what this type of movie should be like.

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