Halloween Kills (2021)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB

USA/, 2021. , , , , , . Screenplay by , , David Gordon Green, based on characters created by , . Cinematography by . Produced by , , . Music by , John Carpenter, . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by .

Much like the first sequel to the masterpiece original, this film takes up moments after the end of the 2018 reboot, with Laurie Strode () being rushed to the hospital for her wounds after locking the evil Michael Myers in her basement and blowing up her house. Laurie has successful surgery and rests peacefully in her hospital bed, unaware that her final solution for the Myers problem was anything but, the man who has already survived every manner of destruction is still at large and goes on a killing spree that includes friends, neighbours and, because this film is more of a fan convention than a movie, characters from the original film who have returned for more: Nurse Marion () is back, as is little Lindsey (), Donald Pleasence has been recreated through CGI, and Tommy and Lonnie return but are played by and in place of the original, now retired, actors. As the bodies pile up and the hospital waiting room is overflowing with mayhem (a hilarious side effect of a murder-by-numbers killing spree that horror movies rarely contemplate), Tommy whips patients and their loved ones up into a frenzy of mob justice that spills out onto the streets, the people overwhelmed by so much emotional desire for justice (including the constant chanting of “Evil Dies Tonight”) that soon anyone suspicious-looking is an appropriate suspect to be the real Myers. Such examination of the human monster within us all is referenced more than once in the generally terrible dialogue because the story never examines it properly or dramatizes it effectively, but such shallow silliness could be forgiven if the movie spent more of its time being entertaining and scary rather than simply dragging us through one ponderous killing after the other. Laurie is on screen for less than a quarter of the film (also a problem in Halloween 2) and what we get instead is a bunch of characters who are only tenuously connected with her; the personal drama of her connection with “The Shape” is far more interesting than an allegory about the dangers of group thinking, while the unnecessarily overwrought flashbacks to 1978 (with new scenes accurately recreating the look of the original film stock) reveal themselves to just be there to pad out a skimpy storyline, which they only do with the barest of success. There’s plenty of gory murder to enjoy, presented in even more detail than ever before, with faces being inverted, skulls eviscerated, all manner of sharp objects being inserted into every part of the body that you can think of, but when the majority of characters being attacked are either obnoxious or dull, there’s only the action of horror, not the excitement of it (and honestly, if a Real Housewife can escape his grasp, IS he the scariest guy in the neighbourhood?)

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