Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Movie Review: Halloween Kills

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: The 1978 scenes were well done
Cons: The rest of the movie is a poorly written mess
The Bottom Line:
Evil rampages
Movie is poorly written
End result a mess

More From the Night Michael Came Home – Again

I seemed to be one of the few who didn’t really enjoy the Halloween requel we got in 2018.  But, since I’ve seen the rest of the franchise at this point (no, I haven’t reviewed them all, nor do I plan to), I planned to watch Halloween Kills.  After seeing the previews, I wasn’t anxious enough to go see it in the theater, but I rented it when it hit Redbox.  It was about what I expected, which isn’t a good thing.

This movie picks up moments after the events in the 2018 Halloween ended.  That means that Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is being rushed to the hospital with knife wounds with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) by her side.  Unfortunately, firefighters are rushing to Laurie’s home to put out the fire.  They quickly realize what a mistake that was when Michael Myers emerges from the fire and attacks them all.

It isn’t long before the other survivors of Michael’s attack in 1978 learn that he has returned.  Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet), and Nurse Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens) help rally the residence of Haddonfield in an effort to defeat Michael Myers once and for all.  Will they succeed?

Considering we are now in an alternative universe where the events of Halloween II never took place, I do find it ironic how much this movie feels like a clone.  Some of the action takes place at the hospital, and Laurie spends the movie injured from the attack she survived earlier that night.

I have often complained that the middle part of a trilogy knows it is the middle part of a trilogy.  That’s the case here.  With no need for an opening, we jump right into the action.  However, it never feels like it is going anywhere.  The movie knows it can’t truly resolve anything because there’s one more to go.  That is obvious in the ending, when the movie just stops.  Yes, since I rented it, I got to see the extended ending.  It doesn’t have “To be continued” stamped on it, but it might as well.

When they announced they were bringing some of the characters (and actors in a few cases) from the original back, I was actually pretty excited.  I couldn’t wait to see what they were going to do with them.  However, because this movie is so focused on action and kills, they were under used.  We got only a small sense of who they are now and how their lives have progressed after their encounters with Michael.

Speaking of which, we also get an extended trip back to 1978 to find out what happened in this timeline with Michael Myers after he left Laurie that original night.  I enjoyed this part of the film, and the tricks they used to make us feel like it was really filmed back then was pretty good.

I felt like the 2018 movie was brutal, and I feared this one was going to be the same if not worse.  Sadly, I was right.  Yes, I know, this is a slasher movie.  We are supposed to watch people be killed in creative ways.  But there’s a difference between creative and gruesome, and we got gruesome more than anything else here.  The original worked because we didn’t know where or when Michael was going to strike.  In this one, we knew, so it cut out the suspense.  It wasn’t artistic, atmospheric, or spooky.  It was just violent.

Ultimately, this comes down to the writing.  I’ve seen some things that clued me in to what the writers were going for, and they succeeded.  However, to do that, they sacrificed character development and good storytelling.

Speaking of character development, one character from the previous film was brought back, which was a good thing since his fate was a major dangling plot thread in the previous movie.  However, what they did with him here makes no sense given how his character behaved in the previous film.

Yes, my biggest problem with the film was the writing.  Some of the dialogue the characters were given was just inane.  And they repeated one particularly bad line over and over again.  I do get what the writers were going for, but again, it doesn’t work like they want it to.

Which brings us to the mob scenes.  Yes, the lecture about the dangers of mobs is a good theme, but what we got here was a lecture that felt forced into the film.

Yes, I’ll stop picking the movie apart.  Based on this movie, I’m not looking forward to the final chapter, but I’ll watch it to see how they resolve things.  Based on their track record with Halloween Kills, I’m not holding out much hope that I’ll actually enjoy it.

1 comment:

  1. I probably wasn't going to watch this anyway, but now I surely won't! I did enjoy your very detailed review


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