Review by Joe Froemming
Not since I watched whatever the hell Rob Zombie was doing with “Halloween 2” have I been this angry watching a movie in this franchise.
“Halloween Kills” is the sequel — and oddly a rebuttal — to the 2018 direct sequel to John Carpenter’s classic 1978 film. The 2018 movie went out of its way to reign in the supernatural Michael Myers that the other sequels did. The Cult of Thorn, whatever “H20” and the sequel with Busta Rhymes put forth, Rob Zombie’s crapfest hillbilly-turned-WWE monster, all that nonsense was put to bed. Michael in those movies went from a creepy stalker/mass murderer into Jason Voorhees with a declining-in-quality-in-each-movie Shatner mask. Even “Halloween 2″‘s bloodline between Laurie and Michael was destroyed.
In 2018, we saw Michael as an old, old man in a mental institute, scars from the night he came home four decades before, but still a man. No relation to Laurie Strode. Just an evil mental patient that frightened the bejesus out of Dr. Loomis as a child. Now he just scares the bejesus out of his doctors and other patients.
And this movie undoes this. I will get to that later.
For all the faults of the 2018 film, those were at least the ones I respected. Then “Halloween Kills” came along and bludgeoned one of those concepts to death.
Let’s start with the positives first. There are not that many. The flashback to 1978, the night of the original movie, at least tried to look and feel like Carpenter’s film. Michael has the blue overalls. The mask is as close as it can get. They did not CGI the return of Loomis. Thank goodness. The technology right now just makes those look creepy. They just found an old man who looked a lot like him. And since it is all dark, you really can’t tell.
But that is all technical stuff. The flashback is comically awful as when Michael is surrounded, he acts exactly like he did as a little kid when his parents came home to find Judith murdered. He just stands there like an idiot.
And that is another problem with “Halloween Kills.” It spends a lot of time with clips and callbacks to the original, reminding the audience they could just be watching a much better “Halloween” movie. They bring back original cast members too. Just for nostalgia, as we see Lindsey Wallace and Marion Chambers return and spend their Halloween in a dive bar with a recast Tommy Doyle to have a booze-filled therapy session. I get the three have trauma from that night in 1978, but Chambers was never connected to those children, and I am depressed to think Lindsey and Tommy became Haddonfield townies.
It doesn’t even matter, because Chambers and Tommy eat it and Lindsey ends up in the hospital. And, for bringing back beloved characters, the movie makes you as unfeeling about them as Michael. Which is the opposite reaction one should have.
And that goes for all of Michael’s victims. With an overstuffed cast, we don’t know any of them to care that much if they live or die. Except the Strodes, who really have almost nothing to do in this movie. Laurie is in a hospital bed most of it, Karen and Allyson mostly stand around. Karen gets so little to do that when she is killed at the end of the movie, it is just another cheap jumpscare.
Now let’s get to how this movie somehow rebuts what Michael was in the original and 2018. I am not sure if they just ran out of ideas on how to make Myers an evil human, but they go all-in on making him basically what the Thorn Trilogy did: Make Michael unstoppable. Near the end, when mob justice falls upon Myers with bats, knives, guns, ect, we see a beatdown that would kill anyone. Last time I checked, Myers has bones needed to walk around and move. Some of these blows would probably shatter a lot of those, and given he is now about 61, I find my ability to suspend reality for the sake of fantasy here not happening. Because that is what they set up in the last damn movie. Now he is back to being Wolverine like in the other sequels.
And he kills every single person attacking him. It is like he hulked up like Hulk Hogan in the WWE. And we find out from Laurie — who knows this for reasons — that the more he kills and is attacked, the stronger he becomes.
(REDACTED) you, movie.
This movie also lacks an important element: There really isn’t much of a story. Michael is on the loose, a bunch of scenes happen, the end. Nothing new really happens. No new information — beyond Michael liked looking out of windows as a kid — is given. No character development, no journey. It is basically a two hour bridge between the last movie and the next one that comes out next year. I get it is a trilogy, but good trilogies give us something in the second movie that pushes the narrative along and new information for the characters to grow. This has none of that. It is a sloppy turd in the middle of two rancid pieces of bread in this (REDACTED) sandwich.
A list of really dumb things that happen in this:
- Laurie is shocked to see the fire department heading to her house to — put out a fire. Her plan was stupid from the start.
- Why didn’t the cops also arrive at the fire at Laurie’s house? That seemed almost as odd as the firefighters deciding to fight Michael one at a time, only to be butchered.
- On the TV in the bar, the newscast talks about two escaped mental patients and show their photos. But do not give their names. That never happens.
- Given the events of the movie and the body count, where is the National Guard?