Halloween Kills (2021)


My opinion, and it still stands even though I think Halloween Kills is a solid sequel that is getting a lot more hate than it deserves, is that the 2018 version of Halloween should have been one and done.  It was the first direct sequel to Halloween to take the story seriously and not convolute it with unnecessary family connections and supernatural nonsense.  Michael Myers is, simply, an embodiment of pure evil.  

That is what the second Halloween went for, and it was successful, right down convincingly killing Michael (Nick Castle) off in Laurie Strode's (Jamie Lee Curtis) boobytrapped home.  It was the first truly good ending since Halloween H2O, and when David Gordon Green decided to do a sequel I was really hoping he wouldn't ruin the good will he inspired with his first film.  Unfortunately, for many, it appears that he did, and it may not have been really necessary to drag this out as a trilogy and explain a number of things in an attempt to set up the upcoming Halloween Ends.  Still, at least it didn't cheat like Halloween: Resurrection, and the movie still is one of the better sequels in any of the rebooted timelines for this series.

Laurie was wounded by Michael and is being taken to the hospital with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).  On the way they pass a firetruck heading toward Laurie's compound and, unfortunately, by doing their duty they also provide the means for Michael to escape and start heading back to Haddonfield.  As far as Laurie and her family know Michael is dead.  Meanwhile, Allyson's boyfriend Cameron finds Officer Hawkins (Will Patton) barely alive and gets him to the hospital.

While the events in the first film are happening Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) and Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet) are commemorating the 40th anniversary with other survivors Marion (Nancy Stephens) and Lindsey (Kyle Richards).  They hear on the television that Michael has killed a number of people in town and is currently at large.  Tommy and Lonnie begin rallying the citizens of Haddonfield to fight back against Michael, while Laurie wakes up to find out what has happened.  Unfortunately an entire town may not be enough to bring him down. 

Since there is another movie coming up it is not much of a spoiler to say that Michael Myers does not die this time around.  It's a bit of a relief, actually, because that means Halloween Ends won't be an impostor, copycat or a bunch of flashbacks.  That said, Halloween H2O ended with Laurie chopping off the head of the person she thought was Michael, thus (as was originally intended) putting an end to the whole thing.  There are a number of opportunities to do something similar in this movie - whether it be a bullet or a knife into his skull - that are not taken.  At some point I would like it if they figured out that even an embodiment of pure evil is going to have a hard time killing without a head attached. 

I think that is where a lot of viewers are getting frustrated.  With Jason Voorhees it's taken for granted he will come back, kill a bunch of teenagers and some final girl will take him down until the next bolt of lightning hits him.  Halloween has unfortunately had so many bad episodes that, after this long, no one wants zombie Michael, and definitely no one wants them bringing back that Nordic curse.  We want Michael to die and we have been cheated so many times of that happening.  It gets frustrating and, since we are being promised an actual end to a line of good sequels to the original we are straining at the bit to get there.  After all, Halloween Kills was finished and ready for release a year ago. 

The other frustration here is that Laurie Strode, once again, is stuck in a hospital, just like in Halloween IIThis time it's a hospital where there are actual people and, thankfully, it isn't just a repeat of Halloween II, although they steal a couple of scenes from that movie for flashbacks.  For all the buildup of Jamie Lee Curtis returning with the last one they immediately sidelined her for the sequel.  It's a bit disappointing, but par for the course for these movies.  Luckily Judy Greer and Andi Matichak get in on the action. 

As for that there is plenty.  I normally don't get affected by he kills in these movies - any fan of horror films pretty much knows how everything is done - but a couple of them got me here, particularly the death of the old couple that lived near Laurie's house.  The way Michael murders them is a bit less gory fantasy and a little too close to the reality of what real serial killers get up to.  I also was not happy to see certain characters die, but other than Laurie and Michael one has to assume all bets are off for this one. 

Halloween Kills is still a well-done entry in the Halloween series and it ultimately does what it is supposed to, which is make me (and the rest of the audience) curious and excited about how the next movie will turn out.  Although I liked Halloween Kills I am hoping that Halloween Ends reaches the same heights as Halloween did and that, finally, there is a satisfactory end to this story.  However, I will gather my own mob to go after David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Scott Teems if they bring back that Nordic curse nonsense. 

Halloween Kills (2021)
Time: 105 minutes
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Anthony Michael Hall, Nick Castle, James Jude Courtney
Director: David Gordon Green 

 

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