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10th November 2021

Halloween Kills: Review

Halloween Kills delivers thrills and gore but falls short on anything resembling an interesting plot
Halloween Kills: Review
Photo: Halloween Kills Logo, Universal Pictures @ Wikimedia Commons

Written by Alex Mcloughlin.

Halloween Kills is Michael Myers’ most brutal and gory rampage to date; however, this should not detract from the film’s deficiencies.  

Halloween Kills picks up minutes from where Halloween (2018) left off. Notorious killer Michael Myers once again defies the impossible and survives the trap that Laurie Strode (Jamie lee Curtis) lays for him. From here, Michael finds himself loose on the town of Haddonfield, Illinois and terrorises the inhabitants until someone tries to kill him, but predictably, fails.

This is the basic premise of all the Halloween films. However, it is worth noting that the best instalments (the 1978 original and the 2018 reboot) provide gripping, suspenseful storylines to accompany Michaels’ Halloween rampages. In Halloween Kills, this key ingredient seems to be unfortunately lacking. The plot is muddled and boring and lacks the originality needed to reinvigorate a character who has made one too many outings onto the screen.

Halloween Kills trailer

Michael’s nemesis Laurie sits out nearly all the film in a hospital bed. Whilst Curtis is a staple of the genre and a headstrong female lead, the film struggles to characterise her as anything but a load of cliches. Her now traumatised, angry, and vengeful persona does very little that is new. Similarly, the other supporting characters such as Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), are unmemorable and one dimensional. One must give due credit though to Big John (Scott McArthur) and Little John (Michael McDonald), who successfully managed to break up the murder and death with moments of light relief. Though it must be noted these were few and far between.

Many of Michael’s victims possess the kind of naivety apparently necessary for a horror film (think running into woods and tripping over). It seems a necessary addition to make these slasher films work. However, whereas once there was something comedic about it (think of the Scream films), when placed in a film that takes itself as seriously as Halloween, it just looks ridiculous.

Thankfully, there are plenty of moments that allow you to jump in your seat. Michael’s killing sprees are more violent, excruciating, and gut-wrenching than ever. If you are someone who seeks their thrill from the violence alone, this movie is for you. Fans can also delight in the fact that the iconic Halloween Theme music by John Carpenter is back. One of the masterpiece movie soundtracks, its simplicity and brooding malevolence set the tone for the film. It would have therefore been nice to have a plot and characters to match.

Halloween Kills feels like it could, and probably should, have been the end of Michael Myers’ tale. Instead, this instalment is in danger of being added to the pile of forgettable sequels in the series, albeit at the very top of that list. This is more a testament to how awful some of the earlier Halloween films have been, than a celebration of the new additions’ quality.


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