halloween | halloween kills | david gordon green | scott teems | danny mcbride | jamie lee curtis | judy greer | andi matichak | slasher | sequel | nick castle | thriller | james jude courtney | united states | united kingdom | will patton | michael myers | kyle richards
Film: Halloween Kills
Director: David Gordon Green
Writer: Scott Teems, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer and Andi Matichak
This is a movie that when Halloween 2018 came out, I was excited to see. We were supposed to get this one in October of 2020, but thanks to the pandemic they pushed it to 2021. In between there, my thoughts have come down on the one previous to this. I wasn’t overly excited, but still wasn’t going to miss seeing this in the theater. For this movie here, our synopsis is the saga of Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle) and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) continues, picking up where the last movie left off.
Much as the synopsis stated, Laurie is with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), in the back of a pick-up as they head to a hospital. There are fire trucks and ambulances heading out to her place to put out the blaze that they started. Laurie is upset and wants them to just let it burn. We know why, but the firefighters don’t. Regardless to say, Michael gets out, leaving a trail of bloodshed in his wake.
We get an interesting flashback to that fateful night in 1978 which plays throughout this movie. Officer Hawkins (Thomas Mann) was a rookie and with some other officers is trying to find Michael Myers. We also get to see an encounter between a young Lonnie Elam (Tristian Eggerling) and Michael. This leads Officer Hawkins and others to the Myers’ house. There is an incident that happens here that has affected Hawkins to this day.
With Michael now free, he heads back to Haddonfield. Word reaches the local news about him being out and this causes a Halloween talent show at a local bar to stop. Lonnie (Robert Longstreet) alerts those around him which includes Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards) and Marion (Nancy Stephens). A mob of people decide to go hunting for Michael.
Karen also learns that Michael got out and tries to keep it from her mother. Allyson has fight in her and wants to put an end to the boogie man. Karen is against this, knowing the dangers. Michael isn’t the only monster that is free in Haddonfield and more will die as Halloween night continues on.
That is where I’ll leave my recap of this movie without going into spoilers. Where I want to start out is people complaining about this being a bad movie. I’ve already said that I didn’t have high expectations coming in and to be honest, I think that helped me enjoy this one more. We are getting a bloodier, more brutal slasher film than we got previously. It is continuing on with the story from the other movie and does a lot that I want in my sequels.
I’m not going to completely focus on people’s gripes to state what I liked or disliked, but I think a few of them well help me articulate my points. First, I know some Halloween fans love the idea that Laurie and Michael are related. I don’t need it since many of the films that follow this aren’t good. I had a friend ask why he is coming after her and this movie makes it a point to state that he’s not. He actually has a different destination in mind. It felt like Michael was stalking Laurie, but outside forces were pushing that. He has a much different target and I actually like the reason this movie is putting out there as to why. I even liked the flashbacks to 1978 to help establish this even more. He is mindlessly killing anyone that gets in his way, which makes more sense.
This idea of people getting in his way is an interesting one. It is intriguing that this movie was made and then pushed back, because it feels like we are getting a commentary on protesting and/or the capital riot that happened. Tommy is rounding up people to hunt down Michael. His encounter in 1978 has changed him, in a way like Laurie. Him along with Lindsey, Lonnie and Marion come to the same bar every Halloween. With Michael back, they can take back their lives in a sense. The problem is that the mob mentality takes over and they do some bad things that make it worse. This is an interesting idea to explore here, since I’m assuming this was made before all of the events happened I referenced, but it made it more relevant.
Then the last bit here is people stating there is bad writing, dialogue being a major part there, and just poor decisions. My retort would be then slasher films aren’t for you. This movie to me feels like a throwback to that heyday. Even more to that idea, a sequel where they ramp up the body count, make it more brutal and bloody. I enjoyed this more than I was expected just seeing Michael wreck people. I’ve come to realize that the deeper I dive into horror, the less of a fan of slasher films I am. Even with that though, I liked this movie.
I’m going to move away from the story and into the acting. I thought it was fine for the most part. I will agree, there is some cheesy dialogue in this movie and some of that feels like they want to pay homage to Halloween movies of the past, even if they aren’t recognizing them as cannon. Curtis is good as Laurie. My only issues with this character are certain things she said. Greer is probably the best of the trio, which I’m glad. She was good. Matichak is also solid, but she falls in the trap with lines she was given. Courtney and Castle have great size for the role. Airon Armstrong does well as Michael in 1978 for the flashbacks. I’m glad that Will Patton was back. Mann does well as the younger version of him. I’m fine with the cameos by Hall, Charles Cyphers, Richards and Stephens as characters from the original. I don’t love the acting here, but it works for a slasher film.
Then I’ll finish up with the effects, cinematography and the soundtrack. For the former, I love what they did with the effects. It looks to me like they went practical with everything they could. There was some CGI, but I didn’t have any problems. We get a lot of blood, some gore and brutal kill scenes. I loved that. The cinematography isn’t as strong this time around, but I have no gripes. Even the flashbacks to 1978 worked for me. There was some interesting things done to bring back Dr. Loomis (Tom Jones Jr. and voiced by Colin Mahan), but it was fine. The soundtrack isn’t as iconic as ones from the past. It still worked for me though so no problem there.
So then in conclusion here, despite hearing mixed thoughts on the movie, I went to see this and enjoyed my time with it. It won’t be for everyone though. If you want a slasher sequel that amps up the blood and the brutality, see this one. The dialogue isn’t great, there are bad decisions that are made, but to be honest, this movie feels grounded with things that happen. The soundtrack works for what the movie needed and we get some solid cinematography. After this initial viewing, I enjoy this one more than I did the previous one. I’m wondering how this one will hold up for me.
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10