You know those musicals where members of the cast basically say a line back and forth to each other and it builds up into a crescendo until everyone is saying the same line over and over again, and it becomes a song and everyone takes part?
Well that kind of happens in this movie, only it’s not joyous, there’s no song, and it’s utterly annoying as hell.
Halloween Kills is the sequel to the 2018 version of Halloween as directed by David Gordon Green, in which we saw a sequel to the original Halloween, choosing to ignore all the original sequels that happened in between. The 2018 outing was good, it was creepier and nastier than expected, the familial connections between the 3 Strode women – Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis), Karen (Judy Greer) and Allyson (Andi Matichak) are well realised and give weight to the events that befall them, they fight hard and work together to defeat the ‘boogey’man who has been renting space in Laurie’s mind since her violent encounter with him 40 years prior.
In my review of that previous film I asked for no sequel – turns out, I was right; because this is a train wreck.
Halloween Kills begins directly where Halloween 2018 left off, with Laurie stabbed and Michael trapped in the basement of her burning house. We go to the hospital with Laurie where she learns she didn’t kill him as she thought, as he was let loose by the team of fit firemen who showed up at her home, and whom Michael Myers then turned into chunks of flesh on the burning pavement (uh huh, sure). We cut across town to meet up with actors and/or characters from the original movie including an entirely obnoxious Tommy Doyle (now horribly overplayed by Anthony Michal Hall), Lindsay, Marion and Lonny (who all played teeny parts in the original). Lonny’s inclusion is particularly ludicrous given he once caught a glimpse of Michael walking the halloween streets 40 years ago and has been stuck in that town haunted by that event ever since (uh huh, sure). We are treated to a 70s flashback featuring Jim Cummings (which had me fangirling) but really didn’t serve much purpose except to give Sherriff Beckett (Patton Oswalt) some backstory before he spent the entirety of the movie laying in a hospital bed. Which is what Laurie of course should be doing, after we witnessed her major abdominal surgery. She is inexplicably left unattended, not on opioids, not in the icu, to be dramatic and pull out her iv before stabbing herself in the butt with a needle full of mystery drugs because “she’s the one whos got to kill him!” except that she cant, and ends up in bed for the rest of the film. Its a super duper professional hospital too, with the morgue right there in the middle of the waiting area with a handy viewing window. And people wandering in and out without any security clearance. Karen takes it upon herself to be a social conscious because well goshdarnit, someone has to, and the survival skills background that was a big part of her back story previously is forgotten here anyway so lets just be the ‘mum’. Tommy decides that ‘Evil dies tonight’ which is basically the sum of his lines from this point on, but don’t worry, if you miss him saying it, the rest of the cast will say it at some point, again and again and again. It could be a fun drinking game. If this film was any fun. Which its not. At all. It takes itself so seriously its embarrassing. In fact the only intentionally funny part was when a character accidently kills themselves, the only other laughs to be had, are at the films own expense.
Michael goes on a killing spree; people make epically stupid decisions and end up dying (like lets form a mob and then all split up, like lets confront him weaponless instead of running away, like lets chase this guy who looks nothing like Michael Myers, like lets wildly shoot in all directions before he’s in front of us so we have no bullets for him, like lets never go for a head shot, like lets hit him with this bat/stick/pitchfork once and then drop it like its on fire – just assume he’s dead and turn your back on him like a good little victim) but it wouldn’t matter what they did anyway because the film makers have decided to go the ‘supernatural’ route and have him suddenly not even really be a person. Slight spoiler – he’s just ‘fear itself’ now – uh huh, sure.
The acting is pretty bad across the board I’m afraid and the dialogue had me cringing so hard it hurt. The theatrics were so off the scale that even Donald Pleasance would be ashamed. The tone is all wrong, lacking grit and feeling almost like satire.
The score by John and Cody Carpenter essentially just riffs on the original but its one of the few positives I can give this movie. I also really like the old-school opening credits, and the mask was cool.
This unnecessary sequel was bad and I’m sure the upcoming ‘Halloween Ends’ will be just as bad, but I guess I’ll still watch it in the faint hope that maybe, for once, Michael would just die for good.