By Mike Vogelsang | October 29, 2021
“Halloween Kills” is the latest addition to the Halloween franchise, a series which has been going strong for over forty years now and is a direct sequel to “Halloween” from 2018. The first “Halloween” film was released in 1978 and, after many sequels failed to live up to the original, they decided to do a soft reboot in 2018. The plot follows Laurie Strode and her family as well as the town of Haddonfield as they try to finally kill Michael Myers so that the evil he brings with him will never return to this town.
I have been a massive fan of this franchise ever since my father showed me the original film at the perfect age: two years old. I have also seen every subsequent sequel and the best of the bunch is easily the reboot from three years ago, so naturally, this was one of my most anticipated films of the year. My expectations were perhaps too high. The setup for this film is quite good as Michael Myers is shown to survive the house fire he was trapped in by Laurie at the end of the previous movie. Consequently, he kills the firefighters that came to put the fire out, which made for a good opening sequence. However, the movie failed to live up to the heights of the beginning, save for a few similar kills.
Michael Myers is as cool as ever and carries this movie from beginning to end. Every time he is on screen, the movie becomes just a little bit more pleasing to watch, like the thrilling action and tense sequences involving him hunting or stalking his next victim in the dark. While the film does not have much more to offer than that, it is what I, and most horror fans, want from a Halloween movie. Although, I would have appreciated it if it had been more than just a fun slasher, and was a movie with more depth.
The biggest problem this film has is its focus on one character who is the self-appointed leader of a mob created to stop Michael Myers’ reign of terror. This is a great concept in theory, but in practice, it is not handled well. Its message on the problems that mob mentality can cause is very heavy handed, which distracts the audience from Michael and makes it hard to take seriously. Another major issue is the fact that the iconic character and actor from the original “Halloween,” Laurie Strode, played by Jaime Lee Curtis, is relegated to a hospital bed for the entire movie. She was such a great character with a lot of depth and was a force to be reckoned with even for the seasoned murderer himself. In the last movie, she takes on Michael all by herself to save her family and Haddonfield, but does painfully little in this one. She is even replaced by her granddaughter who is a painfully dull and uninteresting character in comparison to her legendary grandmother.
This new batch of “Halloween” movies are the first two in a trilogy that the director, David Gordon Green, has been very transparent about wanting to make. Theoretically, it would bode well for these films as this suggests that they have a plan for the series and each movie, right? Nope. This movie is a mess story wise and has a terrible ending, as it has no payoff, a needlessly unemotional and unsatisfying death, and sets up something potentially interesting for the following sequel, but falls flat in the finale.
This feels like nothing but setup for the third movie in this new trilogy. Think of “Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1,” but worse, and lessen your excitement for the next film. I have heard many people saying this movie suffers from “middle child syndrome” and I think that perfectly encapsulates why this movie fails on almost every level. I feel like if the movie was a bit longer, it could have been condensed into half of a movie, with the finale being the other half. Unfortunately, Hollywood seems to always need a successful and popular franchise to be made into three movies.
“Halloween Kills” is a disappointing follow up to one of the best slasher films in the 21st century. The 2018 soft reboot with only Michael Myers himself and some of the fun, brutal murdering shenanigans that he gets himself into, made it worth the price of admission. I am hoping that the threequel scheduled to release in 2022 can stick the landing for these films because, unfortunately, there is not much else of value for the middle entry in this trilogy.