The Screen Room
Halloween Kills (2021)
[WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS EXCESSIVE RANTING!]
Anyone that’s followed my Facebook page or checked in on this website since I launched it will know that Halloween (1978) is my favourite horror movie of all time. They’ll also know that other than Hans Gruber from Die Hard (1988), Michael Myers is my favourite movie villain of all time.
Bearing all of that in mind, here are my thoughts on the latest instalment of one of my favourite film franchises after watching it at the weekend.
Halloween Kills (2021)
If you haven’t seen it yet, this film is the sequel to Halloween (2018) which itself was a sequel to the original Halloween movie that spawned eight sequels before someone decided to pretend none of them ever happened.
It stars Jamie Lee Curtis (True Lies), Judy Greer (Jurassic World), Will Patton (Armageddon) and loads of other actors who play totally insignificant characters that are just there for Michael to carve up in more brutal and savage ways than ever before.
This is what it’s about according to the internet:
"The nightmare isn't over as unstoppable killer Michael Myers escapes from Laurie Strode's trap to continue his ritual bloodbath. Injured and taken to the hospital, Laurie fights through the pain as she inspires residents of Haddonfield, Ill., to rise up against Myers. Taking matters into their own hands, the Strode women and other survivors form a vigilante mob to hunt down Michael and end his reign of terror once and for all."
Oh my god where do I start?!
Ok, I really wanted to like it. If you saw my recent belated sequels post about the previous movie you’ll know that I was hoping they were attempting to humanise the character of Michael Myers with this new series of films, thus ending the mythology of this un-killable character. Unfortunately I was wrong, and at the end of the film, just when you’re feeling fulfilled they teased the possibility of a sequel which as it happens was already in the works!
Regardless of my reservations I decided to watch the latest instalment. Like I said, Halloween is one of my favourite film franchises and with the exception of Halloween: Resurrection (2002) I’ve liked all of the movies to date. There’s actually only one I haven’t seen and that’s the 2009 sequel to the 2007 Rob Zombie remake.
I hated this film!
Very rarely do I watch a movie that I dislike from the beginning but I was struggling with this one very early on. It seemed so different in tone to the 2018 movie that I had to check IMDb to see if the same writing team were behind it. I was shocked to learn that they were.
The movie is guilty of a number of things that regularly p#ss me off, particularly with sequels and horror films.
The main one is that it insults the intelligence of the audience.
Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s just a film and I can suspend disbelief plenty long enough for movies that are done well, but this one asks way too much of the viewer and assumes we’ll happily go along with, and buy into the utter crap and totally unrealistic and predictable scenarios that are put before us.
Another is that it plays too heavily on the familiarity and nostalgia of the original.
On a positive note I thought it was really cool that original characters from the first film were brought back. In most cases they not only brought back the characters but they even got the original actors back to play those characters.
The roles of Nurse Marion, Lindsey Wallace and Sheriff Leigh Brackett were played by the same actors who played them in the first movie over 40 years ago (Nancy Stephens, Kyle Richards and Charles Cyphers respectively).
They also did a convincing job of bringing the late Donald Pleasance back as Dr. Loomis, although his voice/British accent was a bit dodgy.
I read recently that an attempt to have Paul Rudd return as Tommy Doyle was unsuccessful. Although Rudd didn’t play Tommy in the original Halloween, he did play him as a young adult in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995). That was actually the first thing I ever saw Paul Rudd in so it would’ve been cool to see him back in the role. Anthony Michael Hall who plays the character in this latest film does a decent enough job though, if not a somewhat overacted one.
As good as it was to see everyone back, I felt the characters were totally under-used, and once again just put on screen as ornaments to satisfy that nostalgic attachment fans have for the first film (and also for Michael to carve up in various ways).
Another positive is that some of the masks used (specifically in the park scene with the merry-go-round) look very much like the ones from Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) that were manufactured by the sinister Silver Shamrock Novelties company. I’m guessing it’s a deliberate nod to the third film and if so it’s a pretty cool one.
This movie is very heavy on the references to the original film so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was intentional.
Sadly though, despite a couple of mildly redeeming features this movie was not only disappointing but just a bad film in general. It’s full of stupid horror movie clichés, unlikable characters, poor acting and annoyingly unrealistic scenarios. They’ve even managed to turn Michael into more of a psycho than he was before - and not even in a good way!
It seems like they’ve gone down the route of Saw where they’ve put more thought into what new, sick and elaborate ways Michael can kill his victims than they have the story itself.
I’m a big Halloween fan but I think this is the worst one to date.
The next movie, Halloween Ends is due for release next year and I won’t be watching it. I’m officially done with the franchise. Mrs Screen Room Movie Podcast enjoyed it though.
Still here? Seen it? What did you think? Let me know. 🎃