Halloween Kills (2021)

David Gordon Green directs Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer and Anthony Michael Hall in this sequel to a legacy sequel where Michael Myers kills some time while Laurie Strode is recuperating.

Am I the best person to judge a Halloween sequel? I begrudgingly respect the original and my faves of the franchise are the less beloved Season Of the Witch and those extreme Rob Zombie remakes. Clearly I want something different than… this. But I do like a good legacy sequel (see below)! And if you are wondering what I define a legacy sequel as then here I go;

1) Returning to “the well” after a least a dormant decade without fresh cinema releases.

2) Bringing back a retired key creative who was seemingly left behind or too big for previous rushed cash-in sequels.

3) Rolling back the mythology to either retcon studio mandated entries or make obsolete the messier directions other journeymen took the story in when the creator was not rehired.

Listen, Michael Myers is indestructible. He can’t be killed. So like the T-800, there’s always going to be sequels and reboots. But bringing Jamie Lee back as a Sarah Connor style warrior avenger was the exciting new hook last time that made this all spike. That and how well crafted it was. Both of David Gordon Green and Danny McBride’s films so far are impeccably well made in terms of technique. These movies look great, respectful of the aesthetic and sound of the original after so many low budget xerox copies. Case in point, fire damaged The Shape is just wonderfully grotesque to look at. John Carpenter has another pass at his iconic synth theme.

The plotting is pretty random. It is a movie the kicks off with five cold opens. And essentially this is an anthology asking “if you take away Laurie, Loomis and the babysitters, what exactly does the rest of Haddonfield get up to?” “Those other rare survivors… what do they do when Michael has one of his autumnal away days?” So there’s a lack of focus. But it makes sense as we need to give our vintage A-Lister time to recover. And luckily the original Halloween 2 spent most of the runtime in a hospital with Laurie zonked out. It also had Michael trying out inventive alternatives to his big chopping knife. So this is pretty faithful to the 1981 movie it needs to match. Where it swerves majorly is there is even more bodily damage than those unfairly derided Rob Zombie reimaginations. And also bleaker somehow? The first hour is a kill fest. With very little tension. But in a way it is nice to see a slasher that doesn’t ever focus on buxom teens. On that, Andi Matichak ain’t the best actress to be “leading” a franchise, but she is very pretty. You look forward to Greer, Hall and Will Patton’s scenes. And there are some busy moments of chaos when mob mentality takes over the support cast of Haddonfield. A thread not fully explored but which certainly adds a different spin on a moribund concept. And it all keeps Jamie Lee Curtis’ spot warm, ready for her to take centre stage for the already made, yet to to be released, Halloween Ends. And if you believe that, here’s another…

6

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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