‘Halloween Kills’: The Horror News Network Review

by Larry Dwyer

When we last left our hero in 2018’s Halloween, Laurie Strode was wounded and on her way to the hospital after a mega-battle with The Shape aka Michael Myers. Much like 1981’s Halloween II, Halloween Kills picks up immediately following the events of the previous film; only this time Laurie is in the bed of a pickup truck with her daughter and granddaughter instead of in the back of an ambulance being cared for by a tender Lance Guest.

After screaming at some passing firetrucks, the gang arrives at good ol’ Haddonfield Memorial Hospital – home of the 1981 showdown between Michael, Laurie and Loomis (that never happened according to this timeline) – and one starts to wonder if we’re maybe in for a reboot of the 1981 sequel? Is HMH going to suspiciously empty out so that Laurie and her awful wig can get chased around the hospital by Myers while paramedic Budd watches jazzercise videos and tries to get it on with the nurses?

Alas, the similarities end there and what happens is worse…much worse: we are instead handed a rambling mess of a movie rife with ultra-moronic behavior from the townsfolk, cheesy one-liners repeatedly shouted by nameless faces, and unnecessary flashbacks which were clearly meant only to soothe the Halloween purists in the audience (hint: they failed).

The much-wanted showdown between Laurie and Michael is apparently on hold until the third film of the trilogy, Halloween Ends, hits theaters next year. For most of Halloween Kills, Laurie is relegated to the sidelines, only to appear occasionally screaming from her hospital bed or exchanging loving pleasantries with Will Patton, whose Officer Hawkins character is involved in a truly silly flashback side plot.

One of my main problems with these new Halloweens is the same that I had with the Rob Zombie editions, I felt that both filmmakers completely ignored what made the John Carpenter original so successful: simplicity. Carpenter didn’t fill the story with unnecessary character arcs, romances, drama, etc. He didn’t waste time explaining complicated backstories or focusing on gory kills or lecturing the audience on the evils of “mob justice” – because all these things do is take away from the tension and scares, and that’s what Halloween (78) was all about…tension and scares. If I want dark tension, perfectly seasoned with scares, and maybe a smattering of blood, I’ll watch Halloween 1978, if I want a brainless maniac brutally ripping through everyone he encounters, I’ll watch Victor Crowley. While I enjoy both, I enjoy them for different reasons, and I certainly don’t want them mixed.

But I digress. In the end, Halloween Kills is filler. The filmmakers needed a way to bridge the gap between 2018’s Halloween and 2022’s Halloween Ends so they removed Laurie from the equation and replaced her with an odd gathering of “survivors” from the 1978 film who, led by a puffy Anthony Michael Hall as Tommy Doyle, spent what felt like half the movie chanting “evil dies tonight” (it didn’t) and then basically murdered a dim-witted escaped mental patient who strongly resembled Danny DeVito’s The Penguin…you know, because it’s easy to mistake a 5’3 fat guy for Michael Myers.

I will say though that if you’re looking for blood, you’ve come to the right place as Halloween Kills has no shortage of, well, kills. And a lot of them are pretty gory – a lot of eye stuff too; the writers must have been going through a serious 80’s Italian horror phase while working on this script.

I think it’s safe to say that while Michael Myers is busy killing everybody on the screen, it’s clear that the creators of this sequel are killing as well; time, that is. Maybe we’re headed toward a glorious finish to the trilogy with Halloween Ends but it’s honestly too bad that we’re forced to wade through all of these crumbs to get there.


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