Halloween Kills

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The second of three films that David Gordon Green is directing for Blumhouse Productions, Halloween Kills (2021), revisits a number of themes and narrative elements that have appeared previously in the franchise. David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills is like a mixed tape a friend made for you in high school that features all the choice tracks by a newly discovered band. Green lifts the hospital sequences from Halloween II (1981), throws in some of the angry mob from Halloween IV: The Return Of Michael Meyers (1988), a heavy dose of Halloween H2O (1998) while still finding time to pay homage to Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (1982).

Simply combining some of the best elements of the franchise does not make Halloween Kills a good or even decent movie. All of the characterization, particularly between Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), that made Halloween (2018) at all compelling is gone. Halloween Kills operates on the assumption that all of the character development of the previous film will simply carry over.

All there is to Halloween Kills are a dozen under developed characters, some familiar scenes and set pieces, and tons of gratuitous gore. The spectacle of mutilation is at the heart of Halloween Kills. Unlike the far superior films in the franchise that were made in the seventies through the early nineties Halloween Kills wants the audience to revel in violence. It’s not enough to just stab someone in the belly or cut off a person’s head. In Halloween Kills Michael Myers takes his time in mutilating his victims.

What made the Halloween films so good early on was that they focused on the anticipation of doom and the dread of the inevitable. When that’s removed from these films become so much more commonplace and uninteresting. Surely David Gordon Green knows this. Perhaps that is why Halloween Kills goes to such lengths to connect itself to John Carpenter’s original film.