Looking for fun during The Most Wonderful Time of the Year? I’ve got a few ideas this season, and a few clunkers too…
“HE DIES TONIGHT! HE DIES TONIGHT!” (Whatever.)
What it is – In the 2018 Halloween, our favorite plucky paranoid Laurie Strode thought that she, her daughter, and granddaughter, had put Michael six feet under. But we know he’s not that easy. Meanwhile, way too many townsfolk have their own Halloween night filled with too much terror and blood.
Genre – Horrific Sophomore Slumps (in more ways than one)
Splat Factor – As per sequels, gore is amped from the first film in this trilogy. Expect lots of red, and ample insides outside.
Year Released – 2021
Where I Watched – Screener (received midnight this morning. So, hey – boom!)
Why Watch This – Halloween Kills is probably the worst thing that can happen to a horror movie. No, it’s not bad. It’s just immediately forgettable. I could rant about how this sophomore slump was such a letdown, but I’ll try to keep it brief. A taste, you ask? Cool: between the heavy handed “monsters can create monstrous reactions” message and the overabundance of subplots, Kills gets lost in itself.
Too much time is spent on random characters that don’t advance the plot, but only serve as knife fodder. And when characters that are part of the story are in peril? Most of those deaths felt like they were only there to show that the creators were trying to be all edgy and subversive. Or it’s a callback to the 1978 original for street cred. The fact that Kills killed most of the folks during the last quarter felt like the creators were trying to meet their quota before time ran out? It felt like they were just trying to up the stakes by offing people. And I just shrugged.
The writing is heavy handed, and so is the direction. And WTH is with that stupid J cut after an older couple meet Mike early in the “story”? I see you went to film school. Bravo. But that didn’t achieve the goal you think it did. Neither do the speeches poor Tommy Doyle has to vomit out. They’re histrionic (Mike is “an apex predator!” – cue laughter from me and the fam) And the whole Evil Dies Tonight (!!1!11!!) that the entire town starts screaming as they turn full Frankenstein mob? It just felt silly. Like they really trying too hard to make fetch happen. It’s not going to happen, y’all.
In trying to make all the characters Important with a capital I? Kills makes nobody important. Not even Laurie Strode. There are way too many characters, so there’s no way to give too much of a shit about any one of them. Just when we settle into one subplot, the film smash cuts to another group/individual/flashback. After I realized how rote the characters were gonna be (intro to five minutes of character development to slaughter)? I just hoped the film was gonna wrap up so I could get to the final film and have things just end already. They did Jamie Lee dirty, y’all.
How To Watch – With zero expectations, and no interest in trying to make sense of anything. Just enjoy the ill used actors from the 1978 original, the bloody good FX, and let the rest wash over your brain. You’ll forget it all soon enough.
Rating – a rather generous C-