I want to begin this review by noting it is rare for me to ever despise a movie. There are works I dislike; many I find bad but now “Halloween Kills” has become the second-ever piece to be something I would have walked out of alongside 2017’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which I did.
After previously enjoying the reboot put out by David Gordon Green in 2018, I sat down with my wife the night of the pandemic-delayed sequel’s release earlier this month. We streamed through Peacock and the experience was the cinematic equivalent of a kick to the testicles.
“How can one team undo everything good in their last effort?” I asked to myself.
“Why does one woman preparing to fight Michael Myers have a literal iron in her hands?”
Sadly, these burning queries were not answered. Instead, I and viewers around the world were treated to a lesser “Halloween II.” Though there are trips to another hospital in Haddonfield here and moments where Michael Myers kills people in ways which would spark a twinkle in the Jigsaw Killer’s eye, much of what we get is a look at how trauma infects a community and a poor one. The last film had characters saying a man who killed less than five people more than 30 years ago was quaint by today’s standards the screenwriters apparently forgot all about this.
“Evil dies tonight,” the angry mobs shown throughout the work and in film trailers chant.
“Now [Michael]’s turning us into monsters,” a legacy character from the original solemnly says.
There is literally no work done to build up this kind of reaction. In the world of the 2018 film most people would have locked their doors and waited for the police. Some would have moved out of town or drove to Chicago to see family but here the fear of a borderline elderly mental patient is enough to make people mad in a way meant to insufferably remind people of politics.
I am sorry, but whatever you think of former President Trump, he and the MAGA folks are not monsters on the level of a low-rent slasher villain. Saying so diminishes a lot either way.
After the topical pabulum, poor set pieces and cliché characters befitting a direct-to-video release from 10 years ago we finally come to a finale which also lets the viewer down. While the first effort in this trilogy had something to say in its ending minutes about trauma and what it would realistically mean to be a final girl in one of these movies, this undoes another good detail about Michael from 2018, pays homage to one of the worst entries in this tired series and concludes with a “to be continued” which I am sure will handle the pandemic and its purported twist ending with all the grace and intellect of a moron going through a seizure while handling live grenades.
“Halloween Kills” this franchise. It is tired, has nothing left to offer and you are better off falling asleep to it and the peers on AMC than ever spending a cent on tired and played out pictures.
Bring back the anthologies, please.
Top image via Wikimedia Commons.