“Halloween Kills” (2021)

Michael Myers, an apex predator, a seemingly invincible killing machine, who has tallied a large body count since his first appearance on screen in 1978, has returned. Facing certain death from a blazing inferno at the end of “Halloween” 2018, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable for a casual movie patron to think that Haddonfield, Illinois’ least favorite son was destroyed. Those of us who’ve been watching these sorts of films for years know better. Leaving aside the fact that anything can be done in cinema, as long as the box office take is good, and people want more, the cinematic boogeyman, be it Michael, Jason, Freddy, Candyman, along with others, will always have the ability to be brought back for another sequel or prequel in their respective series. In “Halloween Kills,” Michael, once more, places the expressionless, pale faced mask over his head, wears his signature dark coveralls, and wields a variety of weapons, as he goes in search of victims to satiate his bloodlust. (As an aside: Three different actors played the body of Michael Myers, referred to as ‘the shape’ while filming. They  were Airon Armstrong, Nick Castle, and James Jude Courtney).

“Halloween Kills” begins right where “Halloween” (2018) ended. BAFTA winner Jamie Lee Curtis (Trading Places) reprises her role as iconic, final girl, Laurie Strode. She has been stabbed and is being rushed to the hospital. As fire trucks go rushing by she shouts “let it burn.” She doesn’t care that it is her home and property that are on fire, she wants Michael vanquished, once and for all. Laurie was not alone in her fight against Michael, during the previous film. Riding with her, in route to the hospital, is her daughter Karen played by Judy Greer (Archer), and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). Unbeknownst to any of them, just like Laurie’s first encounter with Michael, who she dubbed the boogeyman, he has again cheated death. One of the only letdowns of the film, is that once Laurie arrives at the hospital, that is where she stays for the remainder of the film. At first she’s content, because she figures her long ordeal of worrying about where and when Michael will strike is over. But when she learns that he survived, Laurie’s aching to get back in the fight, both literally and figuratively.

Early on in the film, viewers are treated to a flashback to 1978, to the evening that Michael terrorized Haddonfield for the first time. Fans of the original 1978 film will remember Michael was shot a number of times by Dr. Loomis, a role completely embodied by BAFTA winner  Donald Pleasence (The Great Escape). When Loomis goes to check to see if Michael’s dead, he’s vanished. According to “Halloween Kills,” he didn’t get very far. He’s captured outside of the Myers’ home minutes later. Dr. Loomis wants to put a bullet in Michael’s head and end his life right then and there, but Officer Hawkins (Will Patton) doesn’t allow it. (As an aside: While watching the flashback in the film, I was stunned when it seemed as if Donald Pleasence appeared on screen, because it wasn’t footage of him from the original 1978 film. As it turned out, Tom Jones Jr., a construction coordinator on “Halloween Kills” is made to look very much like Dr. Loomis, while voice actor Colin Mahan provided a spot on imitation of Pleasence.)

Word reaches the residents of Haddonfield that Michael is alive and in town. They know it is just a matter of time before bad things will begin to happen to their friends and loved ones. Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), yes, the same Tommy Doyle who survived Michael’s attack thanks to Laurie, when he was a child, is leading the charge. He, along with Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), the other child who Laurie babysat during that fateful night in 1978, had gotten together, at a local bar. They were there along with two other Michael survivors, Dr. Loomis’ nurse, Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), and Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet). The reason for their get together was to toast their good fortune at having lived that Halloween night, in 1978, when others met a horrific end.

Tommy wastes no time. He recruits whomever he can, and breaks everyone up into groups to look in different parts of the town. When they find Michael, they plan to kill him. The townspeople’s catchphrase is “Evil dies tonight.” They have no interest in waiting for law enforcement to take Michael into custody, so he can be resentenced to spend the rest of his life in a mental institution. (As an aside: Charles Cyphers reprises his role as Leigh Brackett from the 1978 original. He, more than most of the townspeople, has a thirst for revenge. Michael killed his daughter on that Halloween night, many years prior. Although, no longer with the sheriff’s department, he’s now working as hospital security, the same hospital Laurie has been taken to.  

Was it smart for Tommy Doyle to rile the people of Haddonfield into a killing frenzy? Will Michael and Laurie once more come face to face? What will happen if they do? Who, in general, survives this time around? Who dies? All of those questions will be answered by the film’s conclusion.  

                                                                                   

Trivia buffs take note: “Halloween Kills” is the sixth time that Jamie Lee Curtis has appeared as the character of Laurie Strode, surpassing Donald Pleasence’s character of Dr. Loomis, who was in five of the Halloween films. Fans of “Halloween III: Season of the Witch,” will notice that during a scene at a park, there are three dead Michael Myers’ victims, each is wearing a mask manufactured by the Silver Shamrock factory; the three masks consist of the Jack-O-Lantern, Skull, and Witch. The sign that is used in the film for Haddonfield Memorial Hospital was the same sign used in “Halloween II” (1981). “Halloween Kills” is the first time that the characters of Tommy, Laurie, and Lindsey are in a Halloween film together since the 1978 version, however, they do not share any screen time.

“Halloween Kills” was directed by David Gordon Green “Halloween” (2018). In addition, Green co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Teems (Rectify) and Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down), based on characters created by John Carpenter “Halloween” (1978) and Debra Hill (Adventures in Babysitting). The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 8, 2021. Parts horror, and thriller, the movie has a runtime of 105 minutes.

As far as I can remember, this is the darkest entry into the series of all of the Halloween films, as well as the goriest. There is nothing implied during the kills in this film, everything is shown. I didn’t find anything scary about the movie, but I don’t think that is what the filmmakers intended. Toward the end of the film, Laurie provides a theory, as to who or what Michael really is, and why he’s been able to survive so many times, when a mere mortal would’ve died long ago. Perhaps her theory will be further expanded upon in the next film in the series, “Halloween Ends,” the purported final entry in the series, I wouldn’t bet on it being the last. As of the writing of this post it is scheduled to be released on October 14, 2022. Recommended for horror fans familiar with the series, or who’ve at least seen the 2018 film.

                                                                      

About robbinsrealm

I was born in Smithtown, New York, and grew up, worked, and lived in various areas of Long Island before moving to Boca Raton, Florida where I now make my home. In addition to being an aspiring writer, I am also an English teacher. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s Degree in Education, both from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. In my spare time you will find me engrossed in books, watching movies, socializing with friends, or just staying active.
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4 Responses to “Halloween Kills” (2021)

  1. The Greene Screen says:

    I usually don’t get fooled during horror movies; however, I was convinced Micheal was done for when everyone ganged up on him.

    • robbinsrealm says:

      I can understand. I thought if he was ever going to go down for good, it was going to be in that moment, when they were all ganging up on him. Once Bracket tried to shoot him and he had no more bullets in his gun, I knew it was game over for the townspeople.

  2. filmmiasma says:

    I liked this one but I kind of like all of these!

    • robbinsrealm says:

      Me too. I LOVE the original, but with the exception of “Halloween: Resurrection,” which I watched again recently, and still found to be mediocre at best, I enjoy the franchise as a whole.

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