Movie Review: Halloween Kills (2021)

Synopsis: After escaping the fiery trap set by Laurie Strode, Michael Myers continues his killing spree, leaving a trail of bodies behind him. Fed up, the residents of Haddonfield decide to go on the offensive, track him down, and ensure evil dies once and for all.

Who's in it? The movie stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Anthony Michael Hall, James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle.

Review: Even though I enjoyed the 2018 reboot of the Halloween franchise more than expected, I had some serious doubts about yet another sequel and didn't bother to watch it right away. However, I found I was able to pick up this movie for free from our library and, since it wasn't costing me anything, decided to give it a try.

As it turns out, my first instincts about this movie were right. It wasn't the worst movie from the franchise, but it also wasn't anything special.

One of the biggest problems with this franchise, and why it has needed to do multiple reboots that "forget" other films happen, is it has a tendency to overthink the Michael Myers (Courtney and Castle) legacy and tries to give a complicated explanation about why he is a killer, to the point the franchise becomes more ridiculous than scary. This movie, unfortunately, was no different and, after working so hard to pretend Myers isn't Laurie Strode's (Curtis) brother, wasn't brought to life by some sort of magical curse, etc., immediately started down a similar trail - having him gain strength/immortality because of peoples' fear.

My wife and I both also thought this movie was both predictable and dull. I'm not saying it didn't have some good moments (the part where he gets one of the characters to accidentally shoot herself was kind of cool), it's just the film seemed to spend too much time re-inventing the events that happened in the 1978 film, speeches justifying vigilantism, and long introductions to characters that had zero impact on the movie before being killed. It's a slasher film, it doesn't need a complicated, bogged-down plot.

Another problem with this movie is the way the whole vigilante plot ultimately diminishes Myers impact. The whole "making him stronger because of fear" thing aside, the citizens of Haddonfield seemed to be much more of a threat to the city than the guy walking around carrying a knife, to the point Myers almost seemed like he was the good guy at the end. As soon as your audience starts rooting for the bad guy, you've made a mistake.

I'm on the fence a bit about whether or not the movie would have been better had Laurie done more than just give advice from her hospital bed. On one hand, I did admittedly like the attempt to add a bit of realism when it came to her injuries but it also reminded me a bit of Jeff Goldblum's cameo in the last Jurassic World movie. It probably would have been a better decision had the movie made more of an effort to make her granddaughter, Allyson (Matichak) the new protagonist but, while she was definitely in the movie, she was never really given an opportunity to seize that role.

Instead, it felt more like the franchise was just keeping Laurie's spot warm while she had an opportunity to rest up for the next film. That's an OK strategy if the next movie is good enough to justify it. Based on this film, however, I'm just not convinced that will be the case.

Final Opinion: This franchise has a bad habit of doing one film too many and, unfortunately, the reboot of the franchise seems to be following that same path. I may take the time to watch another sequel, if it happens, but I'm not going to be pushing to the front of the line.

My Grade: C


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