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Review: “Halloween Kills” fails to deliver on high promise, kills time instead

David Gordon Green’s film leaves more brain cells lost than scares endured.

By Matthew Royer, Political News Editor

Jamie Lee Curtis (not pictured) stars as Laurie in "Halloween Kills." (Photo Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

What could have been. Imagine a film that is charming, scary, adds on to 2018’s “Halloween” and reinvents the iconic movie villain of Michael Myers. Now remove any expectation that matches that.

Delayed a year due to the pandemic, director David Gordon Green’s “Halloween Kills” takes off where its last predecessor left the viewer. Occurring forty years to the day of Myers’s last killing spree, survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has finally put her assailant in what could be considered his grave. Although in traditional horror fashion, what seems to be reality is not, as Myers rises from ashes seemingly taking anyone out in his way. This leaves a rag-tag group of Haddonfield residents (Anthony Michael Hall, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards and Nancy Stephens) ready to avenge the lives lost and put an end to Myers’ madness.

If one could read the plot for this film they could believe this was any of the other 12 films in the franchise. When watched, the same feeling resonates as nothing new is learned and the formulaic structure followed is similar to any old horror film, instead of something special as felt by many when viewing 2018’s offering which provided a rejuvenation of the IP while matching every note of the original.

The fatal flaw the film creates is not through its structure or its characters fleshed out in previous films, it instead relies upon gore or “slashing” to advance the story. At times in the film, characters even try to explain Myers’ motivations for his killing sprees, but what these instances end up boiling down to is run-on dialogue that leave the viewer in the same spot they were minutes earlier when the scene began. Characters are only given a sense of clarity after having been exposed to blood or having to see one of Myers’s victims in front of them. Only then can the plot advance, eliciting a response from the audience that can be summed up to viewers checking their watch for time rather than pure amazement of what is being seen on the big screen.

Acting is the least of the film’s problems. The efforts of the cast can be chalked up as a positive, doing the best they can with the mess of the script provided. Industry veterans such as Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer give strong performances earning their keep in the long-awaited sequel. The former provided the film with enough oomph to convince horror audiences to keep their eyes out for the next installment coming next year.

If going to see the film in theaters, lower your expectations. To truly enjoy what filmmakers Gordon Green and Danny McBride have to offer, one must expect a film closer to Rob Zombie’s poorly received reboot of the franchise instead of the classic John Carpenter and Debra Hill provided audiences with in 1978.

“Halloween Kills” is a return to the mean for the “Halloween” franchise providing moviegoers with a repetitive mess leaving more substance in blood than plot.

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