The Next Step: Our Review of ‘Halloween Kills’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - October 15, 2021
The Next Step: Our Review of ‘Halloween Kills’

The worst of us…is inside ourselves…

In Halloween Kills we go back to the cursed town of Haddonfield as Michael Myers runs rampant.  While the violence amps up on one end, it actually takes to a place where the collective rage felt from trauma sends the entire town down a rabbit hole of insurmountable violence.

Minutes after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor. , however, when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all. Evil dies tonight.

While still embracing the genre and giving audiences some exceptionally gory killing sequences, Gordon Green and company turn this story into commentary about the perils of rage.

Make no mistake, this isn’t perfect and wears the obvious problems that a middle chapter in any trilogy tends to have.  That being said, what David Gordon Green does here as he turns the reflection back on the audience and the rage that is far too easily in all of us is on display here and it’s terrifying to watch.  Not just from a classic jump scare mentality but from the realities of mob violence that we’ve seen play out in the news far too recently then any of us would care to admit.

The violence has purpose in this film, and while the set pieces and action are quite a bit of fun on a purely visceral level, that’s something that tends to get lost throughout the pantheon of sequels in the genre; anytime someone dies on screen it actually has to mean something for us to actually give a damn.  While the obvious build to a third chapter isn’t actually helping it as a stand-alone piece it gives us as viewers hope that this saga of Michael Myers might actually be coming to an end.

The iconic Jamie Lee Curtis actually takes somewhat of a back seat here, as she spends the bulk of the film in a hospital bed recouping from her injuries in the first film reflecting on what Michael has done to their town which gets played out in the arc of daughter Karen and granddaughter Allison.  Along with the connective thread of survivors from previous installments led by Anthony Michael Hall we get to see what is basically the post traumatic stress of an entire town’s population rear up in some pretty ugly ways, which leads to the resolute conclusion that Laurie needs to be the one to take Michael down after all and give the town and her family some real peace…even if it kills her.

Reality is that Halloween Kills won’t make everyone happy, but it’s making such a statement along through its narrative arc that we know that next year’s Halloween Dies is going to have a payoff that we sure as hell can’t miss.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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