Movie Reviews

Overwhelmingly Average | “Halloween Kills” (2021) Movie Review

Recently, the twelfth installment in the Halloween series, “Halloween Kills”, was released. It was the direct sequel to the 2018 iteration, featuring a familiar cast of characters. Jamie Lee Curtis unsurprisingly reprised her role as Laurie Strode, and everything else fell into place as expected in terms of the cast.

So how did it go?

Let’s talk about it, starting with what went right.

Choreography was good

One of the coolest, most underrated aspects about Michael Myers is just how dominating he is over who he chooses to kill. The sheer helplessness of his victims as he overpowers them and has his way with them really gives his role as a slasher killer more threatening than the average horror movie icon. From the original 1978 film, where he picks up Dr. Loomis by the neck, holds him in the air with one arm and does his deed, all the way into the modern day Halloween. Here, the camera work and general choreography come together to really show off Myers doing what he does best: kill. This is what really makes even the viewer fear and respect Myers, which is the goal of a horror movie after all.

There are many connections made with past films to truly make this feel like a sequel

Between flashbacks to even the original 1978 film, as well as the most recent 2018 one, this movie really does its job as a sequel. Invested viewers can thereby be pleased that they’re getting an added experience from this movie, if they watched ones developed in the past.

Michael Myers

Myers’ role as a cold, calculated and unfeeling killer really comes to life in a small town setting just as it has since the very beginning. Here, however, Myers’ “body count” for kills is actually higher than ever before. This stems mainly from a scene where he fends off an angry mob of people with guns, pitchforks and other blunt tools using nothing but a kitchen knife. Predictably, the encounter is quite graphic and bloody, just as Myers has always has been. Beyond that, though, Myers was once again unsurprisingly the showcase of this movie, and he took what would’ve been a pretty poor film and saved it from being a disaster virtually all by himself 

As the title suggests, this film was far from perfect. Let’s take a look at its downsides.

The actual horror aspect of this film was somewhat lacking

Unlike past Halloween movies, there isn’t that much suspense or tension in this one, comparatively speaking. There seems to have been an attempt made at building that stuff up, but when the release happens and we see scenes where Myers is expected to show up, we mostly got fairly lame jump scares or very predictable points of entry where we know Myers is going to show up. That hindered the ‘horror’ aspect of this film for sure.

Jamie Lee Curtis was forgettable in this one

This could have been for any number of reasons, but overall, this was definitely Jamie Lee Curtis’ least impactful performance in a Halloween movie yet. One of the trademark aspects of Michael Myers is that he is obsessed with Laurie Strode — presumably, if he were to kill her, he would slip away back into the shadows and possibly never return. So, Myers’ rampage at killing off her friends and people who try to protect her as he gets closer to her is supposed to be the main dynamic for why he exists in the first place. Here, there’s only one encounter between Myers and Strode, and it occurs in a flashback. We get glimpses where it seems the two are set to have some kind of final encounter of sorts, but it simply never manifests. Laurie Strode is supposed to be a main character in the series, but plays the part of a background character in this one. That removed quite a bit of depth from the movie as a whole. Imagine if Frodo Baggins or Gandalf suddenly were written to never appear prominently in a Lord of the Rings movie — that’s how this felt here.

The direction of this film was quite confusing

While flashbacks connecting past Halloween movies to this one were nice, this film does it up a bit too much. At times, this felt more like a collage of the series as a whole than its own individual film. This made it difficult to interpret the story actively being told to us; perhaps the movie was trying to be something akin to a Marvel movie, trying to set us up for a much bigger entry down the road. However, lacking the crossover potential that, for example, Avengers Endgame had, this was a confusing direction to go in. As a result, it became hard to try and follow along the story in this film.

Overall grade for this film is a fairly fitting C. It’s not really all that awful, but this is the type of movie people will completely forget about within a couple years’ time. If and when a sequel to this one arrives, hopefully we get more action for Laurie Strode, dial it a bit back with all the flashbacks and see a bit more emphasis put on building up genuine terror and tension with Michael Myers. This film had so much potential, and it squandered it with average and uninteresting creative choices.

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