Halloween Kills

Never outdone, Halloween has joined the slasher space race and followed in Jason X‘s footsteps by sending its killer (or at least the man whose face he wears) into space. Now the Shatner-masked monster is back on the rampage in Halloween Kills, the worst name in a franchise that includes Halloween H20.

Costume department, you had one job.

This is the 12th Halloween overall, the 3rd canonically and the 2nd in this new trilogy from Blumhouse, making it either Halloween II 4 or Halloween III 3 depending on how you count. It continues on from Halloween and Halloween (sorry if this is at all confusing, though I don’t think I should be the one apologising), taking its cues from Halloween II 1 by largely being set in a hospital and directly picking up where its predecessor left off.

Or at least it would if it didn’t start with a flashback to the original movie, a pointless preamble considering anyone who cares will have seen it. We then discover that Michael Myers (or does the title mean he is now called Halloween?) has survived the fire at the end of the previous instalment, presumably because he is wearing a boilersuit.

David Gordon Green’s drab sequel left me wondering whether “fan service” can really be called that when it is definitely not what the fans want to see. He brings back a bunch of minor characters from the original (including Tommy Doyle and Dr. Loomis’ assistant) and makes them say classic lines from the 1978 picture at random. Surely the point of resetting the canon was that it had gotten too convoluted, so it seems mad to then bring all those characters back in one go.

Fireman’s lift.

The film is so crowded that the main characters barely feature, such as the unfortunately named Karen (Judy Greer) and the unfortunately spelled Allyson (Andi Matichak). More importantly, did Green really think we were itching to see a grown-up version of the kid who in one scene bullied the boy who Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) was babysitting, over watching Laurie herself?

Apparently so, because Curtis spends the entire film in bed, literally unconscious for the first hour. When Laurie finally wakes up she sticks a morphine needle in her backside, which is as stupid as it sounds but at least looks like she might be about to get involved, only to be back in bed a couple of scenes later, where she remains for the rest of the movie. And who can blame her? Halloween Kills nothing but time and careers, treading water before what is laughably being called Halloween Ends.

In stark contrast to John Carpenter’s tight, relentless focus, Green clumsily cuts between the Strode family, a gay man who likes to dance around in a robe (you know how gay people are), and a lynch mob, who take until the very end of the movie to work out that Michael might return to his house. Where else would he go? The Build-A-Bear Workshop?

Supposedly this entry has the series’ highest body count, so why can I only remember a couple of the titular kills? All that springs to mind is putrid writing, dry performances and egregious editing, most notably in a monologue that begins and ends not just with the same line, but with the exact same shot of the same line. Halloween Kills is a rehash of a reboot of a remake of a remnant of a real film, which will only be a popular choice of Halloween costume for the people going as Karen.

This absolutely does not happen.
This absolutely does.

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