Review: ‘Halloween Kills’ is a horrible mess | Place
The poor of Haddonfield, Illinois are having the worst and longest Halloween ever. It seems one movie wasn’t enough to contain Michael Myers’ 40th birthday rampage.
“Halloween Kills” picks up as David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” 2018 ends. Deputy Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) is bleeding from a neck injury. Michael Myers burns in a basement and Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode rolls in the back of a van to the hospital, his guts literally spilling out alongside his daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and baby -daughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).
The big problem is that “Halloween Kills” is less of a sequel than a half-baked interlude before the finale. It’s a bloody, violent, chaotic and cynical mess and not even in a good or particularly frightening or insightful way. Poor Laurie Strode is deprived of all that is exciting to do and is instead confined to a hospital where she is recovering from having her organs replenished.
While it’s admirable of Green and his co-writers Danny McBride and Scott Teems to engage with the reality of Laurie’s injury and not have her conveniently, immediately, and miraculously recovered, it’s still a disappointment that Jamie Lee Curtis doesn’t have more to do, especially if this is his penultimate appearance in the role.
“Halloween Kills” attempts to tie the present back to the past, often reflecting on the events of 1978 (there’s probably a dangerous game to drink anytime someone says “40 years ago”). This is done through flashbacks to 1978, where a more fearful young Deputy Hawkins (Thomas Mann) misses a chance to kill Michael, and bringing back minor characters who escaped his knife the first time around.
So they have Kyle Richards, who has become the infamy of “Real Housewives,” back as Lindsey Wallace, and Nancy Stephens as Marion Chambers. Tommy Doyle, the little child Laurie babysat in 1978, has been recast again and this time is played by Anthony Michael Hall, who has a small support group with his surviving companions. They meet at a dive bar on Halloween to remember and pay homage to the victims, but soon their ritual is interrupted by last-minute news: he’s back and making his way through town. Tommy rallies a mob of vigilantes to make sure “evil dies tonight”.
The previous film was smart to dig deeper into the idea of generational trauma for characters like Laurie and her family. But this tranche botches its higher ambitions. As Michael accumulates a remarkable death toll, “Halloween Kills” tries to get us to consider whether (asterisk) WE ARE (asterisk) the real monsters.
All of this would theoretically be nice if we followed humans that we care about or who were at least fun to watch. These characters speak exclusively in ready-made jokes that sound like parody. Other than Laurie, the only people I wanted to know more about were the couple who live in Michael’s house and spend Halloween night watching John Cassavetes’ Love Streams, smoking marijuana and eating cold meats. . But like most of the people we meet in the movie, Big John (Scott MacArthur) and Little John (Michael McDonald) are not long for the world.
It’s hard to overstate how cluttered and ugly the movie is. How could it be from the man who made lyrical and poignant independent films like “George Washington” and “All the Real Girls”? But maybe the biggest sin is that it doesn’t look like a movie. “Halloween Kills” is a pit stop to clean the boards.
“Halloween Kills,” a Universal Pictures theatrical release and on Peacock Premium Friday, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for “language, ghoulish images, drug use, intense bloody violence”. Duration: 105 minutes. One and a half stars in four.
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