HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021) Reviews [41] and overview

 

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Halloween Kills is a 2021 released American slasher horror film directed by David Gordon Green from a screenplay co-written with Danny McBride and Scott Teems.

The film is a sequel to Green’s 2018’s Halloween and the twelfth entry in the Halloween franchise.

The movie stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle reprising their roles as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, with James Jude Courtney also portraying Myers.

It also stars Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Anthony Michael Hall, Dylan Arnold and Robert Longstreet, with Kyle Richards, Charles Cyphers and Nancy Stephens reprising their roles from the original film. The movie was produced by Jason Blum through his Blumhouse Productions banner, alongside Malek Akkad and Bill Block.

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Reviews:

“No doubt, it’s not up to slasher films to dissect the killer’s psychology but the ones who attempt to do it without holding off its resourcefully choreographed killings make the most thrilling watch. And here Green’s outdone himself: Michael’s nimble use of pipes, torches, lamps, and all other household items when stabbing or suffocating his victims elevates the horrific experience to an uncanny degree, almost as if people are being butchered by their own homes.” Awards Watch

” …brings no shortage of memorable moments of suspense and visceral carnage. As part of an overarching narrative, Halloween Kills makes for a sloppy and uneven entry without much to say. Even still, the cast fully commits to this lean, mean, and downright savage entry, carving up an effective and engaging old-school slasher.” Bloody Disgusting

“Green starts as he means to go on with the chaotic and over the top kills, following on from his previous film. More playful this time, similar to the Michael we saw in 1978, expect over the top and ridiculous moments that still maintain their gore and jumps throughout. Through these many kills (and there are a lot, Mr Myers is not playing around) we get a wide ensemble cast and some brilliant vignettes of the residents of Haddonfield.” CineChat

Collider’s Rafael Motamayor tweeted, “Halloween Kills is a darker, meaner, more disturbing entry in the franchise. The kills are absolutely brutal and shocking in the best way. It was great seeing old characters again, and there is a flashback that blew my mind.”

“This version has nothing to recommend it but plenty of nostalgia and violence (a high body count), as helmed by indie and mainstream filmmaker David Gordon Green[…] What’s missing are the real scares and any kind of mystique from the original.” Dennis Schwartz

“Loose bits of plot from Green’s 2018 film are strewn all around like fragments of shattered pumpkin, and there are more characters to follow than Haddonfield’s entire original population. But familiarity with the terrain helps us settle in quickly, and while the film doesn’t re-craft old-school slasher politics for contemporary sensibilities quite like 2019’s Black Christmas remake, the focus is still determinedly female.” The Guardian

Halloween Kills puts style first and substance second. David Gordon Green seems to be making a concerted effort to correct some of the earlier films’ thorny approaches to mental illness and diversity. Another, innocent mental hospital escapee is on the loose and falsely targeted. Haydon field looks very different to its 1978 self, with gay and interracial couples among the white heterosexuals who predominate.” HeyUGuys

The Hollywood Reporter: “amps up the violence and gore at the expense of actual scares or even a modicum of suspense […] This latest installment is like a latex ghoul mask so stretched and shapeless it no longer fits.”

” …you should be fine here, left only with a lingering feeling of dissatisfaction. There is enough here to entertain all who are interested in Laurie Strode and The Shape as well as fans and horror lovers, myself included. Halloween 2018 focused on the effect that trauma has on the victim. Halloween Kills unsuccessfully dives into the effect of trauma on a community.” Horror Buzz

Indiewire: ” …this bloody entr’acte, whose title addition works as both noun and verb, has little to offer but a jacked-up body count on a bed of fan service, it serves both with panache, charging forward as an almost elemental slasher outing unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality. To paraphrase Ian Holm in that other late ’70s touchstone that spawned an unkillable franchise, you do have to admire its purity.”

“Shot by returning DP Michael Simmonds and with some new tweaks to Carpenter’s classic score, it plays like the fright house pantomime of the name brand we’ve come to love. We’re granted a somewhat ambiguous explanation as to why Myers may retain his power, and there’s a lot of teasing with the removal of his mask, which seems to aggravate the eternal madman.” Ion Cinema

” …it just doesn’t work quite as well as his previous offering. The ridiculousness of some of the film’s deaths works against itself – yes, it adds a moment of levity to an otherwise brutal story, but it also knocks the wind out of its sails at the most inopportune moments. There are, however, some gleefully gory moments that will please die-hard fans.” Jumpcut Online

Halloween Kills lends itself to much discussion, moving the scene from Laurie’s home-trap to a hospital-trap, where an enraged crowd inevitably transforms from victim to executioner. Led by improbable leaders that incite it with clichés, Halloween Kills‘ “Crowd” is just as terrifying as Myers, because it is just as unmanageable and unstoppable as he is.” Loud and Clear

“Some kills are played for laughs while others are fashioned like they belong in a Michael Haneke movie, with the camera lingering on the aftermath of death for so long that it seems Green wants us to feel bad about considering this sort of thing entertainment. His 2018 Halloween made me believe Green doesn’t understand horror; with this one, it seems he doesn’t even like the genre.” The Movie Waffler

Halloween Kills is a chaotic mess of storytelling, despite trying to do something different to the typical slasher movie.” Movies Review 101

Halloween Kills is an exciting addition to the Halloween franchise as it begins to pave the way towards its own individual story. It has its flaws which mainly fall upon the acting and writing, but for the most part, this is a film that’s going to have people cheering, laughing, and gasping in fright.” Nightmarish Conjurings

“In an effort to remake and refresh the mythology of the franchise, the writers have strayed dangerously close to getting rid of it altogether, virtually destroying the one relationship of any substance at all, and the only one we really give a damn about: that semi-mystical, weirdly symbiotic link between Laurie Strode and her eternal faceless nemesis” The Playlist

“There’s some fairly ponderous speechifying about the nature of fear, and this metaphorical strand climaxes with a major setpiece motivated by a thoroughly implausible case of mistaken identity. And even as the movie makes a credible stab for a while at studying the impact of trauma and horror on individual and collective psyches, that would land stronger if the film itself wasn’t so bloodthirsty and sadistic.” Rue Morgue

“The filmmakers] depart a bit from the formula to exciting and energizing effect. It’s a worthy series entry that manages that tricky balance of providing enough of what long-time fans expect while also bringing a unique reflection and perspective to the well-known property.” Slash Film

Halloween Kills is no mere gore-fest — it’s about the generational trauma bestowed upon Haddonfield. The action sequences are more than just action sequences; in Green’s social allegory, they are a way for citizens to confront their trauma, their rage, their oppression, and to reclaim their power and agency through revenge. We see Haddonfield not just as a victim of a masked assailant, but also a victim of larger forces who will stop at nothing to dehumanize their community.” The Wrap

Halloween Kills currently holds a score of 39% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 144 critics’ reviews.

Background:

Before the release of the 2018 film, in June McBride stated that he and Green had originally intended to pitch two films that would be shot back-to-back to save on production costs, and then decided against it, waiting to see the reaction to the first film. Critical reaction was generally favourable but the box office takings cinched it: a whopping $255,485,178 worldwide.

By February 2019, Teems was hired to co-write the script. The film’s title was announced in July 2019, along with its sequel. Principal photography commenced in September 2019 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Halloween Kills was scheduled to be released in the United States on October 16, 2020, by Universal Pictures. However, the ongoing pandemic ensured that the release date was cancelled.

Release date:

Halloween Kills is released on October 15, 2021. A further sequel, Halloween Ends had scheduled to be released on that date but will now be released in October 2022.

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Cast and characters:

Jamie Lee Curtis … Laurie Strode
Judy Greer … Karen
Andi Matichak … Allyson
James Jude Courtney … The Shape
Nick Castle … The Shape
Airon Armstrong … The Shape (1978)
Will Patton … Officer Hawkins
Thomas Mann … Young Hawkins
Jim Cummings … Pete McCabe
Dylan Arnold … Cameron Elam
Robert Longstreet … Lonnie Elam
Anthony Michael Hall … Tommy Doyle
Charles Cyphers … Leigh Brackett
Scott MacArthur … Big John
Michael McDonald … Little John
Ross Bacon … Tivoli
Kyle Richards … Lindsey
Nancy Stephens … Marion
Diva Tyler … Sondra
Lenny Clarke … Phil
Brian Mays … Brian the Bartender (as Brian Mays Sr.)
Michael Smallwood … Marcus
Carmela McNeal … Vanessa
Omar J. Dorsey … Sheriff Barker (as Omar Dorsey)
Damien Lee … Concerned Brother
Salem Collins … Christy
Giselle Witt … Mindy
J. Gaven Wilde … Dennis
Tom Jones Jr. … Dr Samuel Loomis
Brian F. Durkin … Deputy Graham
Tristian Eggerling … Young Lonnie Elam
Drew Scheid … Oscar
Holli Saperstein … Oscar’s Mom
Jonathan Bruce … News Reporter
Mike Dupree … Ventriloquist
P.J. Soles … Lynda
Bob Odenkirk … Bob

Technical details:

106 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital | Dolby Atmos
Aspect ratio: 2.39: 1

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