The original Halloween will always remain a classic to coveted fans but I got a bit of a soft spot for Halloween (2018). While far from the best in the series, it’s dedication to sticking with worked in the original rather than relying on the increasingly hokey mythology the other sequels went for is one I can appreciate.
So WHAT THE BLOODY HELL went wrong with Halloween Kills then?
Performances wise, Jamie Lee Curtis is still the GOAT, showcasing tremendous range with multiple emotional bait-and-switches designed to see her softer side while Judy Greer and Andi Matichak continue to impress with the roles switching around.
We have tightly shot sequences with poised cinematography and choreography, stellar lighting, it doesn’t do completely away with its threads of social commentary, pipping in a lot about the dangers of mob mentality and the consequences that follow while offering an insight transition from Laurie’s trauma to the trauma of everyone else in town and just like before, David Gordon Green proves from a directorial standpoint that he has strong control over the VISUAL narrative at play; said visuals honing in only a fragment of the ominous claustrophobia and atmosphere Halloween normally encompasses.
As far as living up to its title, it does pack gruesomely brutal kills and assassinations and even a little mythos building but while it finds new ways to tie back to the original film, the process it goes about doing it feels…..vapid and cynical. In fact, that’s how everything about this sequel feels.
Structure feels less confident in its abilities to deliver a singular coherent escalating plot, confiding most of it’s time towards callbacks and nostalgia bait that get redundant and copious REAL QUICK, editing comes off a little sloppy and the production design is more awkwardly staged because of it, dialogue is both irritating and uninspired (it feels like anybody could’ve written this), Michael’s entire mystique feels heavily depleted as his lack of personality begins to grind my gears, the roles the characters have to play are some of the dumbest fucks I’ve had to watch since Chaos Walking and as unintentionally hilarious some scenes can be, the chaotic shift in tone is bloody jarring and effectively curtails the pacing and any forward momentum.
However, pacing isn’t as big of an issue as the lack of story: it doesn’t move the plot along; it’s essentially a series of slayings punctuated by a series of flashbacks, and worst of all, Laurie doesn’t really get anything to do. I’m all for letting the next generation get a chance to shine but (it bares repeating) NOTHING really HAPPENS here. I appreciate the increase in the gore and kills, but when that comes at the sacrifice of atmosphere and building great tension, especially with the original being famous for that, there’s no longer a scary movie left by the end of the film.
Amidst a red cold river of ideas and a mixtape of nostalgia stripped of its cassette’s aesthetic, this supposed middle piece to this ‘true’ trilogy feels like filler before the big payoff. If you’re making a series that’s supposed to gradually build up to one crescendo where everything pays off, every entry has to count for something. If Michael going on a rampage is all you want, then you’ll be satisfied enough but like I’ve said in previous reviews, I’m a lore before gore kind of guy and this was one of the more stupid sequels I think me and Mom have had to sit through.