Halloween Kills (2021)

As hollow as the jack-o-lanterns its VFX/marketing team sets on fire, HK does the ~same to franchise; brazen, IQ-deprived, plot-armored, legacy-wasting, tastelessly gruesome paradox of a movie: nostalgia-banking even while destabilizing & cannibalizing original canon. 3/10.

Plot Synopsis: The nightmare isn’t over as unstoppable killer Michael Myers escapes from Laurie Strode’s trap to continue his ritual bloodbath. Injured and taken to the hospital, Laurie fights through the pain as she inspires residents of Haddonfield, Ill., to rise up against Myers. Taking matters into their own hands, the Strode women and other survivors form a vigilante mob to hunt down Michael and end his reign of terror once and for all.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead; If So, Will Be Marked*

Official CLC Review

A 40+ Year Purgatory & Myers Renaissance

Like Rain From Heaven, 2018’s Halloween Fixed One Of The Worst Franchises Ever – Retconning H2-0 & Properly Sequeling The Classic That Gave New Meaning To 10/31

Photograph Courtesy Of: Miramax, Blumhouse, & Universal Pictures

October 31, 2018. The date will forever be remembered/celebrated here at CLC: the day we got a proper sequel to one of the greatest horror and slasher films of all-time after 40+ years and 9 projects of infamously-awful follow-up failures. A brutal, deliciously-wicked homage to Carpenter’s 1978 classic, 2018’s Halloween was old-school, original-authentic macabre and slasherisms – stylishly-modernized with psychoanalytical depth, technological evolution, and clever new arc-directions for legacy characters, bringing back the queen of scream queens prodigiously. The cliffhanger and zoom-out pan in the truck-bed alone left huge implications and ramifications for the long-awaited 2021 follow-up, and, as the spooky-season approached, we could not have been more excited to see Myers back on the big screen. How could a team sculpting a project as revolutionary and reverential as its predecessor – after three entire years of pandemic-catalyzed free-time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s – deliver anything less than a masterpiece? They’ve, somehow, found a way. As hollow as the jack-o-lanterns its VFX/marketing team sets on fire, Kills does the same to the Halloween franchise – brazen, IQ-deprived, plot-armored, cringeworthily-written, pointlessly-subversive, tastelessly gruesome nostalgia-banking that somehow manages to even destabilize/cannibalize original canon: easy, meaningless box-office wasting a legacy cast, 2020’s technology, predecessor-opportunities, and potential-rife vigilantism concept-pitch devictimizing Haddonfield, IL.

A Film Doomed From The Beginning

The Entire Premise Of HK Makes No Sense; If Laurie Had ~50 Years To Prepare, How Could Michael Survive & Escape So Easily? Also, Cringeworthy Dialogue By IHOP & Walmart-Level Writers: ‘Evil Dies Tonight!’

Photograph Courtesy Of: Miramax, Blumhouse, & Universal Pictures

We hate Halloween Kills with a passion – and it somehow manages to be the one of the worst movies in a franchise with a long, mythical history of bad movies ~comprehensively baring the designation with the exception of Carpenter’s ’78 original.. and 2018’s new-sequel this directly-follows. The only positives in HK are the technological prowess bestowed by 21st century filmmaking (of which it deserves no credit and every modern film possesses) and the return of legacy characters like Barker and Tommy Doyle in a potentially-intriguing concept-pitch of the town turning against Michael to hunt him down: flipping predator-prey dynamics. They can’t even do that right – the seconds of grace it displays in the doppelgänger suicide-arc elucidating how the cult/mob mentality of vigilantism and chaos turns them into monsters just as guilty as Michael is (The Batman Paradox: if Batman kills Joker, he saves lives.. but at the cost of his own innocence and heroicism – turning him into a killer just like the one that killed his parents to negate his entire raison d’être) is undone completely seconds later. The film seems to entirely forget its own events 2-3 scenes after they happen; KAREN is the one leading the charge to drive the knife in Michael herself after hypocritically peaching it’s ‘wrong’ to be going after him in the hospital and negating the entire power of the character-moment/growth from witnessing the tragic fate befalling the doppelgänger.

The Prey Become Predators

The Concept-Pitch Of Devictimizing Haddonfield, IL To Hunt Michael Down Is Exciting & Potential-Rife On Paper; A Philosophocal & Morality/Ethics Wax

Photograph Courtesy Of: Miramax, Blumhouse, & Universal Pictures

The entire premise of Halloween Kills makes absolutely no sense. Laurie had 40+ years – a lifetime – to prepare for Michael’s return to finish the job if he ever got out of prison; the fact that he escapes through a [conveniently-placed] metal bunker in a basement-room that would’ve been 100x double-checked to make sure there was no escape if Strode successfully lured the object of her trauma-fueled psychotic obsessions down there (like they did as part of why 2018’s Halloween was so feministly-powerful and closure-gratifying) makes her seem like a complete imbecile of hopeless futility/incompetence. Worse: the scripting even allows her to think she’s somehow responsible for Michael’s actions; victim-blaming at its finest and a complete, sacrilegious ruination of the character 50%+ attributable to the success of the decades-long franchise. Michael’s survival of the house on fire (not to mention: how he [somehow] ascends from a basement closed off by the staircase with bars on its only entrance) is plot-armor of insulting proportions – only to be outdone by the ludicrous nonsensicality of him surviving crowds of like 10-20+ people himself.. MULTIPLE TIMES. Have these people not just heard of a machine-gun to blast him 7,500 times at point-blank range? Or chop his limbs off entirely to end it once and for all? If he truly “can’t be killed”, what the hell is the point of continuing watching this franchise at all – or being a resident of Haddonfield, IL? Just move to Tahiti then, because there’s nothing that can kill this guy.

The Worst Plot-Armor Of All-Time

Not Once, But TWICE Does MM Kill Entire Crowds Of 10-20+ w/o IQ To Bring Machine Guns To A Knife Fight – If Myers Can’t Even Be Killed [& Kills In Tastelessly-Gruesome Ways], What Is The Point Of The Franchise?

Photograph Courtesy Of: Miramax, Blumhouse, & Universal Pictures

Karen and Laurie aren’t the only legacy characters and original canon Kills 100% banks-on but somehow fails: the film completely runs in circles with directionless idiocy (resorting to entire scenes simply recapping the events of 1978’s original, as if this film would even be possible to watch without having seen the original for context) and [Last Jedi-evocative] pointless subversion spitting in the face of the franchise’s very foundations for reductionist shock-value. If Michael has absolutely no correlation to Laurie besides her being some rando-girl he encountered one day and couldn’t care less about.. then what was the entire point of the past 11 movies? Removing Laurie’s importance from Michael is like a new Batman film saying Gotham’s Knight doesn’t matter to the Joker: inexorable sacrilege and the ‘everybody disliked that’ meme-incarnate. The retcon f****** sucks and is pure hogwash: since when did mindless kills have a conscience and become introspective buddhist enlightenment-searching? If Michael “just wants to go back home”, why does he kill his sister inside of it in the first place? Why does 95%+ of the entire franchise take place outside the Myers residence?!?! If anything, Michael wants to get away from his house – contradicting, destabilizing, and cannibilizing original canon for no reason: including exact lines from 2018’s predecessor like Laurie’s ‘I’ve waited for him, and he’s waited for me’, ~ruining the greatest final girl of all-time and scream queen by removing her entirely from the IP.

F-Grade Characterization

The One Semblance Of Grace & Humanity On The Horrors Of Fear & Anarchy Through Doppelgänger’s Suicide Is Forgotten Seconds Later… Karen Even Leading The Charge

Photograph Courtesy Of: Miramax, Blumhouse, & Universal Pictures

Speaking of dialogue: the kind here is incomprehensibly-cringeworthy – lines reeking of being written by Walmart-dayshifters or IHOP-waiters like ‘Big John vs. Little John’, ‘Lonnie Lonnie’, ‘look him in the eye and say night night’, 10x mentioning ‘The Boogeyman’ (worst part of the original movies), and the laughably-moronic crowd rallying-cry of ‘EVIL DIES TONIGHT!’ The kills are also masochistically savage and overly-gruesome. We’ve probably seen 500+ horror movies in our lifetime and are all-for brutal kills, but HK’s are so morose and twisted, they’re actually psychopathic to transcend horror as a genre of enjoyable entertainment into wondering who on Earth could watch Myers stab a dead corpse like 70x in the kitchen even after it’s already dead or slowly-slice open inch-by-inch a fellow human being’s esophagus and derive pleasure from the sight. This tastelessness even soaks its way outside of the kills: best-exemplified by the prank the kids play on the gay couple, swallowing a razor-blade in trick-or-treater candy and playing dead as kids in need of emergency medical services.. just to steal $6 worth of Rite-Aid Skittles & Reese’s Cups before laughing at the remote-morality of the concerned gay-couple adults (who, for some reason, themselves are the ones who get killed instead). WTF.

The Last Jedi All Over Again

HK Does Nothing To Progress IP-Narrative, Except A Rewrite Of Pointless Subversion & Nonsense Destabilizing Entire Canon: If Michael Just ‘Wants To Go Home’, Why Does He Kill & 95%+ Of Events *Outside* Home?

Photograph Courtesy Of: Miramax, Blumhouse, & Universal Pictures

The film is exemplary of larger-problems in modern blockbuster moviemaking: 1. nostalgia-banking over originality, 2. pointless and contemptuous lore-subversions masquerading as ‘progression’ when they’re really glorified sh*tposts, & 3. the shareholder-driven refusal to go out on a high note or not beat a dead horse. Halloween Kills only further exemplifies the brilliance of reboots like Rob Zombie’s Halloween I/II and Man Of Steel – even withstanding flaws, at least they truly brought something completely new, fresh, and original to the table as the best reboots do, instead of just banking/pandering on nostalgia a monkey could do in films that will never be able to pass the originals they copy anyways. No Time To Die and 2018’s Halloween fall into the examples of great modern-sequels – setting blueprints on how to modernize and follow the originals with just enough subtly-hinted references to nostalgize original canon, without ever outright becoming slaves to it and still actually moving the story and mythology forwards. HK was given multiple opportunities to do this from 2018’s ending: Allyson holding the knife in a way evocative of Zombie’s genius H-II cliffhanger of Laurie becoming the next Myers [in one scene: everything HK should’ve been and isn’t] or Halloween V’s Jaimie plot-twist finale, and somehow explores none of them to make the most cookie-cutter, circle tail-chasing, pointless sequel in years.

A Paradox Of A Film

A Film That Nostalgia-Banks Without Even Respect For The Film It References, HK Is Hollow As The Jack-o-Lanterns It Sets On Fire & Kills Nothing But Its Own Franchise And Every Oz Of 2018 Promise/Potential

Photograph Courtesy Of: Miramax, Blumhouse, & Universal Pictures

How dare sequel films like Halloween Kills pretentiously disrespect the original canon that paved their way. There’s a reason these franchises have even gotten to the point of these 7-10+ filmography numbers from humble beginnings: the original being good and public-endearing enough to create a cult of lifelong fans. Films like The Last Jedi and Halloween Kills’ division/fracturing of the fanbase by questioning the parents that gave birth to them is not good filmmaking – the ciné equivalent of sh*tposting and saying something shocking loudly in hopes people [and a few inevitably will; how do you think people like Skip Bayless have careers – solely building them off controversial opinions and shock-value like hating LeBron James] thinking you’re saying something important or good. Sequels are far-and-wide bad enough as it is, and for the laziness to result in films 12+ years later having the gall and balls to try to correct or malign is the worst filmmaking idea imaginable. Finally, we’re exhausted of the avaricious savagery on display by studios lately. We get it: studios are out to make a profit. The past few years, however, it feels worse than it ever did before – more big-name pre/sequels and less original, small-budget original indies than in any time in cinematic history: exemplified most by sloppy-seconds sequels like this with nothing better to do or ways to push this lite story after 40+ years but implosion back onto itself like a dying star.

Batman Without A Joker

The Michael Rewrite Is Also Sacrilegious; Laurie Now Reduced To A Glorified Cameo Of No Importance To Myers Or Story; The Last 40+ Years Of This Franchise, Killed

Photograph Courtesy Of: Miramax, Blumhouse, & Universal Pictures

Why are dougle-digit filmographies never enough? Why do studios care nothing about filmmaking beyond the box-office receipts anymore – just calling it a retirement with your already 5+ vacation homesand going out on a high-point like 2018’s Halloween, retconning and circumventing the all-time bad sequels to give a perfect curtain-call exit? Why can we not just divert that time, work, and resources into another project or new franchise that could very well be the next Myers waiting to come out and play? Sigh. All this Halloween was able to do was [Kill] our interest in the franchise going forward: one of our favorite lifelong horror & slasher IP’s of all-time. As hollow as the jack-o-lanterns its VFX/marketing team sets on fire, Kills does the same to the Halloween franchise – brazen, IQ-deprived, plot-armored, cringeworthily-written, pointlessly-subversive, tastelessly gruesome nostalgia-banking that somehow manages to even destabilize/cannibalize original canon – easy, meaningless box-office wasting a legacy cast, 2020’s technology, predecessor-opportunities, and potential-rife vigilantism concept-pitch devictimizing Haddonfield, IL.

Official CLC Score: 3/10