Halloween Kills (David Gordon Green, 2021, USA/UK)

                David Gordon Green has had a very interesting career. Starting as an arthouse darling with films like George Washington and All the Real Girls, Green soon transitioned into comedy – collaborating with the Rogen/Franco crowd on several stoner comedies. The 2010s marked a strange period in the director’s career – some mainstream comedies, some returns to form like 2013’s Joe. Green seemed to hit his stride with 2018’s Halloween, a film which brought back Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the original composer (John Carpenter), and retconned almost the entire series up to that point. Halloween Kills marks the second entry into the rejuvenated franchise.

               What seems to be the case with every franchise revival is that the films start very serious, and then begin to become goofier with each entry. Halloween Kills is no exception. Green and co-writer Danny McBride (creator of Eastbound and Down) have a comedic sensibility and bring a lot of that to this film. There are many scenes in the film that are meant to elicit laughter. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, and sometimes this is preferable to horror films that take themselves too seriously.

               Where Halloween Kills tends to falter is in the writing. There is a subplot involving mob violence that feels overly preachy. Likewise, some of the dialogue is quite repetitive. How many times do we need to hear the story of Michael Myers repeated over and over? The body count and kills are quite high, and the film tends to go toward gore rather than tension. Overall this entry in the Halloween franchise is not among the worst, and not among the best. It is definitely on the B tier, and not as bad as many critics have claimed. We hope that Halloween Ends will bring back some of the magic captured in the fantastic 2018 reboot.


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