Monday, May 20, 2024

Movie Review: ‘Halloween Kills’ is a series high for the iconic horror franchise.

Director: David Gordon Green
Screenwriter: Scott Teems, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak

Synopsis: The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series.

We all have a film franchise that we love, some that when talking about them we get nothing but butterflies and we talk a thousand miles an hour. When you’re a horror fan you especially have to be on your A-game because fans know the series better than the creative teams behind it. For many, including myself, that franchise is Halloween

As a fan, when the announcement of 2018’s film happened I was ecstatic. It had been a long time since Michael had graced our screens and I was pumped, only to be absolutely devastated at the outcome. This great battle of all battles was truly underwhelming, and yes, a part of it was the promotion behind the film. So even as a major fan of the series, I didn’t like the 2018 film, and really wasn’t all that pumped for Halloween Kills, that was until I was. In February of 2020 my sources were able to not only get me a copy of the shooting script for the film but I was able to see the film and was I SOLD, and then Covid hit. 

Knowing what was ahead with over a year-long delay, I was extremely satisfied with Halloween Kills, a vast improvement over the first one, not only in the mythos and story of Michael Myers, but an overall improvement on the type of response that happens from a traumatic event. This film beautifully blends both the 1978 and 2018 films into a horror wet dream that never lifts its foot off the neck of the viewer. An enticing next chapter into a 43 year-long franchise that easily could have been stale by now. The film is able to pick up where the last one left off while also giving us answers from the original in the on screen telling of flashbacks that are truly impressive. I also really want to tip my hat to the writers and director of this film because they were able to close some pretty big plot holes that were opened in the 2018’s version. As an official “Halloween 3” for the series, it’s literally defying the idea that the third movie always sucks. In fact, I rate it higher than part 2 and part 1. This has easily become my personal favorite in the series. Between balancing a storyline that works for the series in a present day setting, to the absolute brutality of the kills that lets the title of the film live up to its name, Halloween Kills becomes a thrill ride that you wanna keep riding again and again. 

As usual, the score work from John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies is an absolute delight that continues to impress as the movie chugs along, and never sounds stale. The score itself actually feels like its own character to the point that when nothing is playing, you actually miss it, like an old friend. 

When it comes to the performances, there’s definitely some good, some bad, and some ugly- Starting with Jamie Lee Curtis, this is the best work she has done since True Lies. Period. This is Oscar-worthy work from Jamie Lee that fully deserves the support from not only the fans, but the Academy. What she’s able to pull off in her section of the movie brings the character of Laurie Strode to new depths that haven’t been there since Laurie, 1978. A Supporting Actress nomination should happen and not only would it be welcomed by many in the community but it would be the icing on the cake for the role that made her. Make no mistake though, this is Judy Greer’s film. When it comes to the three Strode women, she’s able to work with what’s here but unfortunately, she’s massively underwritten. Andi Matichak is much lot better here than she was in 2018, and that’s because we’re able to appreciate her more, as her character is written well. Kyle Richards returning as Lindsay Wallace is a treat that many thought would be a trick. She is delightful as Lindsay and I,  for one, would welcome Richards back in a heartbeat. Diva Taylor as Sondra is absolutely magnificent and terrifying in her role that she’s reprising from the 2018 film, as is Carmela McNeal as Vanessa who also comes back from a blink and miss it cameo in 2018. 

The weaker aspects of the film come from the performances of Charles Cyphers, Nancy Stephens, and Anthony Michael Hall; and that’s mainly because of weak writing. Neither Cyphers nor Stephens are needed for the story and Halls delivers dialogue oddly. It isn’t a bad performance, but he does not seem to fit with the other actors, likely because of their shared history in the franchise. Even though they may not be needed for the story, having them there is an absolute blast and still, I’m here for it. 

In the end, this is a perfect middle piece of this trilogy that is made for the fans and it delivered in not only a near perfect Halloween film, but makes this fan excited for Halloween Ends, and from there, wherever Malek Akkad allows the stories to go. GO see this movie on a big screen, grab a bucket of popcorn, and enjoy the hell out of this fun ride!

Grade: A-


Joey Gentile
Joey Gentile
Stand-Up Comic, Writer, International Sex Symbol, Indie Spirit Award Voter, Future EGOT Winner, EgoManic, First Born Prodigal Disappointment- these are the many ways that I've been described by myself and others. I like Halloween, a good debate, and a man to have steady adult sleepovers with. I dislike summer, the heat, the sun, and children. Glenn Close is my mortal enemy and if I ever wind up missing check her house first.... I am also creator and co-host of Academy Queens, an Oscars themed podcast with my partner Brandon Stanwyck, an LGBT look into the Oscars per decade per category. We are one of iTunes' featured "Best Film History" podcast and we run a super sweet twitter account @academy_queens

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