There are few tricks, no treats in ‘Halloween Kills’

Rick's Reviews

(KGET) — It’s understandable that after what seems like one thousand sequels, reboots and relaunches in the “Halloween” franchise that there wouldn’t be any original ideas left. To be fair, the last good ideas were used up in the original 1978 film.

That doesn’t forgive David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Scott Teems – writers of “Halloween Kills” – an excuse for passing off what is shorter than a fortune cookie message as a full movie script. The entire story is Michael Myers kills stupid people who chase him.

The trio has taken the pathetic horror film trope of having the victims of the killer hopelessly running away until they can be slaughtered and turned it into everyone running toward the killer until they can be slaughtered. They were going to get killed anyway but the stupidity level of this movie will make your head hurt.

“Halloween Kills” picks up moments after babysitter-turned-vigilant Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) have “killed” Myers in the 2018 film “Halloween.” They have left him caged in Laurie’s basement that has been set on fire.

Of course Myers doesn’t die and sets off on a killing spree where the deaths range from grossly bloody to super silly. No one should ever have to die by having a car door hit the gun they are firing and accidentally shooting themselves.

The fact there is no plot leaves plenty of time for Myers to chop his way through town. And, there is never a shortage of victims because no one is smart enough to think if legions of people have failed to kill Myers, they probably have as much chance of ending his life as the film does of winning an Oscar as Best Picture.

Director David Gordon Green – who directed the previous and next offering in the franchise as well – fails to understand what made the original “Halloween” so terrifying. It wasn’t the brutal murders but all of the scenes between the killings. That film thrived on tension and exploited it to create scares.

Green’s idea of a tension-filled moment is having Myers pop up behind people. That gimmick has been used so often, it’s now predictable the exact moment when Myers will show his masked face.

The director’s lack of effort pops up constantly. There’s a scene where Myers is chasing what would be his latest victim through the woods. She is running like an Olympic sprinter while Myers has the same stilted walk as C-3PO. And yet, he stays right behind her.

There’s really no need to talk about the absurdity of Myers actually knocking on the door of a home before entering to kill everyone. Maybe in the next film they will have Myers send a warning text.

Such idiotic elements could be the combination of Green as the director/writer and comedian Danny McBride as one of the other writers. Green has films like “Pineapple Express” and “An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn” on his resume. The pair could have wanted to create moments in “Halloween Kills” that border on comical just because of their backgrounds. Most likely, it was just bad writing.

Give Curtis credit for trying to make up for the lack of tension and original scares. She comes across like the veteran statesman of the horror film genre as she pontificates about how Myers is more monster than man.

It’s nice she gets to say a few more lines than “We got him” and “We killed Michael” but anyone who has seen the other offerings in this franchise know her rant about him being a monster is redundant. No speech was necessary but the writers needed to create more than pages that said “Insert: Michael Myers kills someone” to earn their paycheck.

The main chant in “Halloween Kills” is “evil dies tonight.” You can hazard your own guess as to whether or not that happens. It is safe to say that creativity, originality and ingenuity die a horrible death at the hands of uninspired writers, an uncaring director and a franchise that went stale decades ago.

“Halloween Kills” is in theaters and available through the streaming service Peacock.

Movie review

Halloween Kills

1/2 star

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Will Patton, Anthony Michael Hall, Thomas Mann, Andi Matichak

Director: David Gordon Green

Rated: R for graphic violence, language, drug use

Running time: 105 minutes.

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