Halloween Kills

More Michael Myers chaos from David Gordon Green and Danny McBride, but their second sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 classic is an object lesson in the law of diminishing returns

Film Review by John Bleasdale | 06 Oct 2021
  • Halloween Kills
Film title: Halloween Kills
Director: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Anthony Michael Hall, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Thomas Mann
Release date: 15 Oct
Certificate: 18

Starting within seconds of the fiery denouement of David Gordon Green’s first Halloween sequel, Halloween Kills follows ever-stabby masked bogeyman Michael Myers on his rampage, occasionally flashing back to 1978 to remind us what a good horror movie once looked like.

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode spends much of the film holed up in a hospital bed, which increasingly looks like a savvy move as everyone else lumbers around spouting God-awful dialogue that attempts to make the film about something: the rise of populism, the nature of fear, or… whatever. Anthony Michael Hall leads a vigilante mob and Will Patton’s soulful sheriff recovers from having his throat slit in order to reminisce about not shooting Myers when he had the chance (accidentally shooting his partner to death instead – oops).

Halloween Kills is not funny enough to work as parody, yet not economic enough to work as chiller. Every cut is a jumpscare; every ‘character’ a kill waiting to happen; every kill an over-elaborate lesson in gooey anatomy. As is referenced in the film, the original 1978 massacre saw three people die. Here, eleven get offed in just one scene: an object lesson in diminishing returns. Proving Chris Rock isn’t the only comedian who should stay away from horror, Danny McBride is once more on writing duty along with Green and Scott Teems. That said though, I genuinely can’t wait for the final chapter – Halloween Ends – due next year, if only in the hope it lives up to the promise of the title.

Released 15 Oct by Universal; certificate 18