Script full of clichés, don’t scare you

  • Director: David Gordon Green
  • To throw: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Thomas Mann, Anthony Michael Hall, Dylan Arnold
  • Kind: Horror slasher
  • The language of the country: United States / English
  • Duration: 1h45
  • Release date: October 29, 2021
  • Evaluation: 18+

Every year around the end of October we see a great horror movie come out to capitalize on the spooky festival. This year it’s David Gordon Green’s ‘Halloween Kills’, the latest Hollywood slasher film that flies on the wings of its iconic predecessor, ‘Halloween’ (1978). The new movie is the twelfth film in the ‘Halloween’ franchise… That’s right, the twelfth.

Iconic villain, Michael Myers, returns for the umpteenth time to the sleepy town of Haddonfield to continue his killing spree. He wears his usual white mask during the murder, and we never have a clear view of his face. It’s a smart concept because the horror gets bigger than just a man or his face. Michael becomes something you can’t put your finger on, something indefinable and therefore more disturbing. And that’s easily the best thing about this movie. However, aside from exploring this intangible concept of “evil,” everything else about this horror film attempt fails.

Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween Kills (2021)

The extremely bloody film lacks some truly scary moments, and pretty much all of the death scenes are carbon copies of each other, but with slight variations. The scene usually has a group of townspeople gathered to catch Michael Myers. Then a person, usually a man, hears something and walks away from the others. They go up a dark staircase or inside a dark room despite the red flags screaming at them not to go any further. And yet, they stroll forward to inspect. And be terrified when the masked man ambushes them with a sharp object.

It’s a formula that’s performed so many times in almost every horror movie. She’s the mother of all horror tropes: the surprisingly silly character walks alone to an open door, baseball bat in hand, knowing that a serial killer is on the loose, and thinks he’s going. find and beat the intruder, only for the dreaded serial killer to appear from behind them. It’s a trope seen over and over in the movies. You would think that by now these characters would learn not to be the curious cat that ends up dying. And yet… they never learn. Maybe in the ‘Halloween’ cinema this trope doesn’t exist in the movies, so these characters have never seen something like it on a screen. So they think it’s a good idea to go up a dark staircase in an abandoned haunted house, while ominous music is playing, and think they’ll come out of it in one song.

Not only is there a lack of clever characters and truly creepy scenes, but the director resorts to explicit gore and violence for the shock factor. Unhappy characters go alone to a park or dark room, then get impaled with a knife or multiple knives, or ask Michael Myers to push their eyes.

Legendary serial killer Michael Myers

These uncomfortable scenes are annoyingly prolonged and the sound effects are crisp and clear so we can’t escape these traumatic moments. It’s almost like Gordon Green is saying, “Look! The eyeballs are torn off. It’s such a violent way of dying! Or “Whoah, watch this old lady get stabbed in the neck and slowly choke to death.” How very disturbing! The only viewers who will appreciate this are those who enjoy slasher movies (movies relying on extreme violence and body horror such as the ‘Saw’, ‘Hostel’ and ‘Final Destination’ movies).

One of the most engaging scenes in “Halloween Kills” takes place in the hospital when all the townspeople come together to bring down Myers. They even got themselves a slogan: Evil Dies Tonight. However, just as they organize themselves quickly, they quickly disperse when a rumor spreads throughout the hospital that Michael Myers is among the crowd. This sequence captures well the phenomenon of group panic and the tendency for false rumors to spread like wildfire. This streak also involves a mentally ill patient in the hospital whose situation is truly heartbreaking until the character becomes used almost as a punchline for more shock value. He has no history and what happens to him seems so callous as he is sidelined for a more traditional story of wicked butchers-plus-people.

‘Halloween Kills’ is a truly underwhelming, slightly scary movie that pulls one cheap trick after another before giving us an anti-climate ending. This is especially true since its sequel, ‘Halloween Returns’ which came out in 2018, was quite good and rekindled the love for this franchise. Who knows how the sequel ‘Halloween Ends’, which will be released next year, will play out. However, this author personally believes that this franchise is well past its expiration date and needs to rest like Michael Myers… in a coffin filled with cement, buried sixty feet underground.

‘Halloween Kills’ is currently playing in theaters.

Read also | Review of “Dune”: a rare epic that succeeds almost everything

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