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"HALLOWEEN KILLS"
(2021) (Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer) (R)


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QUICK TAKE:
Horror: Enraged residents of a small town band together to hunt down and try to kill a seemingly immortal, masked killer.
PLOT:

Believing they've killed masked serial killer Michael Myers once and for all, Laurie Strode (JAMIE LEE CURTIS), her daughter, Karen (JUDY GREER), and Laurie's granddaughter, Allyson (ANDI MATICHAK), are headed to the hospital to tend to Laurie's wounds, which is also where Officer Hawkins (WILL PATTON) -- who had a run-in decades ago with the killer -- is headed after being attacked by someone else.

Little do they know that Michael managed to survive Laurie's fiery trap and is once again going on a killing spree. Learning of that, Tommy Doyle (ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL) -- who Laurie saved from the killer as a boy decades ago while babysitting -- decides that evil must die this Halloween night. Accordingly, he puts together a mob of vigilantes including Lonnie Elam (ROBERT LONGSTREET), who likewise had a run-in with Michael back when he was a kid, and that man's young adult son, Cameron (DYLAN ARNOLD), who's dating Allyson.

As Laurie recovers in the hospital from her wounds, the vigilante mob grows and sets out to find and kill Michael, all while he continues with his killing spree.

OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10

I'll readily admit that boogeyman/slasher films are my least favorite entries in the horror movie genre. Sure, occasionally someone will do something interesting with one of them -- such as the original "Nightmare on Elm Street" and its clever twist on why potential victims do dumb things (they were asleep in that particular scenario) -- but for the most part, they usually aren't scary and instead rely on gruesome kills to "entertain" viewers.

That said, I did find the original "Halloween" somewhat frightening, although I was fourteen at the time and had yet to experience real horror films that get under your skin and burrow into your psyche to the point that you get goosebumps just thinking about them.

I didn't feel the same way about the ten sequels that inevitably followed, including the most recent of the bunch named after the original offering and that once again featured Jamie Lee Curtis reprising the role (for the fourth time) that made her famous.

She's back again in the sequel to that 2018 offering that picks up where that one left off. Believing to have killed her long-time nemesis, Michael Myers, in her elaborate death trap of a house with the aid of her daughter (Judy Greer) and granddaughter (Andi Matichak), Laurie Strode is now off to the emergency room to tend to her severe wounds. Also there is Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) who similarly sustained some serious injuries the last time around (albeit at the hands of a psychiatrist) who's pleased to hear that MM was successfully terminated.

And everyone then lived happily ever after. If only. Yes, the masked killer not only manages to survive the fiery inferno set for him, but then begins killing again, this time starting with a bunch of firefighters there to put out the blaze. With more bodies piling up, a small band of former childhood and now middle-aged survivors of the past mayhem -- including Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) and Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet) -- decide to form a vigilante mob that will hunt down the killer and ensure that "Evil dies tonight!"

And that's about all writer/director David Gordon Green and co-writers Danny McBride and Scott Teems give us in terms of plot, beyond some occasional, heavy-handed bits and on-the-nose dialogue about how fear turns scared people into monsters. The rest is just the killer doing his thing, helped in part by the line of victims doing their thing, i.e., incredibly dumb behavior that proves Darwin was right.

If you're into slasher films featuring gruesome kills and people - a.k.a. the next victims -- behaving in idiotic ways, you might find a few such moments to your liking. But if you're into scary films, well, this one's nothing but a trick as there are no such treats. In the end, all "Halloween Kills" does is set up the next sequel, which is about the only scary thing about it. The film rates as a 3 out of 10.




Reviewed October 15, 2021 / Posted October 15, 2021


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