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Cake's Scary Takes on Halloween Kills (2021), (SPOILER Movie Review)

Caila went to Meremac-STL for journalism and has been writing for most of her life.

The Night He Came Home Again...

The theatrical and promotional release poster for Halloween Kills 2021.

The theatrical and promotional release poster for Halloween Kills 2021.

Halloween

I am a pretty big Halloween fan! The holiday and the movie franchise, I mean. They both call for a few laughs, candy, tricks and "Everybody's entitled to one good scare", right? Michael Myers has been a staple in the slasher genre since 1978 when he was just hitting the big screen. His conception set off an entire genre into theaters, inspired an entire generation of movie goers and film makers as he cut his way into our hearts as the silent but deadly killer in a white William Shatner mask! Michael has had an illustrious killing career over all his years. Many reboots and sequels have tainted this franchise just as others have beforehand like Freddy and Jason who came after him.

The original Halloween was a solid idea from the start even with the different timelines and different versions of the Final Girl, Laurie Strode, in the movies. However, the latest reboot of the franchise retcons majority of the movies and only focuses on the very first film. The second film from 2018, also entitled Halloween, fixed a few issues that plagued the movie over the years and took away a very intriguing part of Michael's story: that Laurie is his sister and that he's after her for some reason. How do you change that and make it work though? Let's find out...

Death has Come to Haddonfield

Michael exiting Laurie's death trap house.

Michael exiting Laurie's death trap house.

Flashbacks to '78

The beginning of this middle child of a film, takes place in 1978 on Halloween night after the original movie ends. It shows us how Michael was captured that night and sent to the asylum for 40 years because it was never explained in the new reboot from 2018. Michael gets caught leaving the house after causing an officer's death before he goes, upping his kill count from back then. However, I found something 4 minutes into the movie that I hoped they weren't trying to push very much; the supernatural stuff. Even though I thought they were reaching for that, I do like the addition to Michael's backstory and his kills that they give here. It's not too much to ruin the character but it's enough to give him more. Michael is inhumane. It is said that he only stared out his sister's bedroom window all his life before he snapped. That is insanity, but really cool to add!

There are some really great shots and interesting directional style in the beginning of the movie, especially with Michael's kills and his establishing shots. They make him look badass behind that blank, pale mask. The 1978 scene was PERFECTLY shot! It had a nice grainy, pale look to it, there was a blue hue in the coloration, the costumes were great and even Michael's mask was a really good replica of the original mask. After the '78 flashbacks and really cool shots used from the second movie (which was retconned but made sense why they used the footage from that film), we jump back into the movie's present day. It is still Halloween night and Michael is still trapped in the fire at Laurie's house. This is where we start to see even more that this will not be an average Joe Michael Myers movie.

The Town Takes a Stand!

The townspeople, scared.

The townspeople, scared.

Local Legends

Michael, as we saw in the trailer, kills an entire fire department team and makes his way out of the house and off Laurie's land. This scene was BRUTAL but so good! Michael has never looked this good before in any of the movies and he's never looked this strong before. He is now basically a hometown celebrity because everyone in town knows the story of how he killed those people back in the 70's, as we come to see at a bar where the entire town is conveniently, and with some of the main characters from the '78 movie, all sitting and having a drink. Tommy Doyle, who Laurie babysat that night, along with everyone else learns from the news that Michael Myers and another inmate had escaped from the bus crash. Tommy helps rile the town up and forms an angry mob when someone mistakenly (for WHATEVER reason on Earth) thought they saw Michael Myers in their car at the bar.

Even when I watched this movie for the first time, I couldn't help but think, why is Tommy the leader of this angry mob?! He literally never came into contact with Michael in '78, he only saw him creeping a few times and then he ran to go get help for Laurie. He was never in any immediate danger, so what qualifications does he even have to lead anything? I can see where the trauma from that night is deep rooted, but he talks like he's supposed to be the Laurie of this situation though. The kills from this point forward get even more gory or funnier. The movie itself, isn't as intentionally funny as the last, but it definitely got laughs out of me though. I do think that the angry mob idea (inspired by Halloween 4, I'm sure) was a cool concept for this movie. This town is tired of Michael, and they don't want to live in fear of someone terrorizing their small town anymore. This is reasonable. Making the townspeople itself a character in this movie was cool but it could've been executed better.

Michael Audrey Myers

Michael Myers

Michael Myers

Angry Mob

The mob is now on a wild goose chase for the man they THINK is Michael and they chase him into the hospital that Laurie, her daughter, and her granddaughter are all at. The man they're chasing ends up committing suicide from the pressure the town is putting on him and they find out that it wasn't Michael the entire time at all. This was stupid to me because this portion of the movie did take up a load of runtime for it to have nothing come of it. The theme that they were going for about false information leading to anger and outrage is powerful (reference our pandemic and that toilet paper incident) (I'm looking at you, America), but they did it in such a time consuming and unnecessarily stupid manner that I just got bored with the whole storyline. This could have been easily fixed. You would think that the police would have at least put out a picture of what Michael's mask looked like so people can know, but literally nobody had any idea what this man looked like and they all die for it. To be honest, I couldn't even say I was hurt by any of their deaths at all because they were all pointless characters.

They do eventually happen across Michael, after he's already killed around 11 people, at his home, whose residence was taken up, so he killed the owners as well. They figure out, all too late, that Michael only wants to go back home to the only place he knows and that he was never after Laurie at all the entire time. It was simply Dr. Sartain who introduced Michael back to Laurie for his own sick pleasure and studies in the last film. Laurie's daughter, Karen (fitting), snatches Michael's mask as he fights her daughter Allyson in the house. She plays another cat and mouse game with Michael for his mask and leads him back down the street where the angry mob awaits. Michael's mask is laid out in the street as he realizes he's surrounded by them all. GOTCHA, again! Very reminiscent of the 2018 Halloween movie. The shot alone of him seeing all of them, then picking his mask back off the ground and putting it on as if to say, "Welp! Time to get back to work." alone is enough for me to take off at least a few bad things I had to say about this film! THIS. WAS. EPIC!

This scene is SOOOO good!!! The mob angrily beats and stabs at Michael as he battles back like a cornered animal. They think they got him dead and he springs back to life for more! The kills in this scene can't compare to the others in the movie, because they are shot weird and quick, but it was great to see Michael in his full evil form taking down these idiots and no name background characters. This also ruined some of the characters they brought back from the original movie, just for them to die. They really ended up feeling like just long cameos with insignificant deaths. Karen leaves the fight to go back to Michael's house to stare out of his sister's bedroom window, for stupid reasons (another way to say for no reason at all), and Michael, unknowingly, appears behind her and starts hacking away at her and we can only assume that she's dead. This is where the nightmare ends for the night of Halloween 2018: the Night He Came Home. Halloween Kills comes to a close.

The Strode Family

Laurie, Karen and Allyson.

Laurie, Karen and Allyson.

What This Means...

With Laurie's daughter, Karen, now dead, Laurie has even more of a personal vendetta against Michael. In one night, I'm not sure what his kill count is, but it has extended to a lot of her family and her town. Her granddaughter, Allyson, has now lost BOTH of her parents in one night, her boyfriend and his father, and a friend. It just can only go up from here with all of their characters. Allyson, especially, will have a bone to pick with him as she went from not believing her mother's stories to fighting the Boogeyman herself all in the matter of a single night. Michael is going to have scorned women after him in the next film and I can't wait to see it!

I thought it was smart to have Laurie sidelined in this movie. She is an older woman now, she was stabbed and beaten in the last movie and it's supposed to have taken place the same night as this film, so it totally makes sense. This movie was actually bold to see what works outside of the main Final Girl of this franchise Laurie Strode, giving a small answer to what makes Michael tick, and what he is doing. The mob idea could have worked better for me, but it was still a bold choice for a slasher film, to see a town just sick of Michael and rising up against him! I honestly can't wait for Halloween Ends to come out so we can see how they will take care of Michael or how Michael will take care of them for good!

My Final Thoughts...

I find easy flaws with this film, even within the first 5 minutes of it, but that shouldn't suggest that it isn't enjoyable. It's actually a pretty fun film and I think people's views on it will vary depending on what you want in a Halloween slasher movie. If you go to see Michael cut up a bunch of teenagers and kill anybody he walks past, then you're in for a treat with this film. It's very knife happy! There is some great violence in here that will make you cringe! If you're looking for more story and more to Laurie's story, then you won't find as much here. Laurie is sidelined and dimmed down to being drugged up and useless in this film. This is honestly Michael's story. It reminds me of Infinity War being Thanos' story overall. This movie is like that. There's no happy ending for the main characters. They lose... simply put, and we have to wait another 2-3 years to see how it all will go down! Letting the bad guy win is actually pretty legendary to do in a film, if you do it right.

There is some awful dialogue in this movie and it's not the actors. Some of their lines just sound like they should be in a different movie altogether and don't make sense. They really sound like they should be something Doctor Loomis from the original movie should be saying, but no one else on set has the grandiose nature of Shakespearean dialect that he had when he did these films, so nobody fits. You can feel the movie's runtime more often than not and nothing can make up for that in this movie. At times to me, it got a little boring, especially upon second viewing. When the runtime feels long, sometimes it can feel like there's no plot. This does feel like that occasionally. There's a plot, but it got lost in the sauce somehow.

Seeing Michael THIS MUCH in a movie was unnerving and eerie. James Jude Courtney should be paid more for his portrayal of Michael. He really studied the character and added some real cool character traits to The Shape that made him come across as an animal, a cat, a predator, and a creep! He is so unsettling in this role. There were countless shots of Michael without his mask in this film, and they all fit very well. The way they chose to obscure his face sometimes worked and sometimes it took me out of the scares, but it worked overall, I'd say. There are some great shots for stills in this film. The director and writers really make Michael feel like a character this time around with traits and mysticism, while still making him feel like there's nothing on his mind but killing and death. As a whole, I had a lot of fun and some good laughs watching this movie, but I think the biggest thing it suffers from is being a middle movie with no resolution yet. It still did what a good sequel should do: it expanded upon the movie it's coming from, told its own story and it's entertaining! I think it should be seen at home, but it's still a good time!

This movie is a... GEM!

Halloween Kills Movie Poll

Money, Money, MONEY!!!

As I am writing this review, the movie took about $20 million to make, overall. It has been out for a full weekend and has grossed around $56 million so far at the box office. This is just the first weekend and it has already doubled what it cost to make! This is amazing for this film and I cannot wait to see how well it continues to do within the next 2-3 weeks that it will be in the theaters for!

Actors, Actresses, and Production!

The actors, actresses and production teams that went into making Halloween Kills (2021).

Actors/ActressesProduction TeamProduction Companies

Jamie Lee Curtis

David Gordon Green (Director and Writer)

Miramax (Production Company)

Judy Greer

Scott Teems (Writer)

Blumhouse Productions (Production Company)

Andi Matichak

Danny McBride (Writer)

Trancas International Pictures (Production Company)

Anthony Michael Hall

Malek Akkad (Producer)

Rough House Productions (Production Company)

Will Patton

Jason Blum (Producer)

Universal Pictures (Distribution Company)

James Jude Courtney

Bill Block (Producer)

Michael Simmonds (Cinematographer)

Tim Alverson (Editor)

John Carpenter (Music)

Cody Carpenter (Music)

Daniel Davies (Music)

Where You Can Watch...

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