The very first public screening of David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills took place today at the Venice Film Festival, and reactions/reviews have begun to make their way online.
We’ve been promised a full-blown, high-body-count slasher movie from Halloween Kills, and indeed it sounds like the sequel unleashes Michael Myers at his angriest to date. Many of the social media reactions and reviews that are coming in thus far praise the incredible brutality of Michael’s return to the big screen, as well as the “shocking” kills he dishes out.
Collider’s Rafael Motamayor tweets, “Halloween Kills is a darker, meaner, more disturbing entry in the franchise. The kills are absolutely brutal and shocking in the best way. It was great seeing old characters again, and there is a flashback that blew my mind.”
Written by Ben Rolph, the review on Discussing Film calls it “a blood-filled rollercoaster of a film with some of the most gnarly kills the slasher franchise has ever created.”
Beyond Fest tweets praise for the film’s “[over the top] kills we haven’t seen in 40 years. Relentless, outrageous, and incredible to watch with an audience, it is insane.”
Ben Rolph tweets, “It might be one of the most brutal films ever made? Rolph also praises the film for being “quite refreshing as it takes some surprising turns in its story.”
On that note, the Slash Film review from Marshall Shaffer also touches upon the surprises found in Halloween Kills. Without spoiling anything, Marshall writes, “[The filmmakers] depart a bit from the formula to exciting and energizing effect. It’s a worthy series entry that manages that tricky balance of providing enough of what long-time fans expect while also bringing a unique reflection and perspective to the well-known property.”
Asher Luberto calls the film “an effective sequel” in The Wrap‘s review. Asher writes, “Halloween Kills is no mere gore-fest — it’s about the generational trauma bestowed upon Haddonfield. The action sequences are more than just action sequences; in Green’s social allegory, they are a way for citizens to confront their trauma, their rage, their oppression, and to reclaim their power and agency through revenge. We see Haddonfield not just as a victim of a masked assailant, but also a victim of larger forces who will stop at nothing to dehumanize their community.”
Some of the other reviews, well, they’re not so kind. Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney notes that the film “amps up the violence and gore at the expense of actual scares or even a modicum of suspense.” Rooney also writes, “This latest installment is like a latex ghoul mask so stretched and shapeless it no longer fits.”
Jessica Kiang’s review for The Playlist notes that the film’s kills are a case of “quantity over quality,” and that the rest of the storyline falls by the wayside. Jessica writes, “In an effort to remake and refresh the mythology of the franchise, the writers have strayed dangerously close to getting rid of it altogether, virtually destroying the one relationship of any substance at all, and the only one we really give a damn about: that semi-mystical, weirdly symbiotic link between Laurie Strode and her eternal faceless nemesis”
Indiewire‘s review from Ben Croll gives the film a C+, saying Halloween Kills has “little more to offer than a jacked up body count on a bed of fan service.”
Going back to Rafael Motamayor’s tweet, he explains that one downside to Halloween Kills is that it’s “100% half a film.” Rafael finishes his thoughts with a joke, “and it ends abru…”
Screen Daily‘s review from Wendy Ide similarly states, “The law of diminishing sequel returns applies here, not least for the fact that another film, Halloween Ends, is slated for release in October 2022, rather taking an axe to any hopes of closure in this installment.”
Owen Gleiberman’s review for Variety reads, “It’s a mess — a slasher movie that‘s almost never scary, slathered with “topical” pablum and with too many parallel plot strands that don’t go anywhere.”
As for Bloody Disgusting’s review, it’s coming soon. Stay tuned…
Michael Myers comes home to theaters on October 15.
Here’s the official Halloween Kills synopsis…
“The Halloween night when Michael Myers returned isn’t over yet.
“Minutes after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor.
“But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all. Evil dies tonight.”
The cast includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak and Robert Longstreet, with original Halloween actor Charles Cyphers returning as Sheriff Leigh Brackett.
Anthony Michael Hall also stars in the new film as Tommy Doyle, with the returning Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace and Nancy Stephens as Nurse Marion Chambers.
Gordon Green wrote the script with Danny McBride and Scott Teems.