Halloween Kills (2021)
October 14, 2021 12:24 PM - Subscribe

Picking up minutes after the last installment, Michael Myers manages to free himself from Laurie's trap and his ritual bloodbath resumes. Laurie 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.

Written by Scott Teems, based on characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. Directed by David Gordon Green. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Anthony Michael Hall, and Nick Castle. Music by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies.

Premiering in theaters in the US on Thursday, October 14th, and streaming on Peacock as of Friday, October 15th.
posted by DirtyOldTown (30 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I just looked at the Halloween continuity and wooooooooo yeah. So this is a direct sequel to the 2018 Halloween which is a sequel to the 1977 Halloween, and all other Halloweens are unconnected, continuity wise, I think. Jeebus.
posted by triage_lazarus at 1:02 PM on October 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

Technically, the other Halloweens are part of the Nightmare on Elm Street series.
posted by phooky at 1:59 PM on October 14, 2021 [7 favorites]


Here's my quick rundown of the series, for anyone interested:
  1. Halloween (1978) - The original! Written by Carpenter & Debra Hill. He directed, she produced. Introduces Michael in a prologue as a child who kills his sister, Judith. He ends up in the sanitarium with Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance). Fifteen years later, he escapes, gets the mask and coveralls, and stalks babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends. Laurie survives with Loomis's help. Michael escapes.
  2. Halloween II (1981) - Still written by Carpenter/Hill (who produced together) but directed by journeyman Rick Rosenthal. Picks up right after the first. Laurie's in the hospital (meeting a paramedic love interest and a new nurse friend). Michael is on the loose and is fixated on Laurie. There's some Satanic Panic stuff with Michael and Samhain, offered up to explain why he seems indestructible. Worse than that, they retcon Laurie into being Michael's adopted sister. Loomis finds this out realizes she's the target, and rushes to Laurie's side. Laurie shoots Michael in both eyes and then Loomis sacrifices himself to blow Michael up. Not very good and starts the regrettable trend of expanding the mythology in muddy, unhelpful ways.
  3. Halloween III: The Season of the Witch (1982) - This one doesn't even have Michael Myers in it. Carpenter and Hill thought maybe they'd turn the series into an anthology. This story is about killer Halloween masks with bits of Stonehenge activated by television. Seriously. Loony and bad, but many horror nerds (including me) have a soft spot for it.
  4. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) - No Carpenter, no Hill, no good. Directed by the guy who did Free Willy 2. Picks up after II. Michael, despite two headshots and being blown up, was actually just in a coma, see. When he finds out Laurie had a daughter, he decides to hunt her. Loomis is apparently also magical, because he is back, too. Michael gets thrown into a mine. Twist ending Jamie is a psycho now, too and attacks her family with scissors. Loomis tries to shoot her but is thwarted. Truly bad.
  5. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) - Directed by a Swiss indie film director, because why the fuck not. Michael escapes the mine and is nursed back to health by a hermit, a la Frankenstein. Jamie, now mute, is in a clinic getting care. She also apparently has developed a psychic link to Michael. There's a plan to trap Michael in the old Myers house. Loomis is back, but he's fully insane now and not helpful. The cops lock Michael up, but a mysterious man in black causes an explosion to set Michael free. Jamie is further traumatized. Very bad.
  6. Halloween H20 (1998) - Still no Carpenter or Hill, but they do have horror vet Steve Miner. The result is mediocre, making it by far the best Halloween sequel to that point. They ignore the Michael's niece Jamie stuff from the previous two films and pick up the timeline after Halloween II, regrettably keeping the "Laurie is Michael's sister" bullshit. Very much a post-Scream/Dimension Pictures/lots of hot young actors thing. Loomis is dead, Michael ransacks the old man's place for info on how to find Laurie, who is in hiding. She's now the headmistress of a boarding school, where LL Cool J plays a security guard. Michael comes to kill Laurie and her son, played by Josh Hartnett. Blah blah blah, plot stuff. Laurie steals the coroner's van at the end we are assured Michael is dead within, because she knows better. A fight, a wreck, then Laurie cuts his head off with an axe.
  7. Halloween: Resurrection (2002) - A direct sequel to H20 (and thus to I and II, but not 4 or 5, and obviously not 3). Oddly, they brought back the director who did hack work on II. Laurie is in a psych facility now, because the guy she decapitated wasn't really Michael, just some poor sap he traded clothes with. Michael comes back to kill Laurie, as he does, she tries to trap him, as she does, and a bunch of kids in a reality show challenge where they sleep in the Myers house are involved. That show was supposed to have fake murders to scare the kids, but Michael delivers the real deal. Michael is killed in an electrical fire. Then escapes anyway, as he does. Pretty bad.
  8. Halloween (2007) - This is the Rob Zombie one that is both an origin story and a remake. It While the backstory stuff is the most interesting part of the movie, it's also a betrayal of the "He's just this indestructible dude who kills" ethos that is the heart of the series' appeal. Zombie's Halloweens are about the grim, horrible psychological toll of violence. It's better than making him a Samhain-enhanced occultist, I guess.
  9. Halloween II (2009) - The Rob Zombie sequel. Laurie's disturbed, Michael is living a semi-normal life in hiding but is (obviously) also disturbed, and the movie focuses on the parallels between the two. Sheri Moon Zombie plays their mom. In the end, Loomis writes a book and, that, and a Halloween party lure this (human, non-invulnerable) Michael out. He and Laurie duke it out and she kills him and takes his mask. The idea of having the two go at each other more directly is interesting, and I get what he's trying to say about the effects of violence, but the execution is grim and vicious in a way I didn't enjoy at all. I found this borderline unwatchable, even more so than the hackwork in the middle era.
  10. Halloween (2018) - Would you believe this was written by Danny McBride and directed by the guy who made Your Highness? It picks up after the first Halloween, mercifully abandoning the "She's his secret sister" thread. Laurie has basically become the Sarah Connor of Haddonfield, spending her whole life spoiling for a rematch. Her kid, Judy Greer, resents her and is over Halloween, she can be seen wearing Christmas sweaters months early. Michael gets out, Laurie was right all along, they trap Michael and try and kill him. Does it work? Well, there's a sequel. So, no. Very enjoyable and the best sequel in the series by a country mile.

posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:57 PM on October 14, 2021 [12 favorites]


v1: Halloween (1978) -> Halloween II (1981) -> Halloween 4 -> Halloween 5

v2: Halloween (1978) -> Halloween II (1981) -> Halloween H20 -> Halloween: Resurrection

v3: Halloween (2007) -> Halloween II (2009)

v4: Halloween (1978) -> Halloween (2018) -> Halloween Kills (2021)

...and off in its own weird, lonely timeline: Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:02 PM on October 14, 2021 [7 favorites]

that was awesome, DOT, but now the word "Halloween" has lost all meaning in my head.
posted by skewed at 5:41 PM on October 14, 2021 [3 favorites]

Seriously. Loony and bad, but many horror nerds (including me) have a soft spot for it.

It has the Silver Shamrock song!
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:30 PM on October 14, 2021 [6 favorites]

Hi, horror nerd with a soft spot for Halloween III checking in.
posted by holborne at 6:40 PM on October 14, 2021 [5 favorites]

DirtyOldTown, H20 is actually the 7th movie. You forgot the sixth movie, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. It's got Paul Rudd and is truly terrible.
posted by guiseroom at 9:10 PM on October 14, 2021 [4 favorites]

Halloween III: The Season of the Witch (1982) - This one doesn't even have Michael Myers in it. Carpenter and Hill thought maybe they'd turn the series into an anthology.

I had heard it was always meant to be an anthology, but the lure of making a sequel threw it off track.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:48 AM on October 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Directed by the guy who did Free Willy 2. Picks up after II.

I thought, for a brief second, this was a sequel to both Free Willy 2 and Halloween II. Why has Michael never fought a large sea mammal?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:52 AM on October 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

My god, I did forget one. My breakdowns are ruined! Eh well, that one sucked, too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:03 AM on October 15, 2021 [4 favorites]

Okay, here we go. The actual #6.

6. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) - This is one that had a long road. Early pitches/scripts included one by Quentin Tarantino that had Michael going on a murderous road trip, another by John Carpenter that took place on a space station, etc. What they settled on was doubling down on the Jamie stuff and the occult stuff, this time with Druids. This one brings Tommy Doyle back (Rudd). There are experiments and some shit, too. Loomis is around. This time, Michael is injected with corrosives and beaten with a lead pipe. It ends with Loomis staying behind to finish the job, but we hear him scream off-camera. I'm sure it all worked out fine.

Corrected v1 Timeline:
v1: Halloween (1978) -> Halloween II (1981) -> Halloween 4 -> Halloween 5 -> Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:50 AM on October 15, 2021 [6 favorites]

At this point, I would like to state my very, very, very, very, very, very, very very, very very strongly held opinion that the correct answers to the two big questions of "Why does Michael kill?" and "Why won't he die?" are, respectively, "Because he's just evil" and "Doesn't matter, just won't."

When subsequent filmmakers brought in child psychology and druids, they were fucking things up.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:53 AM on October 15, 2021 [6 favorites]

I just want to say, the twist ending of Halloween 4 is extremely good. They completely fucked the story up in Halloween 5, tho'. Cowards!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:17 PM on October 15, 2021

The best Halloweens end strong. The worst Halloweens undo the ending of the previous film.
posted by guiseroom at 11:22 AM on October 16, 2021 [3 favorites]

This is watchable but unexceptional. A classic example of a movie written to be the middle part in a trilogy that treads a bit too much water.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:45 PM on October 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

It's better in the second half when it actually focuses on the Strode women. But a bit too much of the time, it feels like the episode in a tv season where we delve into the B plots and check in on the side characters.

It's not bad at all, just a marked step down from the last one and made me impatient for the finale.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:48 AM on October 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

So...one great movie and a ton of shitty sequels, reboots, and sequels of reboots?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:47 PM on October 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

My favorite part of Halloween Kills is in the mob scene where everyone has a weapon to kill Michael, some heroic woman has an iron. I love her.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:19 PM on October 17, 2021 [5 favorites]

Just watched this. Pretty terrible. Lots of neck trauma. Judy Greer seemed over it. Like, “We’re really making this movie? Well, okay, I guess.”
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 8:46 PM on October 19, 2021

Oh, and? Honest to god, the take home message is something like “Michael is the fear we made along the way.”

Michael Anthony Hall delivers, tho.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 8:50 PM on October 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Anthony Michael Hall. Whatever!
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 8:52 PM on October 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was astonished to see Anthony Michael Hall, I guess I hadn't really been paying attention to him since The Breakfast Club. Overall I thought this movie was pretty bad in every scene when nobody on screen was dying, with the exception of some reasonably funny comedic bits at the bar. The dialog was generally atrocious whenever it wasn't trying to be funny, and the attempts at social relevancy were ham-fisted and dumb.

This isn't really my favorite franchise or horror subgenre though. The whole essence of the franchise is that Michael Myers has no personality or motivation, which to me makes for pretty dull movies without much more interest than a movie where a lion escapes from the zoo and goes around killing people. Various attempts to make Myers more interesting have failed, as noted in DirtyOldTown's excellent summary above. Even Jason Voorhees is like a character out of Shakespeare in comparison.

(Parenthetically, I'll stick up for Halloween 2 because in my mind it is the modern-day exemplar of the "hospitals are creepy as fuck" trope)
posted by whir at 9:04 AM on October 25, 2021

I saw some internet chatter about how Michael Myers killing the gay couple may mean he's a homophobe.

I mean, he's a 60-something white man from downstate Illinois, I don't know what people were hoping for, really.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:17 AM on October 25, 2021 [4 favorites]

The whole essence of the franchise is that Michael Myers has no personality or motivation

I mean, yeah, but no. The better movies don't treat him as a character, but as a force of nature. A hurricane has no motivation or personality, either. But you can tell a good story about the human beings caught in its wake. Same deal with Halloween/Michael Myers, really.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:22 AM on October 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

A hurricane has no motivation or personality, either. But you can tell a good story about the human beings caught in its wake.

I totally agree, I guess I'm just waiting for that movie to come out of the Halloween franchise (zing!). I mean, one of the defining characteristics of the subgenre (set by Halloween 1! But then made concrete in the 80's slasher explosion) is having disposable characters that just hang around waiting to be offed in interesting ways. But I mean, Night of the Living Dead has personality-less villains and its characters drop like flies, but the characters are interesting and you care about what happens to them.

In Halloween Kills's defense, I did think that the Big John and Little John characters were fun to hang around with, maybe in keeping with Danny McBride et al being better at writing funny stuff than serious stuff. And they did make an effort to have characters that you care about by giving them backstories connected to the original movie (kind of a peculiar move in a timeline that ditched most of the franchise's continuity, but you can understand why they did it). Just for me, that stuff didn't really work and I just spent my time waiting around for them to be killed.
posted by whir at 9:54 AM on October 25, 2021

I mean, yeah, but no. The better movies don't treat him as a character, but as a force of nature.

something something Michael Myers is climate change and Loomis is 'the experts'
posted by mazola at 12:02 PM on October 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Just watched it with my wife (Halloween night! Why not) and we were both a bit taken aback by the weird asides and tonal shifts, like the whole Monsters are Due on Maple Street in the hospital bit.

Somebody who knows the franchise better -- is it weird that Michael Myers suddenly took a bunch of time out of his day to re-stage all the corpses with masks, etc. at the park? I get the whole "personalityless = boring" argument, but one of the things I actually dig about the 1978 -> 2018 Halloween lineage is that Michael Myers basically just kills in a straight line.

Like, that whole scene at the beginning: literally any other horror movie would have had the crazed killer drag the firefighter off-screen, and then they find and rescue the "firefighter" and then hey Doug you're being awful quiet and then arrgh it's not Doug at all...

But not our Michael! He just kills the first dude and then straight up walks out of the house and kills all the other dudes. He doesn't do costumes or tricksy stuff. Just murder! I kind of respect that.

So having him kill all the park people, walk away across the bridge, and then at some point return to rearrange all the bodies and swap their masks around, etc. feels really out of character. My working theory for a while was that the other escaped maniac was following him around and doing that extra stuff, but it looks like that guy was just trying to steal cars and hanging around the hospital waiting to be a moral lesson on mob violence. Even the "knock on the door and then run around the house and knock on the other door and then run back around and" at Big/Little John's house felt like a lot of faff for Michael Myers.

Am I not getting him? Is there a more, er, frisky Michael Myers that I've kind of missed out on to date? Or is this just not Peak Myers?
posted by Shepherd at 5:04 PM on October 31, 2021

I would also pay good money to see Paul Rudd and Adam Scott hang out and shoot the shit about Halloween 6 and Hellraiser Timelines.
posted by Shepherd at 5:06 PM on October 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

Am I not getting him? Is there a more, er, frisky Michael Myers that I've kind of missed out on to date? Or is this just not Peak Myers?

I think directors and writers keep trying to reinterpret the character, maybe to put their stamp on the franchise. To my mind, Michael Myers should be as blank and pitiless as a shark, and the “flourishes” should come from the other characters.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:25 AM on November 1, 2021

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