Halloween Kills reviews split over Jamie Lee Curtis horror sequel | EW.com

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EW.com 09 September, 2021 - 08:20am 16 views

When does Halloween kills come out?

“Halloween Kills” premiered at the 2021 Venice Film Festival. Universal Pictures releases it in theaters on October 15, 2021. IndieWire‘Halloween Kills’ Review: Little More to Offer Than a Jacked Up Body Count on a Bed of Fan Service

Venice Review: Jamie Lee Curtis In ‘Halloween Kills’

Deadline 09 September, 2021 - 01:10pm

Halloween Kills is a dark chapter in the story of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, with a somber tone and even more gruesome murders than we’ve seen in previous installments. It finds fulfilling ways to expand the world of Carpenter's original with a larger focus on the town of Haddonfield and characters from the 1978 classic, while unfortunately suffering from feeling like an incomplete experience.

The film starts with a flashback to the end of the original Halloween, expanding the role of Deputy Frank Hawkins (played by Will Patton in the present time) to show us what really happened when Michael was finally caught after his killing spree. Director David Gordon-Green and cinematographer Michael Simmonds do a great job of recreating the look of Carpenter's original down to the film grain, and even find shockingly faithful ways to bring back old characters for new scenes. In fact, Halloween Kills feels even more closely indebted to the first film than the 2018 reboot/sequel did. There are nods to everything from Michael's gruesome disposal of a dog in the original movie, to Easter eggs to the entire franchise (there are several references to The Curse of Michael Myers), in addition to the returns of several fan-favorite characters. Thankfully, the nods and cameos are more than just fan service; they enhance the franchise as a whole by building a thematic bridge between the original and the new films, connecting the trauma of the past with the resurgence of The Shape in the present.

IGN's Jim Vejvoda gave the 2018 Halloween a 9/10. "While no entry in the franchise has surpassed the original film, this Halloween sequel is truly a cut above the rest and a great piece of horror entertainment even for those unfamiliar with the series," he wrote. "The tension is thick, the kills are brutal, the jokes are funny, and the performances are memorable across the board."

The main story takes place immediately following the events of the 2018 Halloween, with Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode, Judy Greer's Karen, and Andi Matichak's Allyson leaving Laurie's burning home, believing Michael to be dead. Of course, evil that strong never truly dies, and the Boogeyman comes home yet again. This time, however, the cast expands to include more than the Strode women and a bunch of innocent bystanders. Several characters from the 1978 original return, including Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet), and even former sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers).

Tired of living in constant fear, the townspeople of Haddonfield decide to form a mob and hunt down The Shape. This is a unique theme for a slasher movie, and one that Halloween Kills doesn't really know what to do with. There are interesting questions raised about mob mentality and what fear does to a community, but the script never fully decides whether to condemn or celebrate it.

Even if he has the entire town looking for him, Michael Myers is in no way the underdog. If anything, this is a much angrier, darker, and more violent film than 2018's Halloween, and it includes some of the most shocking and disturbing kills in the entire franchise. Where often the Halloween movies would cut away right as Michael gets the jump on someone and only reveal the aftermath of the crime, Halloween Kills fully displays Michael's brutal butchering of his victims.

Seriously, these murders are gory. The shock value is best exemplified when Halloween Kills gives us our first proper look at Michael’s sadistic artistic expression via his grandiose and campy staging of mutilated corpses, which is more disturbing than any Silver Shamrock product. Even John Carpenter's score is darker, slower, and more dramatic than any of his previous Halloween efforts, building up to what can best be described as the Empire Strikes Back of the Halloween franchise.

That's not to say that Halloween Kills is completely devoid of fun. It still knows when to balance the scares with moments of levity, including two new comic relief characters, played by Scott MacArthur and Michael McDonald, that steal the show every time they’re on screen, much in the same way Julian Morrisey (Jibrail Nantambu) did in the 2018 film.

Most of the problems with Halloween Kills come from it being the second chapter in a trilogy that was announced prior to its release. Some characters sit out most of the action for seemingly no reason, while several themes and reveals are introduced and then dropped rather quickly, including some allusions to The Curse of Michael Myers that are sure to spark plenty of conversations among fans. Much of Halloween Kills is just table setting for the final confrontation, including an abrupt cliffhanger ending that makes this feel like half of a movie.

As far as horror sequels go, especially sequels to reboots, Halloween Kills does a lot right. For one, it honors the original in a way that feels not like empty fan service, but as a compelling companion to the material. The film's darker tone instantly sets itself apart from its predecessors, diving more deeply into the themes of trauma and how it affects a community while delivering some truly gruesome kills. Sadly, it doesn't really stand on its own, being too dependent on a conclusion that is still a year away, one that could either fix some of the holes in this movie, or expose even greater flaws. Because of this, it's hard to recommend Halloween Kills as a standalone experience, but rest assured that when Michael is out on the hunt, Halloween certainly Kills.

Jamie Lee Curtis Wins A Lifetime Achievement Award With 'Halloween Kills' On The Way

NPR 09 September, 2021 - 11:37am

Iconic American actress Jamie Lee Curtis has won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice International Film Festival.

Curtis accepted her award Wednesday just before the premiere of her new movie Halloween Kills, in which she reprises her longtime role as beloved protagonist Laurie Strode. The film, which comes out next month, is the sequel to 2018's Halloween and the 12th movie in the horror franchise.

Curtis said in a statement that she is "incredibly humbled" by the honor.

"It seems impossible to me that I've been in this industry long enough to be receiving 'Lifetime Achievement' recognition, and to have it happen now, with Halloween Kills, is particularly meaningful to me," Curtis said. "Halloween —and my partnership with Laurie Strode — launched and sustained my career, and to have these films evolve into a new franchise that is beloved by audiences around the world was, and remains, a gift.

In true horror heroine fashion, here she is slipping off her heels to hustle onstage:

Jamie Lee Curtis is the moment pic.twitter.com/gLFuvF23Z6

Curtis spoke to NPR in 2018 — four decades after the original Halloween — about the franchise, her character and her career.

"I've worked hard, but I don't expect it — and that's what a gift is, when you don't expect something, and then it's given to you, and you open it and go, 'Wow, thank you!' " she said.

"That's incredible, and that's what I feel David Gordon Green and Danny McBride gave me when they allowed me to go where we had to go with the movie, Halloween, to explain and honor the courage and tenacity of Laurie Strode, who represents all women who've been aggressed, all women who've had to fight back, all women who've survived, and that's a privilege, and not something I take lightly."

Listen to the full conversation and read the highlights here.

This story originally published in the Morning Edition live blog.

‘Halloween Kills’ first reviews: “A textbook ‘Halloween’ movie”

NME 09 September, 2021 - 05:08am

The first reviews for Halloween Kills have been released following its debut at the 78th Venice International Film Festival.

Halloween Kills is the second chapter in director David Gordon Green’s trilogy following 2018’s Halloween, which acted as a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s 1978 classic.

The film brings back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, alongside Judy Greer, Andi Matichak and Will Patton who all reprise their roles. New additions include Anthony Michael Hall (The Breakfast Club) and Thomas Mann (Kong: Skull Island).

Halloween Kills has been praised for delivering what you’d expect, with TheWrap describing it as a “textbook Halloween movie” that’s “less interested in rewriting the Halloween playbook than in giving audiences what they came for”.

Deadline is similarly positive: “Never was there a film truer to its name. They’re sliced up with kitchen knives, hollowed out with a fluorescent strip light, bisected with a chainsaw and impaled on banisters. The body count is phenomenal. We love this stuff. You know we do.”

These same points, however, have also drawn criticism. “Halloween Kills is certainly more Halloween. But the game board is left exactly as it was found in readiness for round 13; the only thing that advances is the body count,” The Telegraph‘s Robbie Collin wrote.

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman went one step further, describing Halloween Kills as a “mess” and a “slasher movie that’s almost never scary, slathered with ‘topical’ pablum and with too many parallel plot strands that don’t go anywhere”.

The film, at the time of writing, stands at 50 per cent on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, with 2018’s Halloween standing at 79 per cent.

Speaking to NME earlier this year, John Carpenter described Halloween Kills as the “ultimate slasher movie” and like “Halloween on steroids”.

Halloween Kills releases in cinemas on October 15, 2021.

The world's defining voice in music and pop culture since 1952.

Halloween Kills review: "Does exactly what a middle chapter should do"

Gamesradar 09 September, 2021 - 03:46am

There are multiple ways in which Halloween Kills is boxed in. For one, it has to plausibly all take place on the same night as its 2018 predecessor. It also has to explain how a gravely injured, ageing serial killer could survive being trapped in a flaming basement. And it needs to leave enough unresolved to justify its already-announced sequel (next year’s Halloween Ends).

So, given those restraints, it’s a wise choice on the part of returning director David Gordon Green and co-writers Danny McBride and Scott Teems to barely move the narrative forward at all. Where the previous Halloween explored how the trauma of the original ’78 massacre affected Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), this toggles the action backwards and forward to see how the fallout manifested across the entire town of Haddonfield. Compelling takes emerge on potent themes: survivor’s remorse; mob mentality; the ghoulish fascination that can surround murder sites… 

Many horror movies become frustrating as characters make daft decisions, putting themselves in unnecessary danger. But Halloween Kills intriguingly suggests these characters are almost doing it on purpose, lining up to be cannon fodder as a way of processing their deepest fears. Easier to come to a nasty end than live your whole life terrified...

As flashbacks remind us, Michael Myers killed a mere handful of people in John Carpenter’s original movie and, well, the years have made him more efficient. The world’s most nimble pensioner absolutely tears through Haddonfield’s citizens – although the film’s most upsetting death is one he’s only tangentially to blame for. 

Several of Halloween Kills’ kills are creatively executed, veering from schlocky fun to sad moments where spouses are forced to silently watch their loved ones become human pincushions. Better still are the moments where Green stops for a minute to give these deaths some weight, as when a mother spots her son in a morgue, or when Laurie’s daughter Karen (Judy Greer) washes her husband’s blood from her wedding rings. 

Curtis, Greer, and Will Patton are all wonderful in their returning roles, with Tom Mann also doing great work as a younger version of Patton’s Deputy Hawkins, pulling off some of the campier dialogue. A few other cast – particularly those playing other survivors – don’t fare as well, vacillating between going a little too big or nowhere near big enough with their reactions. But there’s all the synth music, grotesque portmanteaus, and jump scares you’d expect; ultimately, this does exactly what the middle-of-trilogy (tetralogy?) entry should do, have a blast while ably setting up the big finale. 

Halloween Kills reaches cinemas October 15. In the meantime, check out the most exciting upcoming movies heading our way soon.

Green delivers a smart, sturdy second chapter. Low consequence, perhaps, but still highly entertaining.

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John Carpenter Reveals New Halloween Kills Track, Just In Time For Spooky Season

/FILM 08 September, 2021 - 08:11pm

If we're not going to get John Carpenter directing new "Halloween" movies, we can at least take some solace in the fact that his voice is still represented on the soundtracks. Carpenter's score is a huge part of the iconography of this trend-setting slasher series, and having him back is a fantastic way to keep the original identity of the series intact while letting some new blood guide the ship.

The legendary director teamed up with his son, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies to tackle the score for the latest David Gordon Green-helmed sequel titled "Halloween Kills" and, lucky us, we can listen to a second track from that score right now!

Go to any genre film festival and you'll see the legacy of "Halloween," and more specifically its score, thriving. So many people love the feel of those iconic Carpenter scores (a lot of which were done in collaboration with Alan Howarth) and ... well, there's a lot of folks ripping it off still to this day. 

This new track feels like authentic Carpenter. It's a bit more complex than his original "Halloween" work, but that's to be expected. He's had over 40 years of growth as a musician since then, and there's also the chemistry he has with his new collaborators to take into account. 

Make sure to check out his more recent original albums, titled "Lost Themes," and you'll recognize the more updated feel to his music. This track certainly contains the mood and pulsing tension that Carpenter is known for.

I had the very good fortune to interview John Carpenter over the course of my online writing career, and there was one interview about 10 years ago where we talked very specifically about his "Halloween" theme.

First of all, he told me that acting as his own composer was born out of necessity. "Halloween" was a very low-budget film and they just flat out couldn't afford a composer, so he did it. 

He felt he was "lousy at music" (his own words!), which is obviously not the case, but that's what drove him to the simplicity of the theme. He took a page out of Bernard Herrmann's playbook and tried his hand at using the unusual 5/4 time that he learned from his father when he was a boy. Thus was born one of the most influential music cues of all time, one that we're still talking about today.

"Halloween Kills" hits theaters on October 15, 2021, and with its release we'll get a whole new feature-length John Carpenter score to obsess over. It almost doesn't matter if the movie's any good or not, we're already winners!

John Carpenter unveils new track from 'Halloween Kills' soundtrack

NME 08 September, 2021 - 02:57pm

John Carpenter has released a new track from the upcoming soundtrack to Halloween Kills.

David Gordon Green’s sequel to 2018’s Halloween receives its world premiere at Venice Film Festival today (September 8). To coincide with the event, Carpenter has released ‘Rampage’, an instrumental composition made with his son Cody Carpenter and fellow composer Daniel Davies.

The entire soundtrack is being released on vinyl on October 15 via Sacred Bones Records. According to the label, “like the film itself, Carpenter’s score to the second instalment of the new Halloween trilogy, Halloween Kills, stays true to the spirit of what made the 1978 original great while bringing it firmly into the present.

“The music is unmistakably Carpenter: the sinister vintage synth tones, the breath-stealing sense of menace that he conjures with just a few dissonant notes. But with a broader sonic palette, new digital techniques at his disposal, and a deeper sense of musicality, the Halloween Kills score is the work of a master artist who nearly 50 years into his career continues to push his creative limits and find new ways to thrill and terrify his fans.”

We have another track to unleash today from the 🔪 Halloween Kills 🔪 soundtrack I composed with @DDaviesMusic and @Ludrium! Listen to "Rampage" wherever you stream your music and make sure to pre-order the vinyl out 10/15 on @SacredBones https://t.co/L86iD0UzD1

— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) September 8, 2021

In conversation with NME recently, Carpenter, who directed the original 1978 film and was the composer on the 2018 reboot, teased details about the forthcoming sequel.

When asked what fans can expect from the new film, Carpenter said: “Holy Toledo! It’s the ultimate slasher movie. It’s Halloween on steroids. It’s great.”

In January, Green confirmed that the film is “very aggressive” and “more efficient”.

“It’s about the creation of fear,” Green told Total Film. “It’s one thing to be afraid of the Bogey Man, to have someone who might be in the closet, under the bed, creeping around your house, but we wanted to explore next was confusion, misinformation, and paranoia.

“What happens when fear goes viral? You can’t just stick your head under the covers anymore.”

Halloween Kills is released in UK cinemas on October 15.

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