Halloween Kills: What the Reviews Are Saying

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Halloween Kills set for October 15th
Photo: Blumhouse / Halloween Kills

One of the most hotly anticipated horror movies in recent times is the sequel to Blumhouse’s 2018 nostalgic slasher fest, Halloween (2018). You may recall that that particular Halloween was designed to be a direct sequel (canonically dislodging a flurry of other films from this canon line) to the original, 1978 John Carpenter classic – the one which, perhaps as much as any other film, kick-started the slasher genre, which dominated horror throughout the 1980s. Halloween Kills is the sequel to the 20018 film and is, therefore, the third movie in this timeline – as well as the penultimate. Though originally penciled in to premier in the fall of 2020, it was delayed a full year and is set to come out in under two weeks – cue the iconic, John Carpenter piano score!

Halloween Kills: What the Reviews Are Saying

Perhaps A Bit Unfair

Whereas the 2018 film debuted to much love – with many crediting it for reigniting the genre and bringing back the serious, psychological suspense from the original movie (which almost all, with the exception of Halloween II, failed to recapture) – Halloween Kills is not enjoying the best of reviews, currently. For example, Indie Wire has said that the movie is “little more to offer than a jacked up body count on a bed of fan service”, ouch.

Among the current reviews out there, this is a recurring theme; should you enter “Halloween Kills review” into Google search, you will find a collection of reviews with most arguing the same thing: that Halloween Kills is a nostalgic, disjointed mess. Now, of course, we have not seen the movie (and won’t until October 15, with our own review to follow shortly after), so we cannot discredit the opinions of the reviewers, or criticize the film, either. However, we can add this point: is “fanservice” and “nostalgia” really that bad of a thing in a Halloween movie? If that is the main criticism we can take away from this movie – which most will acknowledge exists as a tribute to a bygone era where slasher movies reigned supreme within the horror genre – then are we not being a little bit too critical and expecting a bit too much?

Not All Bad

Some reviews, however, are being much fairer to the Halloween (2018) sequel. GamesRadar recognizes our earlier point on what a Halloween movie is supposed to be and declares in its preview that it “does exactly what a middle chapter should do.” That’s right, it must not be forgotten that Halloween Kills is the middle chapter in a modern day trilogy of Halloween films – with the last, dubbed “Halloween Ends”, reportedly set for next fall (2022). Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, also, credits the film as being “enjoyable”.

Forbes takes a mixed review – going so far as to compare the Blumhouse Halloween trilogy to the Creed trilogy. Like Creed (that being the Rocky spin-off starring Michael B. Jordan as the boxing prodigy son of Apollo Creed), this Halloween trilogy takes on a similar formula: that of a first movie, which attempts to recapture the nostalgia of the original as an almost remake; a second movie which, as per the reviews, puts together a collection of nostalgic moments from the original, now disregarded sequels – with the third movie set to be the end. With the relatively mixed review pointing out that you will not enjoy Halloween Kills unless you have some emotional attachment to the prequel, it is safe to say that you need to watch that movie if you plan on watching Halloween Kills.

Reviews Are Only Guidance

Reviews exist as guidance – a warning as to what you are getting yourself into with a certain object (film, TV series, holiday, etc). Ultimately, it is up to you to come to your own conclusion; whereas Indie Wire has a negative review (as do many websites), there are almost as many with positive-to-mixed reviews. Just because one person does not like something doesn’t mean that you, too, have to dislike something. If you enjoy Halloween movies – or, indeed, the slasher genre – you are most likely going to like this movie, which all reviews cite as a champion to the slasher era. This writer will be seeing Halloween Kills and we recommend that you do, too, so that you can come to your own conclusion on how you feel about the movie.

Halloween Kills comes to US and UK cinemas on October 15th, 2021.

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