“Halloween Kills” (2021) = Mob Vs. Myers

In theatres and on Peacock streaming service

It’s a mob against the masked man in this not especially terrifying continuation of a retconned timeline horror mythology. After his successful 2018 reboot, David Gordon Green further builds his boogeyman opus with the second of a proposed trilogy, Halloween Kills (C), but this follow-up proves to be a rather routine slasher film despite being competently made. There’s a bit of a big chill in the air as reuniting survivors of violent attacks by serial killer Michael Myers form a vigilante squad to thwart him once and for all, or at least until the next planned sequel, while the largely sidelined Jamie Lee Curtis character Laurie Strode recovers in a hospital after a failed attempt at offing Myers. Judy Greer and Andi Matichak get little to do as the descendants of the Strode bloodline. Will Patton as a sheriff deputy and Anthony Michael Hall as one of the kids Laurie used to babysit also get few contributions aside from Hall’s frequent exclamation that, “Evil dies tonight!” The brute force body count and candied cornucopia of creative slayings should thrill hardcore fans of horror films, but the musings that the Town of Haddonfield is now basically cursed by fear that turns neighbors against one another, Purge style, doesn’t really stick. The only mild inspiration is that Michael’s childhood home is now occupied by a gay couple (Scott MacArthur and Michael McDonald) who view the domicile for its camp value; if only the irony were carried through in other vignettes, there might have been more cleverness amidst the carnage. This installment basically confirms a tradition of inferior sequels, treads water for most of its duration and portends a “Shape” of things to come.

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