Jake’s review published on Letterboxd:
As a slasher movie, Halloween Kills isn’t half bad. It’s got a nasty penchant for excessive brutality that certainly gets mileage with me personally. Where it suffers is… everywhere else. I think the script here is easily the weakest link, mainly because it doubles down on my only real grievance with the 2018 Halloween, in that it is OBSESSED with its own legacy. Look, call me simplistic, but I’m very tired of stories that decide their own metatext is worth more than just being a solidly compelling story in its own right. That, and the direction this movie goes in trying to showcase the ripple effect of ‘evil’ in the residents of Haddonfield. It becomes an alarmingly blunt, overwhelmingly stupid ‘but man is the REAL monster!’ story with nothing new or interesting to say in that vain. A character literally says ‘he’s turning us into monsters’ at one point, just in case you didn’t miss it. Halloween is a movie where it’s ‘monster’- Michael Myers- is compelling BECAUSE he’s just some fucking dude in a mask. It’s mundane. A showcase of the banality of evil with simple cinematic imagery. This movie seems to take the Dr. Loomis monologue from the original film as its own biblical text, and the characters just do NOT shut up about ‘evil’ and how it’s ‘infecting everything’ rather than just… showing us this by having Michael kill. It’s not that hard, really! When the movie *does* do that, it’s an ugly, decently enjoyable little slasher, but it’s weighed down heavily by the ~gravity of it’s own importance~
The other true disappointment is that the technical filmmaking is just not all that impressive. There’s a lot to enjoy about the 2018 entry and some of its sleek filmmaking and lighting choices… and bizarrely enough none of that is really here? There’s a lack of suspense that results from this which is a real disappointment for me. It has its moments of being visually striking, but they’re sandwiched between a lot of ‘whatever’ compositions.
So, yeah, to be honest, this was a disappointment. I didn’t really *dislike* it because A) I’ve seen every Halloween movie and this is FAR from the worst one, and B) it’s an okay meat and potatoes slasher. There’s a lot of charm to be found in seeing a new Halloween movie in October in theaters with your pals where the kills are at least decent. Even though its a let down, it’s totally in the upper half of this mostly terrible franchise