By Laurie Coker

Rating: C-

Jamie Lee Curtis still draws viewers and apparently, the makers of ‘Halloween Kills’ know it. They tout her as the star of the latest in the Michael Myers slasher saga and yet, she has fewer than fifteen minutes of screen time. Co-writer/director David Gordon Green, along with Danny McBride and Scott Teems deliver a gore-fest of bloodletting but do so without the originals terror factor and with an uninspiring cast of characters. Still, it is Halloween and there are, at least, some familiar names and ample creepiness, even if a storyline of any merit is missing.

Curtis reprise her role as Laurie and Judy Greer, Will Patton, and Andi Matichak return (from ‘Halloween’ – 2018) to help protect the citizens of Haddonfield, Illinois the boogieman Laurie and her daughter Karen (Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Matichak) believe they killed Michael as they watch his house burn at the end of the 2018 film and the beginning of ‘Kills’, but soon they discover that the unkillable killer is mercilessly murdering again. From her hospital bed, Laurie bemoans the horror of it all with the badly wounded Deputy Frank Hawkins (Patton) and from there all heck breaks loose. Laurie attempts to aid in hunting down Michael, but a frenzied mob at the hospital sends her back and bleeding to the bed.  One patient dies after being mistaken for Myers and leaps from a window. Allyson and her guy and other groups set out to get Myers and the bloody bodies pile up.

Michael has a new look in this sequel – a charred and melty version of the original – changing his look enough to almost show an expression – of sadness or perhaps, bleakness. He moves with the same labored and yet, oddly quick movement and terrorizes innocent victims, killing them in grotesque and violent ways. All the while, Tommy the little boy terrorized by the boogieman in the original film and others touched by Michael in previous encounters race to find and put an end to his terror. Many die.

The movie is a mess, from start to finish, as the writers attempt to add story substance and to tie the previous films into this one, and still, it is freakishly mesmerizing to watch. Michael knows how to mindlessly murder and this is why many will flock to this film – blood and gore. But ‘Halloween Kills’ lacks in fear factor – it is just more of the same – and even the end seems predictable. It is if someone will die or even how it is when and there is no surprise. ‘Halloween Kills’ earns a C-. Don’t expect this to be the end of the franchise, although, it should be.

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