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

The sequel has divided critics

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).

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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.

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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.

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