Halloween Kills
October 13, 2021 • Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) — If, heaven forfend, unstoppable killer Michael Myers (currently James Jude Courtney) were a real person, he’d be on the verge of retirement age.

Instead, of course, he’s a disturbing fixture in popular culture and so, rather than being put out to pasture, he’s hard at work in “Halloween Kills” (Universal).

In following up on his 2018 reboot of a 40-year-old horror series, director and co-writer David Gordon Green — together with his script collaborators, Scott Teems and Danny McBride — makes a ponderous effort to dignify the resulting slaughterfest with a message about mass hysteria, the danger of mobs and vigilantism. It’s a doomed undertaking that only succeed in insulting viewers’ intelligence.

As the film veers from revolting violence to inept attempts at social resonance, battle is once again joined between the hulking murderer and ex-babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the sole survivor of his long-ago first rampage.

Laurie is backed up by her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), as well as by veteran Deputy Frank Hawkins (Will Patton). As flashbacks remind us, Hawkins has been chasing Myers since he was a bumbling rookie (Thomas Mann) in the days of the Carter Administration.

If at first you don’t succeed…

The film contains hideous gory violence, gruesome images, drug use, several instances each of profanity and milder swearing, frequent rough and crude language, a naked corpse and an obscene gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.   

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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

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CAPSULE REVIEW

“Halloween Kills” (Universal)

Together with his script collaborators, Scott Teems and Danny McBride, director and co-writer David Gordon Green makes a ponderous effort to dignify this slaughterfest with a message about mass hysteria, the danger of mobs and vigilantism. As a result, the follow-up to his 2018 reboot of a 40-year-old horror series alternates between revolting violence and inept attempts at social resonance. So the battle again joined between unstoppable killer Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) and the sole survivor of his long-ago first rampage (Jamie Lee Curtis), backed up by her daughter (Judy Greer), granddaughter (Andi Matichak) and a veteran local deputy (Will Patton) who’s been chasing the murderer since he was a rookie (Thomas Mann) registers as a defeat on multiple fronts. Hideous gory violence, gruesome images, drug use, several instances each of profanity and milder swearing, frequent rough and crude language, a naked corpse, an obscene gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.   

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CLASSIFICATION

“Halloween Kills” (Universal) — Catholic News Service classification, O — morally offensive. Motion Picture Association rating, R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.