First 'Halloween Kills' Reactions Praise Brutality & Kill Count Whilst Critics Take Aim

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

The first reviews from critics and fans alike have begun appearing online following the film's premiere at Venice Film Festival. Whilst the film has been slated by a few critics, the general talk about Kills seems positive. There will be spoilers in this article and any reviews that I link to this article, so read on at your own risk.

Michael fights to claim another victim in new image courtesy of Fandango.


Forty years after John Carpenter made the defining slasher movie, director David Gordon Green has made a creditable stab, as it were, at reanimating the title.

- Jonathan Romney, The Guardian.


The thing about #HalloweenKills is that it's the Infinity War of the Halloween franchise. Make of that what you will. The nods to the original film and the expanded cast are great and the kills are as cruel and savage as you'd hope for, it just doesn't fully work. But when Michael is out on the hunt, Halloween certainly Kills. #HalloweenKills is a darker, meaner, more disturbing entry in the franchise. The kills are absolutely brutal and shocking in the best way. It was great seeing old characters again, and there is a flashback that blew my mind. Sadly, this is 100% half a film, and it ends abru...

- Rafael Motamayor via Twitter, full review for IGN.


[Halloween Kills] takes the slash in "slasher" up to a thousand and it's all the better for it. Halloween Kills is a blood-filled roller coaster of a film. Not only will it leave everyone yearning for a conclusion, which they’ll get, but it also leaves a lasting, memorable impact.

- Ben Rolph, Discussing Film.


Halloween Kills certainly feels like more Halloween. But the game board is left exactly as it was found it in readiness for round 13; the only thing that advances is the body count. Following on from 2018’s slate-wiping sequel, this 12th entry in the franchise has an authentic slasher texture but little new to say.

- Robbie Collin, The Telegraph.


HALLOWEEN KILLS is the gnarliest of the lot, but I’m not really sure who it’s for: franchise fans will feel alienated by its awkward politics, despite the homage-heavy style; I guess casual audiences might enjoy the splatter. Still get chills from the skeletal synths. #Venezia78

- Jack King via Twitter.


Just watch the corpses pile up in Halloween Kills! 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 chain saw and impaled on banisters. The body count is phenomenal. We love this stuff. You know we do.

- Stephanie Bunbury, Deadline.

An almost elemental slasher outing unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality. Little more to offer than a jacked up body count on a bed of fan service.

- Ben Croll, IndieWire.


#HalloweenKills it's a movie roller coaster, full of blood with some of the most twisted deaths the slasher franchise has ever created.

Gente Geek via Twitter.


Competent and generally pretty entertaining...Will stand in good stead with horror audiences, even if it hardly sets the genre alight.

- Wendy Ide, Screen Daily.


This latest installment is like a latex ghoul mask so stretched and shapeless it no longer fits. In this second part of a trilogy spun out of the rebooted property Green has made exactly the kind of witless, worthless sequel that bled the franchise dry in the 1980s and ’90s.

- David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter.


It all feels so rote and old-school, especially during such an exciting era for the genre. Blood-caked, lumbering, seemingly unstoppable: Halloween is the franchise that refuses to die. Forty-three years and 12 movies on – with a 13th to come in Halloween Ends – the latest instalment is a bland slog of a reboot sequel with the same old gore but no new moves. If it doesn’t bleed out soon, it may outlive us all.

- Philip De Semlyen, TimeOut.


“Halloween Kills” is no mere gore-fest — it’s about the generational trauma bestowed upon Haddonfield. The action sequences are more than just action sequences; in Green’s social allegory, they are a way for citizens to confront their trauma, their rage, their oppression, and to reclaim their power and agency through revenge. We see Haddonfield not just as a victim of a masked assailant, but also a victim of larger forces who will stop at nothing to dehumanize their community. For all the deep and troubling psychoanalysis of this film, it’s also a textbook “Halloween” movie. Green seems less interested in rewriting the “Halloween” playbook than in giving audiences what they came for, from ghastly scares to a ghoulish score. It’s a strategy that promises to make the series as immortal as Michael Myers himself.

- Asher Luberto, The Wrap.

It's a mess - a slasher movie that's almost never scary, slathered with "topical" pablum and with too many parallel plot strands that don't go anywhere. After his clever 2018 reboot, director David Gordon Green fumbles the ball in a follow-up that falls back into the numbing forgettability of sequel formula.

- Owen Gleiberman, Variety.


HK has a scope and scale like no other slasher. While H18 is Laurie’s movie, Halloween Kills is Michaels! The 78 flashbacks will blow people away! The kill count is insane! The cinematography is very Dean Cundey! The best Halloween movie since the OG!

- Fandom Empire via Twitter.


David Gordon Green's latest entry to the iconic franchise is fittingly scary and absurd. For slasher fans and everyday moviegoers alike, Kills is a long-awaited entry to a franchise like no other. But if it was just a bit more like the others, perversely, it might be better one.

- Adam Solomons, Hey U Guys.


The writers stray dangerously close to getting rid of the one relationship of any substance at all: the symbiotic link between Laurie Strode and her eternal faceless nemesis. Of all the things "Halloween Kills" had to kill, why that?

- Jessica Kiang, The Playlist.


HALLOWEEN KILLS does exactly that: it kills... A LOT. As @blumhouse's HALLOWEEN redefined Laurie Strode, this cements Myers as the true king of the monsters with OTT kills we haven't seen in 40 years. Relentless, outrageous, and incredible to watch with an audience, it is insane.

- Beyond Fest via Twitter.

"Halloween" sequels tend to follow a predictable pattern — after installments that foreground Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode, they tend to falter by removing her from the narrative. For a while in "Halloween Kills," David Gordon Green's follow-up to the 2018 legacyquel, it feels as if he's about to repeat history a third time with the character cooped up in a hospital bed for most of the first hour. But by the time she rises and resumes her never-ending fight against her grisly foe Michael Myers, the film has successfully shifted its focus toward a new center of gravity: the larger community of Haddonfield. The film that results is something that feels entirely at home within the series' history and something that tries to journey down avenues unexplored in the previous 11 films.

- Marshall Shaffer, SlashFilm.


David Gordon Green explores the powers and pitfalls of mob mentality in #HalloweenKills a relentless bloodbath that spreads the story across a traumatised community. While Halloween (2018) focused on Laurie’s trauma and how this pain manifests across generations in a family, Halloween Kills interestingly explores the dangers of mob mentality and the limits of vengeance.

- Steph Green, The Digital Fix.


#HalloweenKills is devilishly fun. Gory, gruesome and soaked in bloodshed. The people of Haddonfield have been rocked, and so will viewers. Full of callbacks and easter egss this is a horror delight for fans and audiences alike #Venice78#Venezia78

@halloweenmovie

- Jak-Luke Sharp via Twitter.


No doubt, it’s not up to slasher films to dissect the killer’s psychology but the ones who attempt to do it without holding off its resourcefully choreographed killings make the most thrilling watch. And here Green’s outdone himself: Michael’s nimble use of pipes, torches, lamps, and all other household items when stabbing or suffocating his victims elevates the horrific experience to an uncanny degree, almost as if people are being butchered by their own homes. Yes, the massacres will live up to the expectations of a blood-thirsty audience, but their intellectual cravings couldn’t possibly be quenched by a simplistic delineation between ‘only good’ and ‘only evil’.

- Savina Petkova, AwardsWatch.


HALLOWEEN 2018 is Laurie Strode: it’s messy but warm and likeable. #HalloweenKills is Michael Myers, a coldly efficient killing machine slaughtering everything in its past. The level of carnage in this is frankly astounding. You’ve never seen a slasher movie on this scale.

- @tdsmatt via Twitter.

 

If I'm honest, from reading the many reviews, comments and tweets it sort of seems critics are bashing the film for being a typical slasher film; i.e what Halloween is. Critics main concerns seem to be with the sheer brutality, gore, violence and body count that is on offer in Halloween Kills. And let's be honest folks, that's why we're fans of slasher films. Who has ever watched all the Halloween, Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street films for the complex and intricate storytelling, clever narrative tropes and top notch acting? Exactly...fans are there for the gore, special effects, incredible kills, jump scares, our iconic killer and (especially as a teenager) the nudity. The fact that Halloween Kills has a low score on Rotten Tomatoes yet is sitting on an average of 9.3/10 on IMDB speaks volumes about who this film is for. Either way go see the film in cinemas October 15th and decide for yourself. I, for one, am counting down the days! You can expect my review opening night.

The Halloween night when Michael Myers returned isn’t over yet.

Minutes after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor.

But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all. Evil dies tonight.


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