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Critics Are Divided Over Halloween Kills. Here's Why

"Halloween Kills" is the newest sequel in the 43-year-old "Halloween" horror franchise starring Jamie Lee Curtis and a number of other famous actors. The basic premise is simple enough: sister-killer Michael Myers escapes the mental health facility he was imprisoned in and goes on a murderous rampage. Different movies have added their own twists on the basic plot and dropped different bits of lore since then, and "Halloween Kills" certainly puts its own twist on the ongoing narrative.

This movie starts where the original left off — with Michael burning to death in Laurie Strode's home. First responders rescue him from death while trying to tame the blaze. From there, the serial killer goes on a murderous rampage on his way back to his family home, as explained in the official movie trailer. The preview teases fans with the entertaining premise of the terrorized townsfolk taking up arms and hunting down Michael once and for all. But the execution, unfortunately, has fallen flat with some critics.

Some love the gore, while others are disappointed with the story

Those who got a special early look at "Halloween Kills" during the Venice Film Festival (via IGN) seem to be split on whether or not it's worth watching. Of those who support the film, Wendy Ide at Screen Daily thought it was "[c]ompetent and generally pretty entertaining," although she did have some relevant critiques. Ben Rolph at DiscussingFilm had glowing praise for the movie, claiming that it "takes the slash in 'slasher' up to a thousand" and that it "leaves a lasting, memorable impact." And the one main thread in all of the positive critical reviews? The violence. Apparently, the kills in "Halloween Kills" are reaching "Mortal Kombat" levels of gore that fans have never seen before. So if violent slashers are your type of guilty pleasure, this movie might be worth checking out in October.

However, the movie has gotten a lot of critical reviews as well. Jessica Kiang of The Playlist scathingly claimed that the film "doubles the body count of the previous installment while roughly halving its IQ." David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter agreed, opining that the movie "is like a latex ghoul mask so stretched and shapeless it no longer fits." Their main gripe was with how the movie supposedly relies on nostalgic fan service and decades-old slasher flick tropes instead of contributing anything of substance to the evolving horror genre. 

Based on early reviews alone, horror fans who prefer their hack-and-slash films to be simple will get exactly what they paid for. But those who want something more cerebral will likely end up leaving the theater disappointed.