Halloween Kills: Does the new teaser trailer cut deep enough?

Halloween Kills may be delayed until October 2021, but the new teaser trailer offers fans a sample of what to expect. What can we gauge from it?

There are some films within the horror canon that inspire shocked reactions if you don’t agree with said canonical status. John Carpenter’s Halloween is one of them. Over the years, I have watched this 1978 forerunner to the slasher craze countless times, trying to sync with its rhythm, and attempting to see what others (including the late Roger Ebert) see in it.

Unfortunately, it’s never happened. I would take Halloween IIHalloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, or – better yet – the series odd duck, Halloween III: Season of the Witch over Carpenter’s original.

That said, I was intrigued by the premise of David Gordon Green’s 2018 “sequel” to Carpenter’s film. Jettisoning the events and mythology from the original series seemed somewhere between sensible (all that convoluted “Thorn” stuff never really jelled) and smug (“our sequel will be the sequel to end all Halloween sequels!”).

The final result was a disappointment for me. While the craftsmanship was solid (love that German Expressionist-style opening at the asylum), the script was flimsy, coasting on the participation of Jamie Lee Curtis to bring fans back to favor with the series. Despite a multi-generational character approach in sync with the #MeToo movement, the script (by Green, Danny McBride, and Jeff Fradley) held its predecessor in too high regard to break any new ground. The result was a slick effort that, true to its title, played more like a remake than a sequel.

Maybe this is why I’ll always go to bat for Rob Zombie’s take on Michael Myers – he at least made the iconic character his own.

But I digress. Green’s film was an unsurprising success (raking in $255 million worldwide), which of course prompted Blumhouse to hop on the sequel train. Presenting as a new trilogy, Halloween Kills will see release next year, followed by the (ostensible) series closer, Halloween Ends, in 2022.

Accompanying the recent announcement that Halloween Kills would be delayed until 2021, Carpenter shared a teaser trailer to tide fans over.

Picking up immediately after Laurie (Curtis), Karen (Judy Greer), and Allyson (Andi Matichak) laid a trap for Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) that resulted in his incineration, the night is quiet with rain, wind-swept leaves, Jack-O-Lanterns, and balloons flitting in the wind. Our exhausted heroines, hitching a ride to safety, see two fire engines pass by, headed in the direction of Laurie’s blazing survivalist compound. The teaser concludes with their screams of objection, punctuated by a final image of an intact Myers.

If there’s an MVP to this 30-second spot, it’s Michael Simmonds’ cinematography. Returning from the 2018 film, he captures a balance between the crispness of fall and a dreary nighttime grittiness. The at-first desolate highway seems foreboding until the multicolored lights of the fire engines – and the piercing volume of the sirens – enter the frame, creating a panic among the trio.

Let him burn!” is Curtis’ iconic line, but the setup is a bit of a fizzle. We realize Laurie, Karen, and Allyson have just battled a specter of evil that’s haunted their family for generations, but given how the fire at Laurie’s compound is probably visible from several counties over, the expectation that a concerned citizen wouldn’t call 911 is a bit hard to swallow.

I know Halloween Kills is only a movie, and I know there’s obviously much more story to be unraveled, but my reaction was still a tepid, “Really?” The teaser creates a definite mood, but after it was over, my deja vu of “here we go again” was hard to ignore.

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What did you think of the Halloween Kills teaser? Let us know in the comments.

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