Halloween Kills. MA15+, 105 minutes. Three stars
There is a dynamic in my house that has run the 15 years we've been together where my partner watches some absolute piece of drivel and I think to myself, in holier-than-thou fashion, "I'm a film critic, I am above this drivel."
I militantly don't watch the show, I make dismissive noises, I read my book, until maybe a dozen episodes in and then I'm all "Lisa Van Der Pump really let her have it that time" or "Kyle totally stole that house off of Kim".
The dumb show in question is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and 11 years in, I am shameless addicted, and so it is doubly satisfying to be enjoying that show's electric "reunion" show this week as well as housewife Kyle Richards' return to the big screen.
Kyle Richards, lead housewife, if there is such a thing on this stupid reality show, is the sister of Paris Hilton's mum Kathy and is herself a former child star. In her younger years she had a recurring role on Little House on the Prairie and in 1978 her Lindsey and Jamie Lee Curtis's character Laurie were among the few survivors of Michael Myers' massacre in John Carpenter's original Halloween.
The acting on Real Housewives is occasionally implausible, and it is supposed to be "reality".
Kyle Richards makes a return to Carpenter's ongoing Halloween saga this year on the original film's 43rd birthday, and I'm so pleased to report that her acting is brilliant.
Halloween Kills, the 12th film in the series, is something of a reunion, with a number of characters from the film's early days making a return.
At an open mic night at a bar in the town of Haddonfield, Illinois, Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) takes the stage with a beer in hand. Even though the performances up to this point have been light-hearted, Doyle recounts the story of the town's darkest night, four decades earlier, when a psychotic serial killer slashed his way through the town's residents.
With Tommy, sharing drinks and survival stories, are fellow survivors from the 1978 massacre, including Lindsey (Richards) and Lonnie (Robert Longstreet), who were all just children at the time.
The nostalgic reverie is disturbed when Michael Myers makes an unwelcome return to town - or at least that's how it seems to the crowd who are a few beers in and, did I mention that it's Halloween and the town is all dressed up and playing pranks on each other?
Meanwhile, elsewhere in town, veteran survivor of a handful of Michael Myers attacks is Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).
The women are bruised and bloodied, Laurie has a giant stab wound opening her stomach - the trio have just actually killed Michael Myers.
But Michael Myers doesn't die easily, as the residents of Haddonfield well know.
Laurie and her family realise they will have to once again go into battle.
Director David Gordon Green really channels John Carpenter with an approach and production values true to the first Halloween, and by this I mean sometimes this film feels as cheaply made as Carpenter's original.
The focus is right away from Curtis's Laurie, who spends most of the film in a hospital bed.
While she did take a big knife to the stomach from Michael Myers in the previous film, parking your big star like this feels like the kind of thing you do when you only get them for a few days of filming.
But actually, this is the second film in a trilogy that will reportedly finish off the series altogether - Halloween Ends is due to come out next year.
Perhaps Laurie needed to take a back seat for a while so a few other cast members can die off.
Screenwriter Scott Teems's plot weaves a handful of disparate threads together in the film's final moments at Myers' childhood home.
But it isn't jam-packed with scares like earlier films.
This is not the best horror, certainly not the best Halloween, but this gives the fans plenty of expected moments and old favourites.
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