Jamie Rogers’s review published on Letterboxd:
Part 16 of SPOOKTOBER '21: SPOOKTOBER KILLS
Seen at Scotiabank
Not without its flaws, but on the whole I really enjoyed this one. In fact, I think it's pretty much great up until the third act.
Like I mentioned in my last review of the 2018 Halloween, Ol' Gordo Green has a knack for simple, likeable characters, and that is what makes this one shine just as much as the first. I really loved the way they expanded Haddonfield here. It feels very well-realized and lived in in a way that we have not seen in any other Halloween before this. The way they developed a sense of community here was really cool to me. This is a fairly slight middle chapter, I'll admit, but for the most part I think they used it very well to expand upon the characters and world, even if the plot is lacking. The flashback sequences are a great example of this; they were really well done and were a great way to show how this timeline worked out differently than the original Halloween II.
I thought the mob concept was a really smart way to advance the story here and I'm not understanding any of the complaints about the social commentary. With the exception of the jumper sequence, which I wish they didn't make such a meal out of, this is social commentary done really well. It is natural within the story, it feels authentic and human, and it's not on-the-nose. It's subtext. The way social commentary should be in a movie like this. I thought it was great, until the movie fell apart.
Gordo and his team seem to have completely phoned in the finale. The whole thing has an odd air to it, as if it was a burden for them to come up with an ending here given that they knew another sequel was going to be following this up directly. Plenty of middle chapters in pre-planned trilogies suffer from similar issues, but it's not usually this glaring. Most at least have a cohesive finale that leads into the next film. This one doesn't even bother to capitalize on everything it's been setting up for the entire film. There's no cohesion, it just sort of just runs out of steam, rushing through a half-hearted climax without even doing much to set up or stir excitement about the next film. It's a shame, because I kind of loved everything before that.
Like I said before, it's definitely a bit slight compared to its predecessor. But if this is slight, the likes of Halloween 4 through Halloween: Resurrection are imperceptible. As a slasher movie, it still works and it's a lot of fun. I think in hindsight, once the trilogy is complete, people are gonna find a lot more to like about this one. I'm already looking forward to watching it again next halloween.