“Halloween Kills” Review


Kevin Winter/Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 17: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white. Color version is available.) An actor dressed as the character of Michael Myers attends the Universal Pictures’ “Halloween” premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on October 17, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Max Christopher

     On Oct. 19, 2018, he returned. For the first time in 9 years, Michael Myers returned to the Halloween series with the aptly named soft-reboot of the franchise, Halloween. This 2018 sequel acted as a follow-up to the original 1978 cult classic, ignoring the rest of the sequels and reboots in the 12 film franchise, as well as set-up for a new trilogy of Halloween films.

     This new trilogy, dubbed the H40 trilogy, finally returned on Oct. 15, 2021, after many delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Halloween Kills. Picking up minutes after the last one left off, we find Laurie Strode rushed to the hospital from the wounds inflicted by Michael Myers. Michael, left to burn to his death in the last installment, manages to escape the burning building… before executing an entire squad of firefighters. With Myers back on the loose, the small Illinois town of Haddonfield (after 40 years) decides to fight back against the evil that has haunted them for so long. Not only does Laurie’s daughter and granddaughter join in the fight against Myers, but so do many of the characters from the original 1978 film, including Tommy Doyle and Lindsey Wallace, the children Laurie babysat and protected in her initial encounter with Michael Myers.

     Halloween Kills lives up to its name. Myers is at his most brutal in this film. His kills feel blunt and hard. Director David Gordon Green upped the gore in Halloween Kills, allowing the audience to see every squirt of blood and gushing of brain matter. While this works effectively for shock value and gross out scares, it feels like a far cry from the 1978 and 2018 films, which focus primarily on the building dread of Myers’ slow, precise movements, and give the audience a chance to fill in the blanks of what horror occurs off-screen. This may seem like a small gripe, but the calculated and almost merciful killings of Myers are what separate him from characters like Jason Voorhees, Leatherface and Freddy Krueger, as well as define the Halloween franchise.

     The film isn’t without its merits. The return of Tommy Doyle and Lindsey Wallace was an interesting choice, and seeing the trauma that Myers has inflicted on his victims allowed for powerful moments when the people of Haddonfield finally decide to fight back against their Boogeyman. Though Laurie still stars in Halloween Kills, Tommy serves as the lead. Jamie Lee Curtis pulls in a fantastic performance as always as Laurie, and Andi Matichak’s return as Allyson Nelson, Laurie’s granddaughter, was the emotional centerpiece of the film.

     Halloween Kills comes so close to being one of the great Halloween films. While it doesn’t fall nearly as short as H20 or Halloween: Resurrection, nor does it destroy Michael and Laurie’s characters in the same way as the Rob Zombie remakes, it doesn’t quite deliver on all it could have been. For what it was though, Halloween Kills served as a solid middle chapter in the H40 trilogy, with some fun character dynamics and scenes, another solid score by original director John Carpenter and his son, and a Haddonfield revolution that will surely bleed into the next film, Halloween Ends (coming out Oct. 14, 2022), as Laurie enacts her final revenge on The Shape.