Did you think Halloween (2018) didn’t have enough violence and gore? Well, Halloween Kills might be just for you. Did you think Halloween (2018) could’ve had a bigger emphasis on the story and the traumas of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her family? Well, you might want to pass on Halloween Kills.
Picking up mere moments after the end of the previous film, Halloween Kills provide series fans and gorehounds alike with even MORE of the night Michael Myers comes home. Laurie Strode’s home is up in flames with Michael Myers trapped inside and she’s escaping into the night with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). From the trailers and existence of the movie, we come to find out that this isn’t enough to keep a good slasher down.
That’s just where the problems begin with Halloween Kills. Almost right away Laurie and her family are relegated to damn near side character status. Instead, the movie focuses on the residents of Haddonfield itself, such as Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) and Lindsay Wallace (Kyle Richards), the two children that Laurie protected in the 1978 masterpiece. Not that a movie shifting focus to different characters is an issue but it’s not only them but a messy myriad of characters ranging from small bit parts from the original film to its 2018 counterpart.
The film jumps around from different Haddonfield residents and locales that it can’t decide what it wants to focus on or why we should care in the slightest. For a film that focuses on showing other parties reacting to different deaths, the film gives us no time to even get acquainted with the adult/older versions of these new characters. For example, Tommy Doyle’s main personality trait seems to be a fixation on Michael Myers and chanting “Evil dies tonight” to rile up a crowd. Overall, if you thought the 2018 installment was messy in terms of its focus, then you should know that the sequel doubles down on that.
The film feels like a collection of scenes/vignettes strung together by Michael Myers going on a bloody rampage (the highest body count in the series so I guess it has that going for it). The script features some truly awful dialogue and delivery by its actors that I found myself unintentionally laughing at certain moments in the film. The film also features some of the absolute ugliest digital photography jumping around from different styles and techniques. It matches the storytelling in that both feel like a disjointed mess. If you have told me that the script and shooting were both completed in two weeks, I would absolutely believe you. Halloween Kills features one of the worst horror movie endings in recent memory, not because of what happens but because it straight up ignores vital aspects established in the 2018 installment (this movie was filmed in 2019 for the record).
Is there anything good in Halloween Kills? Absolutely. The film features one of the strongest soundtracks in the entire series to date. The synth sounds delivered by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies cannot be praised enough. A more consistent collection of synth sounds and influence from late 70’s/early 80’s film scores (even borrowing from Carpenter’s own back catalogue) make it guaranteed to hit my turntable regularly.
Are there good ideas in Halloween Kills? Admittedly yes there are! But they’re handled so poorly and with such little care that it’s hard to not wonder where it all went wrong. To allude to the story of Icarus, the man who flew too close to the sun: it may have been overly ambitious to turn a one-off installment into a forced trilogy. As a massive Halloween fan (the original is one of my favorite movies of all time) I’m hoping Halloween Ends will change my mind when it releases in 2022. If you like gore and don’t want anything else in your slasher movies, you may love this. Everyone else need not apply. Heartbreaking.
Halloween Kills is available on Peacock and playing in theatres.
by Reyna Cervantes