Halloween Kills does not fuck around.
This is your main event of the Halloween season. It had to be Michael Myers, Laurie Strode, and Halloween Kills. We waited a year-delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now we can all enjoy the film in theaters and on Peacock. The previous film, Halloween (2018) rejuvenated interest and brought back Michael Myers into the public eye. It’s inventive plot and performances from Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, and the rest of the cast were spot on for a Halloween film for the new age.
If you’re talking about this movie, you have to start with the absolutely brutal body count. Michael jumps ahead in the body count ranks for slasher villains. If he hasn’t reached Jason Voorhees’s record, he’s damn close now.
Brutal, Bloody, Painful, Disheartening
Every stab, every slash, a gut kick, and more highlight just what you can feel while watching this movie. The action is well filmed, shows a full complement of gore, and doesn’t pull any punches. Throughout the film, it’s a tense ride that provides a satisfying sequel and sets up our next film nicely as well. Of the films releasing this year, Halloween Kills might be the most brutal big-budget studio film of the year. In a world where horror is a bit more cerebral these days, this movie is a nice throwback to that bygone era.
Michael Myers is scary once again. The writing team of David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and Scott Teems bring us a story that continues our narrative, and brings in old characters we know and love. Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet), and Sheriff Brackett (Charles Cyphers) all return here from the first movie.
Speaking of Tommy, his special brand of machismo and bravado picks up the slack left by Laurie Strode. If you’re looking for more Laurie in this film, she’s sidelined due to her injuries suffered in the first film. So Tommy and the residents of Haddonfield take it upon themselves to hunt down Michael Myers once and for all.
A Tale Of The Younger Strodes
Allyson (Andi Matichak) and Karen (Judy Greer) take up the slack from Laurie and carry a good portion of the movie. Greer in particular is the only voice of reason amongst a sea of chaos. If I had to describe this movie, it would be chaotic. Everything is happening at a frenetic pace, but it takes it’s time setting up the different kills and scenes throughout. Greer is just as badass as Laurie was in the first film, and Matichak is the one allowed to show some bad judgement and chasing after Michael for vengeance.
This is really a story about the city of Haddonfield and it’s citizens though. Very much like Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, we get bands of people hunting down Michael because the police haven’t done their job. It’s a mob, they’re out of control. The only real control in the film is Michael Myers. Which is surprising. They do a good job of reminding us of films like Frankenstein and others where the mob mentality takes over.
An Ending Sure To Polarize And Shock
Without spoiling anything, people are going to be talking about the ending of this film until at least Halloween Ends comes out next year. Beyond that, it’s shocking, and it comes relatively out of nowhere. That’s the only real issue with the film. The ending comes where it seems like the film is reaching it’s apex. Being the second film in a trilogy, it should feel a bit like that. But it just feels like the film ends on an abrupt note.
This is sure to please gorehounds and might upset some others. The film sticks to a lean approach to the proceedings. It’s Michael killing people, and people reacting to those killings. There’s no grandiose plot, no overarching mysticism, it’s just a slasher movie at the core. It benefits the frenetic pace and chaos all around the audience though. Michael is center-stage here, every scene he’s in more terrifying than the last.
As a standalone film, it might not reach as high, but taken with the weight of the rest of the series, Halloween Kills is a standard bearer for the modern slasher genre. Long-time fans should be happy that the brutal animalistic killings of Michael’s past are here, without the excess and unneeded story-beats like the Rob Zombie movies.
Evil Dies Tonight
If you’re into chaos, blood, gore, and a bit of that old school slasher magic, Halloween Kills is right at home. This is the main event of this year’s Halloween season for a reason. There’s something special about seeing your favorite slasher villains and characters of the past done so well in a contemporary setting. If Halloween Kills is any indication, we’re in for a hell of a treat next year with the finale in Halloween Ends.
Halloween Kills releases in theaters October 15th, 2021 and on Peacock the same day for streaming.
For more on Halloween, check out the month-plus marathon of horror, Fright-A-Thon, or stay tuned to That Hashtag Show.