It’s hard to keep a good man down, they say, but it seems even harder to keep a bad man down if slasher movies are to be believed. No matter how many times Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees are thwarted by meddling kids, there always seems to be another sequel on the horizon to bring them (and their franchises) back from the undead. The latest slasher series to receive a renaissance is John Carpenter’s Halloween series, in which masked killer Michael Myers terrorizes the town of Haddonfield, Illinois.
The series functionally ended after 2002’s “Halloween: Resurrection,” leading to a 2007 remake by Rob Zombie and a sequel in 2009. The much-maligned reboot series led to the series being rebooted again with 2018’s “Halloween,” which is a direct sequel to 1978’s “Halloween.” The latest movie in the series, “Halloween Kills,” is either the third, 10th or 12th movie in the franchise depending on how you look at it. Regardless, the movie ultimately feels like more of the same.
The opening scenes of “Halloween Kills” pick up right where the 2018 film left off, so much so that rewatching that one ahead of the sequel is definitely recommended. Viewers will be able to pick up the plot threads quickly regardless, but the new movies tell one continuous narrative taking place across one Halloween night, so being fresh on the previous movie’s events adds some depth to the story. At the end of the last movie, Myers was left for dead in the burning home of his long-time nemesis Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) as Laurie and her family rode to the hospital to tend to their wounds. As “Halloween Kills” kicks off, Myers survives the fire — this movie would be a lot shorter otherwise — and makes his way into Haddonfield to continue his reign of terror. Except this time, the town is fighting back.
This movie is going to be divisive among audiences depending on their expectations for the film.
Fans of the 2018 film may be disappointed to find that the slow burn of that film has been replaced with more frequent scenes of Myers attacking the citizens of Haddonfield. The 2018 film approaches the villain with an approach reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws.” The film runs nearly two hours but Myers only appeared on screen for roughly 12 minutes, giving a sense of dread as anticipation builds and characterizing the villain as an unfeeling force of nature rather than a person at all. However, “Halloween Kills” has a lot more Michael as he slashes his way across town, leaving bloody bodies and elaborate setpieces in his wake. Most of the movie focuses on him and the townies as Curtis is relegated to a hospital bed to nurse her wounds from the previous movie. Even her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), the other protagonists of the previous film, take a back seat for much of the film. It’s like if “Jaws” had decided to focus on the two guys who throw the holiday roast off the pier instead of Chief Brody.
Keeping that in mind, anyone expecting a “Halloween” movie to be an action-filled slasher film will get exactly what they came for with “Halloween Kills.” Pitting Myers against residents of the town rather than the main characters of the last film provides a lot of fodder for him to slice and dice in increasingly creative ways. Some of the kills border on absurdity and others seem to suggest that Myers has a sense of humor. It’s grisly fun for fans of bloody slasher flicks but ultimately feels like filler before the final showdown with Strode in next year’s trilogy finale, “Halloween Ends.” The film’s attempt at its own self-contained narrative about mob mentalities feels equally undercooked. The notion that paranoid mobs are the real monsters is a great concept in something with a degree of social commentary like The Twilight Zone, but just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny in a story with an actual monster attacking innocent people.
“Halloween Kills” is the middle child of Danny McBride’s reboot trilogy and it shows. The movie trades its predecessor’s slow burn story for a chance to let l Myers cut loose with a bloody killfest as it treads water before the finale. The franchise continues next year with the third installment in the reboot trilogy, appropriately titled “Halloween Ends.” If it’s anything like this movie, one can only hope that the title is a promise.
“Halloween Kills” is rated R and is now playing in theaters and on Peacock.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.