Halloween Kills is a film that feels endlessly delayed for countless reasons, with one major one being the pandemic. But it is now here, bringing Michael Myers back to the big screen, with all the blood, throwbacks and violence you hoped for from the series. While it delivers on most fronts, the need for nostalgia and throwbacks hold the movie back from being anything more than a gory interlude.
Halloween Kills picks up right from where the 2018 movie ends, with three generations of Strode women all fleeing the house as it is slowly engulfed in flame. While the blade was supposed to put an end to the masked killer for good, it only managed to slow him down, with Michael Myers once again going on a brutal killing spree through the small town, leaving a trail of dead and bloody people in his wake. Director Gordon Green, and the writing team of Scott Teems and Danny McBride do a wonderful job capturing the tone and setting of the first 1978 film, but they forget to push the plot forward as they try and recapture the past.
This is a film filled to the brim with callbacks and nods to the 1978 Halloween. From the characters it re-introduces, to the dialog, there is a need to bring up the past whenever possible. There are plenty of characters to follow as the town tries to take a stand against Myers. While Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is stuck in the hospital due to injuries, it is up to everyone else to try and strike back. Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) and Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards) working with the former assistant of Dr. Loomis, Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens) all work to strike back, as the rest of the town slowly descends into madness.
“Watching Halloween Kills quickly becomes frustrating, simply due to how little forward momentum is carried out throughout it’s 1 hour 45 minute runtime.”
Watching Halloween Kills quickly becomes frustrating, simply due to how little forward momentum is carried out throughout it’s 1 hour 45 minute runtime. For everyone hoping this would move the Strode saga forward, making headway against Michael Myers will be sorely disappointed with this bloody outing. There are many moments that give hope for the future of the franchise, and some stand-out characters bring their A-Game to the role. The Mother, Karen (Judy Greer) delivers some of the best moments of the film, bringing a sense of reason to the brutality and insanity everyone is dealing with due to fear.
But Green seems so focused on raising the bar on violence, the good story and character moments are drowned out by the gallons of blood he is eager to spill. The kills are cranked to 11 in Halloween Kills, with the film revealing all the ways Michael Myers can kill everyone that comes at him. From fire axes, glass, knives and everything in between. This is Michael at his most cold-blooded, acting as a superhuman force of death, cutting down everyone in his path.
While it may be bloody, and brutal, Halloween Kills is based in the past as much in the present, taking moments to give reference to past events, or tie up many loose ends from that original 1978 masterpiece. While it does a lot to tie this new entry into the series canon, it also does little to go beyond kills and callbacks. While there are some amazing moments, good characters and some fantastic cinematic moments, beyond the violent energy of Michael, little is achieved towards a forward narrative.
While little is achieved beyond piling more corpses at the feet of Michael Myers, Halloween Kills is a brutal journey back to Haddonfield that feels very in line with the series lore. Even with the lost momentum as the Strode family is put on the backburner to make way for gory nostalgia, it is still a film well worth your time. This new trilogy is trying to do the characters right, giving enough to make us care about the series. I just wish this middle outing offered more than filler as we wait patiently for the final battle to take place.