Halloween Kills is a Flawed, But Fun Time (Spoiler-Free Review)

Immediately picking up where the 2018 film left off, ‘Halloween Kills’ follows the residents of Haddonfield as they attempt to gather together to put an end to the legendary boogeyman who has escaped from the blaze at Laurie’s house and continues his brutal rampage throughout the town.

As a follow up to the 2018 film, ‘Halloween Kills’ manages to blend the two films together seamlessly, and because of this the former film becomes enhanced as the first half of one large story, with the latter film complimenting and expanding upon the formers’ story and narrative choices. The new film feels like the natural progression of the story established, and presents the larger picture of what’s to come.

Smartly, this film focuses on other established characters – not only from the previous movie, but also from the 1978 original – while sideling Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who spends the bulk of the film recovering from her wounds; the filmmakers here refuse to follow the traditional trope of a character springing back into action despite a serious injury, and although it might be off-putting for some fans for Laurie to not have any interaction with Michael, it is admirable that she isn’t written as a superhero, but rather a real person whose strong determination and motivations to put an end to the Shape once and for all is obstructed by a mortal wound. It’s a much-needed obstacle for the character. She, of course, tries to get involved, but quickly learns it wasn’t such a good idea after all.

This allows the other characters, such as Karen (Judy Greer), Allison (Andi Matichak), Tommy (Anthony Michael Hall), Lindsay (Kyle Richards), and Lonnie (Robert Longstreet) to shine and grow as lead characters in the series, and broadens the scope of the Shape’s equal-opportunity savagery; no longer singularly focused as the character previously had been in the majority of the franchise’s sequels, we get to see the impact Michael has had on many different characters while Laurie must come to terms with the fact that it’s not as personal as her and others have previously thought, thus supporting the decision made from the creative team behind this new trilogy to ignore the sibling subplot that dominated the franchise since its inclusion in the 1981 sequel ‘Halloween 2’ – something that the 2018 film had not entirely been successful at achieving. This gives a much-needed breath of fresh air for the series.

The acting is, for the most part, fine. Curtis, Greer, Matichak, Hall, Richards and Longstreet give fine performances, making the most out the material they had, despite some of the occasional cringe-worthy exchanges of dialogue – or even repetitiveness of dialogue – that they had to endure. The standout performance here is Judy Greer as Karen, who really gets to shine as the most likeable character of the ensemble. She has several moments as the more level-headed character, and in particular has a great character moment as she attempts to stop the angry, irrational mob from bringing harm to an innocent person.

Also standing out in this movie is James Jude Courtney who once again plays Michael Myers, and once again proves to be the best stunt actor to portray the character since Nick Castle. He’s brutal, intimidating, and you can believe that Myers is a force of nature. As far as the Myers character goes and some of the things he endures, it’s obvious that they’re starting to lean into the supernatural elements of the character. There is only so far they can go with the idea of Michael being just a man, and continuing that idea would be next to impossible as they continue with sequels. It’s only natural for the creative team behind this to acknowledge the fact that Michael has already defied the odds with the previous film, let alone with the damage he takes as the story carries on.

The highlight of this movie for me is the score from John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies. The new version of the theme is darker and more sinister, and the remaining score is a terrific blend of themes from the 1978 original and its 2018 sequel, really making the film tie together this new timeline seamlessly.

If I was to pick a favorite scene from this movie it would easily be the pre-titles flashback sequence, which is beautifully shot in a way that makes it feel like a natural extension to Carpenter’s film, and it helps add some context to the things established about the character of Officer Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) in the previous film.

Now all of this isn’t to say that the film is without its flaws: characters who know exactly what they’re up against make some incredibly poor decisions; a lot of the dialogue is full of cringe, and one particular phrase is obnoxiously repeated throughout the film. But none of these flaws affected my enjoyment of this sequel.

Overall, ‘Halloween Kills’ is a flawed, but fun time.

8.5 out of 10

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About Seth T. Miller 51 Articles
I am first and foremost a proud father of two daughters who may or may not be possessed by demonic entities/deadites (time will tell on that one, but I am pretty confident that one of them translated the Necronomicon). I am very passionate about writing, and spent a great many years focused on the craft of Screenwriting, but I have recently decided to switch gears and pursue my works as novels instead. While I do enjoy a variety of different genres and sub-genres, I am always and forever a horror film fanatic that loves the genre from the 30’s through the mid-90’s, and some afterward. I am particularly very fond of Werewolf fiction, as well as anything by John Carpenter, Stephen King, and George A. Romero.