Take a shot every time a character says “Evil dies tonight” and we promise you, you’ll leave Halloween Kills drunk.
This sequel to the sequel of the original Halloween, which ignores all the other sequels that came before it, brings one of the scariest villains in horror cinema and the franchise’s most beloved star – Jamie Lee Curtis – back to the big screen once more.
But like the icon Curtis, Halloween Kills is getting old, and frankly quite tiring.
The movie starts off right where the 2018 Halloween sequel ends and as far as the franchise is concerned, both new Halloween sequels are not a reboot, but rather a sequel or recalibration years after the events of the 1978 original. The movie retcons all previous sequels so if you’ve yet to watch all the previous sequels before entering Halloween Kills, you’re not missing out much.
In Halloween, killer Michael Myers returns to haunt Laurie Strode (Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichek). After a gruelling fight, the three generations of Strode women burnt their house down with Michael still in it and ran for safety. What looks like the end of Michael’s killing sprees, really isn’t when Halloween Kills starts with firefighters rushing to the Strode home to put out the fire. As seen in the trailer itself, the blaze hardly had an impact on Michael and instead of putting the fire out, the firefighters find themselves dead at the feet of the masked killer.
Laurie gets sent to the hospital for a stab wound but like every franchise’s protagonist, she refuses to receive help without some dramatics. Granted the woman has PTSD, but after some soothing from Karen, she lays in her hospital bed and accepts that her nightmare is finally over. And she remains there for pretty much 90% of the film.
Whilst the Strode women attempt to calm down at the hospital after a frightful encounter with a killer they believe to be dead, the movie reintroduces characters from the original, including Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), who audiences have seen grow up from the original, as well as Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), Officer Leigh Brackett (Charles Cypher) and Dr Sam Loomis (Tom Jones). Tommy was the young boy Laurie babysat in the 1978 original, Lindsey was with Tommy the night of the horrors, Marion was a nurse at the hospital Michael was admitted to, Officer Leigh is the father of one of Michael’s victims and Dr Sam is Michael’s doctor.
For long-time fans, these character comebacks are an opportunity to see how much they’ve grown from their earlier encounters with Michael Myers and how they’ve managed to cope with their trauma. Tommy, Lindsey and Marion are seen hanging out at a bar during Halloween night and Tommy later proceeds to dampen the party with a reminder of all the suffering the town had to go through thanks to Michael (this is why we don’t like open-mic nights).
The party ends and the crew leave the bar only to find, surprise, Michael standing by a car and waiting for his next victim. Call it liquid courage, or pure stupidity, but Tommy and gang decide that instead of running the other way and heading home, now’s the time to put an end to Michael and his terrors once and for all. “Evil Dies Tonight!” they all scream, before hopping into their own cars to warn the neighbours of Michael’s return and to invite more able-bodied men into their angry mob.
It doesn’t take long for bodies to drop and blood to spill, because Michael, as many would know, is incredible at sneaking up on his victims and slashing them to miniscule bits. For a slasher film, Halloween Kills still holds its crown as supreme. There’s enough blood and suspense for fans of horror to still feel an amount of shock, and nothing beats the Halloween theme song playing in the background when the horrors take place. It’s an iconic soundtrack, and even after years and countless tiring sequels, it still gives the creeps. The jolt of nostalgia is also greatly appreciated.
As people rush and gather at the hospital, word of Michael’s return eventually gets to Karen and Allyson. Afraid of the news affecting Laurie’s recovery, the two women decide to keep it a secret and join Tommy in the search for Michael. Greer plays the concerned mother who stands more on the anxious and protective side of things whilst Matichek’s Allyson is much similar to Curtis’ Laurie. The young girl doesn’t take bullshit and regardless of what her mother says, she will be a part of Michael’s demise. Allyson sneaks out with Tommy and her boyfriend and in a twisted game of fate, they find themselves hunted by Michael in the third act.
As previously mentioned, Curtis’ Laurie (the best part of the franchise) remains confined to her hospital room whilst all of the murders happen. It’s as if director David Gordon Green didn’t learn from 1981’s Halloween II mistake, where it largely leaves Laurie alone and sees Michael murder a bunch of uninteresting characters because this is exactly what we’re getting in Halloween Kills. Whilst the murders definitely feed the appetites of gore fans, it does very little to progress the storyline a.k.a Michael’s fixation on Laurie.
The most frustrating bit of the movie is when it diverts and sees an angry mob go after an escaped mental hospital patient, wholeheartedly thinking that the person is Michael himself. This scenario is likely director Green’s attempt to show how trauma and horror can affect groups of people – even turning them evil in the end – but again, it’s pointless and frankly, stupid. For townsfolk who have been hunted by a tall and masked killer for years, one would think that they’d be able to tell the difference between him and a short, stout and maskless mental hospital patient. It’s a subplot that adds very little to the experience and storyline – of which, already felt empty by the one hour mark.
Halloween Kills feels more like a filler movie that barely adds anticipation or excitement for the final instalment, Halloween Ends, that’s expected to be released in 2022. In fact, the overuse of “Evil ends tonight” in Halloween Kills has us slightly turned off for the third act,because we’d likely expect more of the stupid line chanted every five minutes, again. Hopefully by Halloween Ends, it will actually end.
While Halloween Kills does offer some good gory violence if you’re into that sort of thing, it isn’t entirely scary or compelling enough. By the end of the two hours, the movie still finds itself right back where it started, making everything you’ve spent watching pointless. With little character development or story progression, Halloween Kills feels like the chore director Green needed to complete in order to move on to the grand finale that he really wanted to make.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Seeing how Halloween Kills played out, Green will need to do a lot more to entice viewers back to the cinemas after a disappointing installment.Halloween Kills delivers in gore but kills all excitement for the franchise’s final installment.
Story - 5/10
Direction - 5/10
Characterisation - 4/10
Geek Satisfaction - 4/10