Review: Halloween Kills

Halloween Kills brings the terror back to Haddonfield in the sequel to 2018’s Halloween – the true sequel to the 1978 classic of the same name.

Like the 1981 sequel, this story picks up the same night the events of 2018’s terror took place. We last saw Michael Myers trapped in a burning basement of the home Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) set on fire. Laurie, Karen (Judy Greer), and Allyson (Andi Matichak) got away in the back of a pickup truck believing they’d escaped The Bogeyman of Haddonfield one last time.

They were wrong!

Michael survived the fire and dispatched the Haddonfield Fire Department in a very gruesome scene. Now Michael is back on the loose in Haddonfield with its citizens in harms way. Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) is one of the kids Laurie babysat during that frightful night in 1978. All grown up, Tommy goes to the bars and remembers the people that lost their lives that night and reminds residents of the evil that once stalked their streets. Once word gets out the Michael Meyers has escaped, Tommy goes around Haddonfield recruiting a mob to hunt and kill Michael once and for all.

With Laurie recovering from injuries, she believes Michael is headed to the hospital to finish what he started. Meanwhile, Karen and Allyson take to the streets to help the town hunt down Michael.

2018’s Halloween dealt with how Laurie and her family dealt with the trauma from the attacks. Halloween Kills explores how Haddonfield residents have dealt with the murders over the past 40 years. The story does a great job connecting the events in 1978 to what’s happening currently. One man on one night completely reshaped the town. The anger felt in the town reaches a boiling point as one person is mistaken for Michael and people bring literal pitchforks to kill him. There is social commentary throughout the film, albeit sloppy at times, about how the mob mentality can be dangerous and how righteous anger can be used to harm innocent people.

When the film isn’t making any lager real world points, it’s at its best as Michael cuts through the residents of Haddonfiled like a hot knife through butter. There are some incredibly gruesome and inventive kills. Rather than just a figure walking down the street, the kills focus on Michael as a bogeyman in the shadows, the figure you thought you saw in your closet one night, or the figure you thought you saw in the backseat of your car as you adjusted your mirrors. It’s in those moments’ director David Gordon Green taps into the horror that made Michael Myers such a terrifying villain.

During one sequence, Michael continues to stab a dead body with various knives. He moves his body in sections like a robot. It’s both interesting and horrifying to watch. It’s what made Michael so scary all these years later.

With Laurie spending most of the film recovering in the hospital, this film uses it as an opportunity to kill nameless residents of Haddonfield and it doesn’t disappoint. These residents get killed KILLED and in the worst ways. We also get the return of Julian (Jibrail Nantambu) who narrowly escaped Michael in the last film.  

What Halloween Kills lacks in tension and scares, it makes up for in gore, brutality, and Michael’s absolute refusal to die. If next year’s Halloween Ends is really the end of Michael Myers, it should be a slasher film for the ages.

Grade: C+