When it comes to the classic slasher series that started in the 80s, the Halloween franchise has always been a very distant third to me when compared to the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th series. The original Halloween is a classic, with Halloween 2 being a suitable if not flawed sequel. The following films in the mainline franchise never captivated me with the last two entries of (H20 and Resurrection) turning me off to the series entirely.
The series was rebooted in 2007 under the helm of Rob Zombie. While his two Halloween films were successful, fans of the series clamored for a return to the mainline continuity. This call was answered in 2018’s Halloween. This entry in the franchise retconned every mainline film after the first one and picked up 40 years later with Laurie Strode (again played by Jaime Lee Curtis) as a hardened woman whose family has ostracized her because she was obsessed with preparing for the eventual return of the Boogeyman. As we all know, he does return, she proves them wrong, and the film ends with her family believing that they have finally killed him.
Halloween Kills opens with a flashback to Michael’s original rampage in 1978 and the story of how Officer Hawkins failed in his attempt to kill Michael and killed his partner by accident in the process. Then in good horror movie sequel fashion, we come back to the present to see how Michael survived his death in the previous film. In this, we are treated to a level of gore and mayhem that sets the tone for the viciousness of the character for the rest of the film.
The opening flashback is very indicative of the rest of the films’ plotline as most of the story revolves around the town’s reaction to the news the Michael Myers is back. During the film we are treated to the stories of other characters that survived the original film, this is where the film loses much of the intrigue of the 2018 film. None of these characters are compelling, especially when compared to Curtis’ portrayal of Strode. Sadly, she is sidelined for most of this movie to focus on others.
Halloween Kills does try to do some things to evolve the story and the town of Haddonfield. The town’s anger, fear, and eventual evolution into a crazed mob makes sense on paper. However, the execution was very lackluster. The main problem with focusing on these side characters is that they are stupid! Many make stupid decisions that gets most of them killed. While these motivations and actions are standard in many films of this nature, this is a sequel to a film that showed a protagonist that was intelligent and calculating. To have a sequel that focuses on emotional bumbling idiots chasing the Boogeyman is such a disservice to the greatness of the preceding film.
Unfortunately, Halloween Kills is a satisfying kill fest and not much else. It is a movie that is dominated by uninteresting characters that continuously make extremely stupid decisions while its best and most compelling character is kept on the bench for the eventual Halloween Ends. Halloween Kills is a mere steppingstone to the movie that we want to see, the ultimate and final showdown between the legendary final girl and the Boogeyman.