So I thought this film was fine, but boy does it do some things narratively that I wish it hadn’t.
Taking place directly after the events of 2018’s reboot/sequel of the franchise simply titled Halloween, Halloween Kills sees Michael Myers continue to carve his way through the sleepy town of Haddonfield as Lori Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her family recover from his last bloody rampage. Targeting the people that he came into contact with the night he escaped from the mental institution some 40 years ago, Michael has given the people of Haddonfield a reason to band together and take on the boogeyman himself. Too bad Michael isn’t ready to go down without a fight, and as Halloween night continues, blood spills, bodies drop, sharp objects stab, and evil lives again.
Being a huge fan of the last entry that set up this new rebooted Halloween timeline, I was decidedly stoked to see what the filmmakers had in store for Michael Myers the second go around. And while I won’t say I disliked this film, I was left scratching my head more than once in a way that didn’t bode well for my overall feelings of what I saw onscreen.
Kicking things off with a cool little prologue that relies heavily on one’s knowledge of the very first 1978 Halloween film, it’s made immediately apparent that this movie intended to really dive into the lore of the series and give fans and newbies alike something to get excited about. Simultaneously pushing the franchise in a direction we haven’t seen before, the final cut is successful and unsuccessful to a point, but squanders other things in ways that I felt could have been avoided.
Far too padded and far too meandering in its story, the idea that the town of Haddonfield is finally taking matters into their own hands is wildly inspired but feels equal parts rushed and not fleshed out enough in ways that end up letting the entire idea down. And while what ultimately happens with this cool story point isn’t bad, the contrived and repetitive way the filmmakers shove it down the audience’s throat leaves a lot to be desired, to say nothing about how many times the town mob cries out, “Evil dies tonight.” We get it.
As for the real reason everyone goes to see slasher movies like this in the first place, I wasn’t exactly blown away by the kills and Michael Myers material, but enjoyed most of what I saw. There are a few awesome sequences throughout that continue to show Michael as the monster he is, but the slightly less dark tone of this one coupled with the over-reliance on shoddy yet intricate storytelling gives fans a movie that has a bit of an identity crisis more than anything.
This isn’t a bad Halloween movie considering where most of this franchise’s sequels sit in terms of quality, but I really wish the stellar look and feel of the original rebooted entry stuck around for this one. Halloween Kills has a brilliant idea at its center, but being the middle entry in a planned trilogy along with being stuffed full and marred by nonsensical narrative beats throughout ensures this sequel isn’t nearly as good as it could have been, despite the effort made.