The Nightmare Continues In ‘Halloween Kills’, But It Might Be Time To Wake Up – Review
“Fear. People are afraid. That is the true curse of Michael.”
The Strode family and Michael Myers are back in the next incarnation of the new Halloween trilogy, Halloween Kills. This series has proved that evil never truly dies. With the continuation of the Halloween saga, we find that Michael is back on his prowl and ready to eliminate Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and anyone else who happens to get in his way.
Universal Studios erased the other nine films, as audiences were meant to see the 2018 Halloween as a direct sequel to the 1978 film of the same name. Three years after that, we get the sequel to the sequel called Halloween Kills. Taking place moments after the end of the 2018 Halloween, The Strode women, Laurie, Karen (Judy Greer), and Allyson (Andi Matichak) are recovering physically and mentally from the assault from Michael Myers.
But Halloween is far from over and neither is the hellish nightmare they have been enduring. However, Michael isn’t just a Strode family problem. People previously within Laurie’s orbit during the 1978 film, Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet), Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), and Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), find out that the horror has returned and decide to get the town of Haddonfield to end the bad dream once and for all.
In the eleventh installment of the Halloween franchise, the focus is less on how fear generates trauma and more on how it creates hysteria. When paired with groupthink, it becomes dangerous to everyone as it evolves into mob mentality.
Multiple scenes lean into this, but with the film lacking in substantive dialogue and extras that seem to be on different acting wavelengths, it comes off a bit awkward. Which is a shame as when it comes to acting, Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Judy Greer, and Kyle Richards (child star turned reality star) salvage the film…somewhat.
The inclusion of actual new characters feels like it was just to have people for Michael to attack. It would have been more impactful if there was more focus on the returning characters, instead of throwing in random characters to fluff up the film.
What is equally jarring is the use of flashbacks. Meant to incorporate and elaborate more on what occurred to Deputy Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) the night they arrested Michael, many of the flashbacks simply felt misplaced. The back and forth between some of these flashbacks wasn’t needed and could have sufficed with just one throughout the entire film.
Having entry into the mind of those affected by Michael’s onslaught is a clever way to tell a story of trauma. But to look into the past of one character (who isn’t Laurie Strode) and not the other returners doesn’t provide the same impact. Unfortunately, it becomes a missed use of character development.
Needless to say, it pulls away from the focus of hysteria that the film attempts to cultivate in the present day. Honestly, there is no need for these separate plotlines that messily converge.
Although I may have gripes about the plot and character development, I can say that if you are looking for creative and gory scenes, then this slasher film scores high marks in that department. There were certain moments that were too painful to watch and this proves that this incarnation of Michael Myers is more of a brutal threat than ever before.
Unfortunately, Halloween Kills doesn’t recreate the nightmarish magic that the 2018 film brought into the revamped franchise. A few gory moments and solid acting from a few do not cure the film’s discombobulated plot progression. Here is to hoping the next film, Halloween Ends, appropriately finishes what 2018’s Halloween restarted, before an inevitable reboot.