In 2018, moviegoers were reintroduced to a horror legend After many outings, the Halloween series made its return to silver screen with the movie simply known as Halloween. Rather than continuing the events of previous installments, the 2018 sequel decided to make a new start and continue the story of the first film 40 years later and retconning everything else. While I thought the movie could have been stronger, there was no denying the film made an impression with both moviegoers and critics to the point where the movie grossed over $250 million. Thanks to its success the studio decided to continue this new chapter and after much delay Michael Myers strikes again in Halloween Kills.
Directed again by David Gordon Green, the movie picks up right where the first one left off as Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) recuperates from her previous encounter with Michael (James Jude Courtney), only to find out that killer survived and has continued his killing spree on the town of Haddonfield. Unlike previous entries this new film is unique as it is the first part of finale that culminate next year. Between the continuing story and knowing where it might be going there were some interesting aspects going into this sequel; and despite my reservations going in, I cannot deny that Halloween Kills ended up being a killer sequel.
Having a direct continuation is not an eerie concept for the Halloween series, but it was indeed a refreshing direction for the new movie. Not only was the plot easy to get back into but it also expanded on new elements like the town Haddonfield. While the first film focused on the Strodes, this movie deals with townsfolks and how they were affected by the 1978 killings. This direction not only expanded on the overall story but gave the plot a thematic nature that kept things grounded. The only issue this story suffered from was it trying to balance each element, and this led to points such as Allyson (Andi Matichak) hunting Michael getting lost in the shuffle. If nothing else the story was a thrill ride as Michael’s path destruction was tense from beginning to end, and this was enough live up to terrifying nature of the franchise.
When it came to the cast the movie featured a surprising ensemble. Horror films are not usually known for their in depth characters and the previous film did not have the strongest of casts-though some performances stood out. However this cast was impressive thanks to the nuance in the characters’ direction. When it came to Laurie, the original scream queen was as impressive as ever; however her time on screen was limited-though I think this direction was for the best. Along with Laurie were family members Allyson and Karen (Judy Greer) who had a stronger outing this time around thanks to the movie taking the time to flesh out their characters. With the town playing a bigger role in this movie it was nice to see that Haddonfield was a community rich with character. Whether it was returning characters like Tommy (Anthony Michael Hall) or even minor players each cast member left an impression and felt appropriate for the movie at hand. Last and certainly not least was the Boogeyman himself Michael Myers. The iconic killer was as formidable as ever and the movie did its best to expand on Michael’s derange mentality-though this direction could have used more clarification. Between their captivating direction and impressive performances, this cast was among the best in the series and an extraordinary ensemble for any horror film.
When going into a Halloween film it is best to expect an array of violence. However, in the case of Halloween Kills, the sequel was not only violent, but its brutality was off the scale. Each sequence was more gruesome than the next and with its gritty execution the kills of this movie were among the best of the series has ever produced. Aiding the film’s violence was the cinematography which had bleak look that was fitting for the movie’s dark setting. Last and most certainly not least was the music by the team of Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies and of course John Carpenter. Along with utilizing the iconic Halloween theme, the music was dynamic in its use and gave the movie a foreboding atmosphere. Between this and its gruesome nature, the tone of Halloween Kills was tense, ominous and worthy of its respected series.
What started as uncertain tale has become a major chapter in the Halloween franchise. Halloween Kills delivers with its nuance in storytelling and characters as well as its gruesome presentation in general horror. Though this sequel had some weaknesses it was not enough to keep this movie buried as this sequel is arguably among the best in the franchise has ever created. Next year cannot come soon enough as I eagerly await to see how this story comes to an end and whether Halloween Kills helped pave the way in this thrilling chapter to the classic series.