October 15 felt like Christmas morning with the release of Halloween Kills, the follow-up to the 2018 reboot of the Halloween franchise. Below is our spoiler-free review of Halloween Kills.
First, let’s talk about pacing and plot. There was simply too much story crammed into this 1-hour-and-45 minute movie. An additional 15 to 20 minutes would’ve allowed for some of the rushed scenes to be extended and therefore better constructed. However, considering Halloween Kills‘ attempts to focus on the story of the town rather than a few key characters, it makes sense that the movie feels like it’s exploding with story arcs. Unfortunately, this does result in quite a few characters being swept under the rug.
While the dialogue is weak due to choppy and repetitive writing, the overarching subplot about the town itself and the people who live in it delivers an emotional theme to the movie beyond the gore. The subplot about how the people of Haddonfield react to traumatic events is carefully constructed and adds to the franchise in a great way. As with any movie in the horror genre, there will be character choices that make you scratch your head. However, would the horror genre be what it is without questionable character choices? Someone has to be around to make a bad decision and get murdered, especially in a Halloween movie.
Jamie Lee Curtis and Anthony Michael Hall are incredible in their scenes together and maintain a grasp on audiences that only two iconic returning characters can. It was enjoyable to see Anthony Michael Hall as Tommy again. However, much like the 1981 Halloween 2, Curtis is underutilized and does not receive enough screen time. It would’ve been nice to figure out a way to bring Laurie into the sequel’s story more rather than condemning her to a hospital bed for most of the movie.
The cinematography is certainly elevated this time around, with some unique camera angles showcasing murders in a new light. Part of the reason horror remakes/reboots are continually successful is the vast amount of improvement to filmmaking technology, and that is definitely apparent in this movie. The score, as is typical with the Halloween franchise, is beautiful and adds to the suspense of certain scenes in all the right ways.
The gore in this movie rivals the gore in the Rob Zombie version of this franchise, so squeamish viewers should be aware of that before going into the movie. If you like your horror movies to be full of blood and gruesome murder, Halloween Kills is definitely the horror movie for you. If you like your horror movies to actually scare you, on the other hand, this movie may disappoint. While there are plenty of suspenseful scenes, the movie does fail to provide jump scares and bone-chilling moments.
Now to discuss the true focus of the Halloween franchise: Michael Myers. Everything about this depiction of Michael is phenomenal. From his screen presence, to his mask, to the way he commits brutal murders are perfect representations of this long-standing and infamous character.
Overall, Halloween Kills may not be a true horror movie, but it is an amazing slasher movie with plenty of blood to make fans queasy. Will Halloween Kills be winning awards anytime soon? Probably not, but it’s still an enjoyable addition to the genre and franchise that audiences should give a watch this October.
Halloween Kills is in theaters now and streaming on Peacock for premium subscribers.