Warning: This article contains massive reviews for Halloween Kills. Do not read if you plan to watch the film and do not want it spoiled for you.
Halloween is here, and many are eager to wear their Halloween costumes and go out to parties or trick-or-treating. Many also find this holiday as the right time to sit down and enjoy a nice scary movie. As an avid fan of the classic slasher films, Halloween has grown on me as one of the world’s classic long-running horror series I can muster up the guts to watch. The series, dating back to 1978, follows a simple premise: a psychopathic killer donning a distinctive white mask with brown hair fluff is on the loose, murdering innocent civilians that come his way in the quiet town of Haddonfield, Ill., “where nothing ever happens.” Produced by the same production teams behind 2018’s Halloween, Miramax and Blumhouse Productions, Halloween Kills continues this premise, building on top of its 2018 prequel — a movie that continues its story from the original 1978 film 40 years into the future. One question remains, however: Does Halloween Kills live up to its anticipated hype?
The short answer: Yes. The long answer: Yes . . . with a few exceptions. Halloween Kills is both a great piece of cinematography and a great sequel that continues the ongoing story of the 2018 reboot. My overall engagement and enjoyment of the film were at an all-time high—in simple terms, I enjoyed this movie. Maybe not as much as the original 2018 film, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I’m not exaggerating when I say this, but by the time the end credits rolled on my screen, I was left with my jaw-dropped. It’s a captivating movie, and I would certainly watch it again.
However, I can’t ignore the underlying issues the film has that could have made it a whole lot better. For instance, returning badass actor Jamie Lee Curtis had, unfortunately, less of an acting role in the sequel. In the original 2018 reboot, Curtis had a larger role in coming face-to-face with her age-old foe and delivered an astonishing performance. In this movie, however, she is confined to a hospital undergoing surgery for her abdomen, which had been ripped open by Michael in her previous fight with him in the prequel. Moreover, Michael’s classic infiltrations were less prevalent. His killings in a confined space were some of the most climactic moments of Halloween, as the surprise tactics he would utilize to kill his victims meant that Michael dominated cramped and enclosed spaces — things we would see less in this new installment.
Personally, I feel as if there wasn’t as much gore as the original reboot. I remember vividly being shocked at the way in which Michael not only decapitated a sheriff’s head, but also went to lengths to physically carve out his face and turn that same head into a makeshift jack-o-lantern. Yet, in the sequel, the amount of gore from Michael’s killings was disappointing. They weren’t as drastic or climactic, but they got the job done. However, with the production of the film occurring during a time in which the pandemic had forced everyone to lock themselves in their homes; it’s understandable if there were possible ideas scrapped in favor of the health and safety of the actors, especially returning actor Jamie Lee Curtis, who would be more susceptible to COVID-19 due to her age.
I personally enjoyed the way the film tries to keep Michael’s identity a secret. In the trailer for Halloween Kills, we see snippets of the film in which someone is actively trying to remove Michael’s iconic mask with Jamie Lee Curtis screaming her wishes to rip off his mask as he dies — possibly alluding to an identity reveal that makes the movie all the more alluring. However, in classic Halloween fashion, while we do get to see a small glimpse of Michael’s identity (just like in the original film, where Michael’s young face is briefly caught when Laurie Strode removes his mask), we aren’t fully shown a “true” identity to Michael. His face, while aged and nearly recognizable, is purposefully unfocused or angled just enough to barely miss his face overall. This sets a lingering allure and mystery of who this immortal man is, effectively making him creepier than ever.
One key idea of the film I really thought was conveyed well was Michael being the “pure embodiment of evil.” Michael is a reckoning force for the civilians of Haddonfield, who are mostly ill-equipped to fight against a psychopathic killer on their own, let alone one with superhuman strength. His unorthodox methods of murdering his victims and “playing” with their bodies by putting them in different poses or putting masks over their faces post-mortem make him a feared figure. This would make the residents of Haddonfield revolt against the threat of Michael Myers, leading to the climactic event where they would confront an unmasked Michael a street away from his childhood home and proceed to beat him senseless into the ground with bats, shovels, wooden planks, and even shoot him point-blank in the chest with six bullets after he put his mask back on in front of them. Just as Michael is impaled in the back with the very kitchen knife he used to kill his victims that night, he would rise from the ground as if nothing had happened to him, seemingly stronger than he was initially, and would proceed to kill off each and every person around him — some of which include Strode’s long-time companions. If the pure embodiment of evil means an immortal force to be reckoned with, and with no feasible way of killing it, then the notion of Michael’s own existence is frightening enough to think about.
Despite my nitpicks, I definitely recommend this movie. If you haven’t seen the 2018 reboot, I implore you to do so, whether or not you are a movie junkie or a horror fanatic. I am neither of those, yet I found the modern installments of Halloween to be the most captivating pieces of horror media I’ve ever seen thus far. Perhaps I’ll suit up in a Michael Myers costume this Halloween, and bring the face of evil from Haddonfield to Whittier College — who knows!
Featured Image Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.