Halloween Kills is the 12th film in the long running franchise. A direct sequel to 2018s Halloween, the film takes place in the immediate aftermath of that films fiery conclusion. But we have to ask, does Halloween Kills actually, well, kill? Or are we headed back into the mire of interminable sequels? Well, read on to find out…
Laurie Strode has finally defeated Michael Myers. Or so she thought. As she heads to the hospital while her compound burns, first responders attempt to douse the flames. But within the burning property, Michael still lurks. After a violent and bloody confrontation, Michael heads back towards his childhood home, killing anyone in his way.
Meanwhile, the town of Haddonfield decide to take “justice” into their own hands, and hunt Michael down. As the mob mentality takes hold, an innocent man dies, but the bloodlust carries on. Evil dies tonight is the towns cry. But is it their own fear and anger that keeps Michael alive? Can something as truly remorseless and emotionally empty as Michael Myers ever be stopped by mere people? Tonight, Haddonfield will find out.
Halloween Kills takes the formula laid down by it’s predecessor, and adds another layer on top of it. The film is a thinly veiled critique of the mob mentality that has come to dominate socio-political beliefs in recent years. Indeed, the film can be read as a critique of the Trump supporting section of American society. We are invited to question who are the monsters? Is it Michael with his lack of human emotion and pure instinct. Or is it the regular people driven by fear who lash out, killing an innocent man in the process?
Beyond that, Halloween Kills is a solidly brutal modern slasher. Michael Myers is easily the most brutal we have ever seen him. His kills are all calmly done, with a blunt physicality that belies a man of his supposed age. There is something truly “supernatural” about his strength and resilience here. He dispatches his victims with a fury previously unseen in the franchise.
And our “heroes”? Well, they are all broken to an extent. Laurie remains obsessed with killing Myers. Her own daughter ultimately succumbs to the urge to kill him also. And little Tommy Doyle is all grown up, and ready to fight Michael Myers one last time. Add in Sheriff Bracket now working as hospital security and consumed with grief, and a cop who had the chance to let Michael die at the hands of Dr Loomis but showed compassion. This gives you a motley bunch of adults, all of whom have their own reasons for seeking vengeance.
And it all just about works. Yes, the socio-political commentary is a bit heavy handed in places, and the violence may be too brutal for some, but on the whole it works. The film exists in the kind of world where an indestructible near octogenarian psychopath seems perfectly viable and legitimate. The film is also full of treats for long term fans, such as a CGI enabled rendition of Dr Loomis, circa 1978, and a return for his faithful nurse, Marion (whose death scene echoes her first appearance in the original 1978 film).
Overall, I’d give this film 4/5 Fiends. It’s good, but just short of great.