Review: Halloween Kills

I didn’t really know what to expect from 2018’s Halloween reboot but to my surprised I ended up loving it despite not being overly fond or familiar with the franchise as a whole. Now, Halloween Kills is here, the second instalment of an apparent new trilogy that while being an enjoyable watch, fell into the same trap as the likes of The Last Jedi and Age Of Ultron whereby you feel nothing important really happens and that all the good stuff is being saved for the next, and in this case possibly final, entry of the franchise.

There’s a lot of things to like about Halloween Kills though but there’s also a few things that I wasn’t too keen on. Firstly, since the last film., I’ve delved deep into the history of Halloween and as a result found myself a little disappointed in the way Halloween Kills basically just reused some of the ideas that have been used before in other movies. What these are however, I won’t say as it may potentially ruin and / or spoil parts of the film but I did find the inclusion of some of them a little unnecessary.

Next up, and really my only other criticism of an otherwise very well made and enjoyable slasher film is the setting itself. Halloween Kills basically picks up seconds after the end of Halloween much like the original 1981 sequel did, but as a result I feel it somewhat limits the film’s creative potential as a lot of the characters are basically side lined due to the wounds inflicted by Michael Myers.

However, with all that being said there was a lot of things I liked about Halloween Kills. The cast are all on top form and those returning from the previous film do an amazing job making be believe their trauma of what has, in their mind, just transpired a few hours ago. I also love seeing some familiar faces return to the fold and while Halloween has mostly always been about Michael and Laurie, it was nice to see some other characters from the John Carpenter film make a return.

The body count in this movie is also way higher than I expected it to be and some of the kills are outright brutal. I thought I was desensitised to violence in cinema at this point, I’ve seen a lot in my time, but there was one kill in particular that had me wincing in my seat. Some people may complain it to be violence and gore for the sake of it and that it brings nothing to the story, but really it was the best and only way to truly showcase how savage Michael Myers really is as he moves ever closer to his real goal.

What I wasn’t prepared for however, was a newly shot flashback to the 70’s that was so well made that I actually thought it was some form of deleted scene from one of the older films but it lends new context to the events that lead to Michael’s capture at the end of 1978’s Halloween.

As much as I really liked Halloween Kills, I don’t think it’s quite as strong a movie as it’s predecessor but it a massive step up in quality when compared to the rest of the franchise. Personally, I was never blown away by the John Carpenter original but that maybe down to the fact I was in my late 20’s when I watched it for the first time but for fans of Halloween, fans of Michael Myers, and fans of horror / slasher movies in general, I’d happily recommend giving Halloween a watch but there is a caveat to that statement.

I personally think that any sequel, should have the ability to be enjoyed on it’s own merit and that anyone should be able to jump in without seeing what has come before and enjoy and understand the film they’re presented with but, I not only is this not the case for Halloween Kills, I’m also not sure it even qualifies as a sequel as it feels like a continuation of the same story and has that next episode of a good TV show vibe to it.

by Edward Laing