A Hooked On Horror Review: Halloween Kills
Updated: Jun 12, 2022
So after waiting for what seemed like forever, the long awaited Halloween Kills finally released. And I think I can safely say it was well and truly worth the wait. No need to worry about spoilers in this review, we've all waited extra long to see this film so I don't want to be the dick that ruins it for anyone. Here's my thoughts on the second film in Blumhouse's Halloween trilogy.
The nightmare isn't over as unstoppable killer Michael Myers escapes from Laurie Strode's trap to continue his ritual bloodbath. Injured and taken to the hospital, Laurie fights through the pain as she inspires residents of Haddonfield to rise up against Myers. Taking matters into their own hands, the Strode women and other survivors form a vigilante mob to hunt down Michael and end his reign of terror once and for all.
Set the same night as the 2018 film, Kills picks up pretty much where that one finished. The Strode women think they've defeated Michael and all should be well as they recover and Haddonfield picks up the pieces again. Of course it isn't and Michael escapes the trap set for him to continue his murderous rampage in the most intense and brutal way possible. Like honestly folks Myers is beyond brutal in this film. James Jude Courtney's portrayal of Myers is just fantastic, he's continued to build on the already amazing performance he gave in 2018 and made the character his own. The brutality and heartlessness displayed by Myers throughout this film makes every other film in the franchise look like a Saturday morning kids cartoon. You really get the feeling that Myers takes some sort of sick enjoyment out of it all as he continues his rampage through Haddonfield.
The film does well and truly live up to its title as the body count continues to increase until the end credits begin to roll. The film makers and make-up team must've had one hell of a time shooting these death scenes. The creativity, special effects and gore are a horror fans dream; all in all it was just an absolute pleasure to watch them! The scene that stole it for me though is still the one that was revealed in the films trailer- the firefighter massacre. This is the first time we get to see Myers in this film, and it is one hell of an introduction! He goes through multiple first responders with precision and ease as they try to stop him. There are multiple other kills in this film that were just amazing to watch, but I'll let you go see for yourself.
As I said above the film does pretty much pick up after the events of the 2018 film, so you get the basic idea of where the story is going to go. It is pretty straight forward, as to be expected with the majority of slasher films, but the film makers had a few surprises up their sleeves for audiences to enjoy. Whether it was catching up with other characters from the 2018 film and seeing what happened to them whilst Laurie, Karen & Allyson were battling The Shape or seeing some other familiar faces from the franchise. To keep moving forwards, sometimes you need to go back...all the way to that faithful night in 1978. I don't want to ruin this sequence but as a long time Halloween fan seeing this was absolutely incredible. The look, feel, the whole aesthetic was fantastic; they really hit the mark with it! It addresses some of the questions and issues raised with the 2018 film whilst creating even more of a back story for the audience to enjoy. It brought it all together nicely with a decent helping of nostalgia. Believe me when I say if you're a Halloween fan, you'll smile so much at the flashback sequence your face will hurt.
Coming back to the present news breaks of the events of earlier that night, and the residents of Haddonfield are pissed. They know it's Michael and they want revenge. David Gordon Green, Danny McBride & Scott Teems have done incredibly well writing this to tap into what some people will do when they are scared. People will go outside their comfort zone and often do disgusting and unspeakable things when confronted with 'Fear'. And of course the whole 'mob-mentality' displayed in this film was great. It plays out in such a way that I actually felt quite bad watching it. When you watch the film you'll know exactly what I mean. The pacing of the film was well done, sometimes a slasher can veer off or slow down trying to become something else and luckily Kills did not. The ending did seem rather abrupt but it was a decent and logical closure point.
The cast were great and as a Halloween fan it was great to see some of the cast members and characters from the original to make a return. Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode does however take more of a back seat in this film and focus shifts to Myers and the residents of Haddonfield. It did make for a more interesting watch as I feel this is unlike any Halloween film I've watched previously. The team behind this tried to do something different, and for me it worked very well. Anthony Michael Hall as Tommy Doyle stole the show for me though. He is the driving force behind a lot of the films action sequences and urging the town to rise up and wipe out Michael Myers.
The score...oh my God the score. What can I say about it; it is just amazing. John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies have put together a deliciously macabre, evil and sinister score that adds some much more to the film. Whilst remaining true to the feel and style of Carpenter's 1978 score, they have composed something fresh and exciting that matches the intensity of this modern day slasher.
All in all this film is a lot of fun. I consider this not just a love letter to Halloween fans, but to 80s horror fans. The effects, gore and kills are insanely creative and plentiful. I honestly don't think I've seen a horror film with this high a body count since that 1980s golden age. In a nutshell we basically get to see a lot of what Myers does best, and as a huge Halloween fan that will always be one of the biggest selling points for me. It'll be interesting to see where they go with the story and how they wrap this all up in Halloween Ends. Either way I'm looking forward to seeing the conclusion of this trilogy...and I have no doubt it is going to be epic!