The Halloween franchise was revamped in 2018, creating a frenzy when fans learned Jamie Lee Curtis was back as Laurie Strode, the ultimate final girl inextricably tied to perpetual boogeyman Michael Myers. This version of Halloween, directed by David Gordon Green, follows up 40 years after the John Carpenter classic from 1978. Everyone is much older, wiser and, some, like Laurie, more paranoid than ever. She’s determined to protect her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), and her town of Haddonfield from the escaped Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) on, you guessed it, Halloween night. It’s a nice interpretation but leaves all the other sequels in Halloween limbo.
This October, we get the second in the revamped trilogy: Halloween Kills. Green starts us off where the 2018 Halloween ends—with the aftermath of Michael Myers and his rampage on the streets of Haddonfield. He has supposedly perished in the fire that Laurie set as she escapes with Karen and Allyson. Of course, we all know that’s not the case as Myers rises from the flames like a phoenix, renewed and just as horrific as ever. We also get a flashback of the cop who let Myers go, Officer Hawkins (Will Patton and his younger self played by Thomas Mann), and what happened that night in 1978. It’s a cross he bears and a history that will come back to put him in jeopardy. As Laurie is rushed to the hospital after her showdown with “The Shape,” and the town learns that Myers is back, the battle continues between good and the unstoppable evil that is Michael Myers.
Halloween Kills is a necessary evil since there’ll be a third and “final” film in this franchise. It’s a gap filler that doesn’t do much except chalk up the creative kills and makes use of a horror icon that will probably never be fully laid to rest. There are a few interesting additions, like Lindsey, played by Kyle Richards and Nancy Stephens, who played Marion, both survivors from the first Halloween. Tommy also lived past the terror that night in 1978, and he’s grown into a vigilante meathead, a character that Anthony Michael Hall really digs into. The relentless murder-y actions of Myers, the rabid townspeople ready to raise pitchforks and torches against this evil because “Evil dies tonight!”, and the trio of heroines arguing over what to do gets a bit tedious. You barely get a sense of loss since the killings come one after the other paired with odd vignettes and cameos, like Michael McDonald, who famously played MADtv‘s Stuart, while the 2018 film offered a much more engaging story. At least there’s a decently updated score by John and Cody Carpenter and Daniel A. Davies.
With a clumsy mob mentality/morality play as a backdrop that may or may not reflect current world events, Halloween Kills is a means to an end (I hope). See it in theatres now.