Confession time, I’ve never been a huge horror movie buff. I love horror stories and have read the greats but movies have not always been my thing. I watched the trailer for Halloween Kills though, and was incredibly interested. Jamie Lee Curtis is one of my favorites and I liked the way the trailer seemed to show Michael Myers hunting down previous survivors, plus my husband is a huge fan of the movies. After watching the film, I know that the story is complex, the action intense, the acting is fantastic and the movie is a great homage to the original.
“Halloween Kills” is a classic slasher film directed by David Gordan Green and written by Green, Danny McBride, and Scott Teems. The film is a sequel to 2018 Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle, who reprise their roles of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. The nightmare isn’t over as killer Michael Myers escapes Laurie’s trap to continue his ritual bloodbath. Injured and taken to the hospital, Laurie fights her pain to inspire the residents of Haddonfield to rise up against Myers. Several of Myer’s survivors, Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens) and Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet) band together with Laurie’s granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), her boyfriend Cameron (Dylan Arnold), and her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer). The group turns into a vigilante mob to hunt down Michael and end his reign of terror as fear and anger take control.
There are several factors that made this movie so much fun for me. First, the story is well written. The plot develops the idea of mob mentality and how that impacts the town’s morality, how easily they are willing to kill to end their fear and how anger spreads quickly among the townspeople. Presented side by side with Michael Myers’ reign of terror, the plot is impactful and provokes thoughts about how easily people are led by their fear. It also is written to mesh together and weave in story elements from the original, beginning with a retelling of the 1978 original film. It is a great continuation from the previous film, Halloween along with the original movie and ties together several plot points from both.
There are also some well thought out decisions by the writers. One of the elements is that some of the killings are over the top but almost deliberately so, to play into the fear the town feels. The use of humor in several scenes with a couple, Big John (Scott MacArthur) and Little John (Michael McDonald), who live in the Myers house, leavens the gore and trauma of the killing scenes, allowing the audience to have a break from the intensity of those scenes. Both actors do a fantastic job with their roles as well, one of the highlights of the movie. The death scenes, particularly later in the movie, ratchets up the intensity and gives a great punch to the ending. The ending is strong, interesting, and impactful. And the mob behavior and actions of the fearful were incredibly authentic.
One of the other aspects I really enjoyed is the use of footage that looked similar to the 1978 film. Not only is the footage similar but so are the credits, giving an old school vibe to the movie, creating the effect of an old style horror film. It is an homage to the original film especially when you consider the number of original actors that are brought back to reprise their original roles from the first Halloween movie. It adds to the feel of the film and helps heighten the intensity of Michael Myers killings.
The acting is truly part of what makes the film so enjoyable. I came to see Jamie Lee Curtis and I was not disappointed. She is brilliant, embodying the fierceness and complexity of Laurie Strode. Judy Greer is empathetic and kind as Karen. Anthony Michael Hall is gritty, determined, and angry as Tommy Doyle. Andi Matichak as Allyson is equally spirited and her portrayal keeps you engaged in the movie. As I wrote, I especially loved the acting of Scott MacArthur and Michael McDonald, their humor and acting adding to the intensity of the later scenes. Each performance was well acted and added so much to the movie.
I will admit that I would have liked to have seen more of Jamie Lee Curtis. I did feel that she was underutilized but her role was a continuation of the previous movie and was believable. Even though the film is well written, there is very little new material or surprises. The deaths were expected and fairly predictable. But even so, the mob scenes were interesting, the deaths were still intense, and the ending was perfect for the film.
If you loved the other Halloween films, particularly the original and the previous 2018 movie, I highly recommend Halloween Kills. It lives up to the title and if you like slasher films, there will be plenty of deaths, gore, and bloody knives to thrill your soul. The performances are excellent, especially Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer, along with Anthony Michael Hall. Some of the secondary characters are brilliant in their scenes and the story will keep you glued to your seat. Last, the ending is phenomenal, hitting all the right notes. Even though I am not a horror aficionado, I loved this movie and it makes me want to watch all the previous movies all over again, hopefully with a new appreciation.
4 out of 5 Bloody Butcher Knives
Official Website: Halloween Kills | In Theaters & Streaming only on Peacock October 15
Facebook: Halloween Kills