Better than waiting to drip dry (Source: nme.com)

SPOILERS! “Halloween Kills” is the direct sequel to the 2018 movie that is a direct sequel of the original. The previous movie was surprisingly brutal yet faithful to the original 1978 classic. This movie is reminiscent of the 1981 sequel beginning right after the event of the prior movie. The movie is just as violent as the last (more so in other places) and is not a bad addition to the mythos. But, it comes across as more of a bridge between the 2018 movie and next year’s “Halloween Ends”.

Something familiar, yet different

Similar to the 1981 sequel to the original, this movie picks up mere seconds after the end of the last movie. Laurie’s house is in flaming shambles. Michael Myers is trapped in the bunker…or is he? Fire trucks scream to the Strode compound at the behest of the trio of surviving women passing them on the way to the hospital. Rushing in there to be a hero, one of the firemen falls through a hole into the bunker, where Michael Myers was waiting and begins an impressive, and brutal sequence when he takes out every firefighter with everything on fire with the hoses also rating water down. Well done sequence.

One of the strengths of this movie that really is a nice touch is what they did with characters from the 1978 movie. They were able to bring back a few of them to be played by their original actors. Kyle Richards, Nancy Stephens, and were brought back to play Lindsay, Marion Chambers, and Leigh Brackett respectively. Also in a nice piece of continuity, some actors who had parts in the 2018 version are back to play the same roles. A nice way for it to be new and still get you invested.

One other major like I had was how they updated the Michael Myers mask. Anything after the second film from 1981were known for their horrible masks. The film in 2018 had a fantastic mask that seemed old and weathered, but still scary. the Michael Myers mask in Halloween Kills actually made it better. It actually showed battle damage after escaping the fire. The severe damage on the left side of the face made him that much more terrifying.

Good and Bad are but opposite sides of the same coin.

Just as there was plenty about this movie I liked, there was some stuff I did not. For instance, Michael nor Laurie were the main characters. One could say that neither Karen nor Allyson was. In my opinion, the main character was Tommy, played by Anthony Michael Hall. Nothing against him, he did well with what was given. A big part of this movie was not only Laurie fighting against Michael after what happened in the prior film, but the residents of Haddonfield were going to rise up. This seemed like a mix of Halloween 2 and 4.

However, they seemed to forget to put Laurie in that equation as she spends the majority of the movie in a hospital bed. But at least she had a roommate. Deputy Hawkins, play by Will Patton, seemingly survived his neck wound from the last movie. They do spend a few scenes together talking about what happened in the past and it was handled well, but it would have been nice to see more of them in the run time.

Another thing that seemed to not come across as well was the mob that became of the town once the movie got started. While Tommy did have good intentions in mind, they quickly outgrew what he could handle and practically shut down the hospital after they all assumed Michael would be there, but caused the death of an innocent man.

So brutal, it even took me aback

One thing I can praise more is the sheer brutality and some of the ingenuity of the kills in this. The first one was able to do this without delving into the grindhouse feel of the two Rob Zombie movies. This one amped up the blood factor and was able to find just this side of the grindhouse. With that said, it seemed as if the body count was padded. Characters were introduced just purely to have them slaughtered and disposed of.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Michael McDonald in this as I am a huge fan of his work in MadTV (I still quote Stuart more than a grown man should). However, when we see that he and his character’s husband/boyfriend/SO(?) was living in the actual Myers House, you knew he was not long for the world. And since the climax of the movie took place as the said house, you would be right.

In fact, this was where one of the deaths surprised me as right at the end of the movie, REDACTED was repeatedly stabbed by Michael, seemingly to death. Now with Deputy Hawkins having survived the last movie, could we see REDACTED come back? Sure. But this movie seemed to be a bridge setting up the inevitable showdown between Laurie and Michael in the next.

Middle of a long road with many paths

Overall, was this a bad movie? Not at all, I rather enjoyed it. Was it as good as the 2018 movie? No, this was lacking in parts. Am I still excited for Halloween Dies next year? Absolutely. Overall, in my personal ranking of the franchise, this falls somewhere in the middle. In fact, I will leave you with my personal ranking of the movies in the franchise. (Note: Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 is not on here as I have not seen it as of this writing)

  1. Halloween (1978)
  2. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
  3. Halloween (2018)
  4. Halloween H20
  5. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
  6. Halloween Kills
  7. Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  8. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
  9. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
  10. Halloween:Resurection