If I had to give one word to describe Halloween Kills, it would have to be relentless. From the second the movie starts, there’s almost no breathing room for the audience—no time to stop and take in what you’re watching. It just doesn’t care…and that’s what makes it stand out and differentiate itself from its 2018 predecessor. While the 2018 Halloween felt like it was holding your hand and reintroducing you back into the franchise, Halloween Kills doesn’t care for the pleasantries and dives head-first into the mayhem.
The kill count is turned up to eleven, and while it’s brutal akin to Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II, it also steers that brutality with a purpose. We see Laurie, her daughter Karen, and her daughter Allyson make their way to the hospital and settle in just after we, as an audience, are introduced to a few familiar faces from the past. Those familiar faces? Tommy Doyle, Marion Chambers, Lindsey Wallace, and Lonnie Elam. They’re all hanging out at a local bar participating in a talent show when everything starts to go down, and Tommy has a taste of vengeance fill his mouth. There is also a flashback to the original night in ’78 that adds some backstory and fills in some holes that, frankly, didn’t need filling, but I’m ultimately glad I got to see. This didn’t feel like an ordinary flashback, David Gordon Green did something incredible here as it felt like I was watching some deleted scenes from John Carpenter’s original Halloween which gave me a child-like smile. Michael also looks great in this flashback—his mask is almost on point There was just a little something that didn’t feel 100% accurate to me, but it’s the closest I believe they could’ve gotten to the real thing. Also, there is a special appearance in this flashback that made me smile to see, but it’s also fairly disappointing. It’s hard to tell you why without a spoiler, so, I’ll just leave it at that.
Do you remember that scene in the trailer where Michael was in the burning house, and it looked like he just went absolutely crazy on some first responders? Well, he did, and it was amazing. The amount of brutality in this movie is something I never thought I’d ever see again in this franchise. It was brutal, but as I said earlier, it felt purposeful. Michael is an absolute unit and doesn’t miss a beat when he gets the chance to murder in this. He even gets somewhat playful and sets up some bodies like in the original, but this time to an even bigger extent.
Of course, there are a few callbacks and some easter eggs hidden throughout, but I don’t believe in spoiling any in the review because, well, I know that I’d hate to have those things spoiled for me. But rest assured, there are a few, and they will make you chuckle and shake your head (in a good way). Let’s talk about pacing. I’m not sure about you, but I really value a slasher with great pacing, and boy, this one has incredible pacing. It didn’t feel too short or too long. It never overstays its welcome, and it always feeds you more and more action until the credits roll. Seriously, there is absolutely no time to breathe and take in any scenery or think back to what just happened because it’s always pushing forward and on to the next set of events. Some might find that intrusive or annoying, but it’s absolutely perfect for this movie. This movie is an absolute freight train of action and intensity. It’s almost as if somebody injected some adrenaline directly into the heart of the film—it’s astounding.
Michael also becomes the hunted as shown in the trailers. The town gathers à la Halloween IV, bands together, and goes out on the hunt for Myers as “evil dies tonight.” Well…not exactly. This is actually one of the weaker points of the film but only because I wish that it would’ve focused a little bit more on the hunt, but you do get enough to chew on. I just wish they leaned into the hunting aspect of it more and had more groups of people actively hunting. They set it up a little bit by going around and gathering some troops, but you never really see them in any sort of action.
Let’s get back to the positives, because boy, I didn’t have many negative thoughts about this one. The musical score in Halloween Kills is, like the 2018 Halloween, amazing. The heart-pumping intensity that injects itself into these scenes only makes the action that much sweeter. John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel A. Davis knock it out of the park with the score, and it adds so much feeling to the action as you’re watching it unfold. This really does feel like the second act in a three-act story. That being said, if this is the route they’re taking with this trilogy, then we have an incredible time waiting for us with Halloween Ends. The last act is the most adrenaline-filled I think the franchise has ever been. It’s tense, it’s powerful, and it has the emotional pull that I never knew it could have for these characters. The amount that I care for these characters has grown immensely throughout the film, but when the third act was over, it had skyrocketed. David Gordon Green found a way for me to not just like and cheer for these characters; he actually made me care about them and wince at the thought of them facing Michael—being genuinely scared for them.
I don’t have many more words about Halloween Kills, but I do know that I’m going to be watching it again and again until Halloween Ends comes out. Will my opinion change in the future? Maybe, but I doubt that it will change too much. This movie was just so full of the brutality of Rob Zombie’s take mixed with that old Michael feel that Carpenter crafted, and they blend together so well that it’s a genuine shame it wasn’t done like this before. This Michael is mean, vicious, methodical, and ever so potent in his step.
Halloween Kills is a machine. A relentless, pulse-pounding, adrenaline-filled machine. It’s an absolute freight train of murder. It does something different with the formula of the franchise and takes a few turns that, I think, work for the betterment of this trilogy. From the moment the movie starts, it’s non-stop action, non-stop kills, and non-stop fun.