“Halloween Kills” Review

Aaron Morales Logan, Staff writer


Major Spoilers and references to violence!

On October 15, 2021, the “Halloween” franchise’s 12th installment “Halloween Kills” was released in theatres and Peacock. In this sequel to 2018’s “Halloween”, which in itself was a direct sequel to the original 1978 film, Michael Myers returns to terrify the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois, and is again opposed by the town’s occupants as well as the three Strode Women: Allyson, Karen, and the original Laurie. Despite the film’s stellar weekend opening and becoming the top movie in the entirety of the United States, the film was not very popular among critics. Fans seemed to be in the majority when it came to who liked it. There may be a few factors that contributed to these ratings and reactions.

The issue that most people seem to have with “Halloween Kills’ ‘ is its very haphazard plot. The movie jumps from location to location quite a bit, and it doesn’t progress the story very far. The film essentially ends with the characters in the exact same position as the last film: “Halloween (2018)”. This time, Michael is not trapped in a flaming basement, and continues to be free and at large in Haddonfield. The only major changes are the main characters that are killed, which include Marion Chambers, Tommy Doyle, and Karen Strode. The movie could overall be seen as more filler, and can play as something to watch leading up to Halloween.

There is also a sudden budding romance between Laurie Strode, who is bedridden for essentially the entire movie, and Officer Frank Hawkins, who is recovering after being stabbed in the neck by Dr. Ranbir Sartain in the last movie. It can be interpreted as “out-of-nowhere” and there is no buildup. Those who are up-to-speed with the series knew that they were familiar with one another based on their interactions in the last installment, but they had no idea they knew each other that well.

However, people who watch “Halloween Kills” with the intention of seeing the kills will not be disappointed. This is perhaps the most brutal Michael Myers that the big screen has seen in years. “The Shape” dispatches 11 firefighters with minimal effort within the first 25 minutes. He dispatches another 6 within the next hour. The movie ends with a total of 32 kills under Michael’s belt, nearly doubling his last record of 18. A few of these kills – namely the firefighters, Tommy Doyle, Sheriff Brackett, and 6 civilians – happened in quick succession on two separate occasions.  The firefighter massacre near the beginning and then a mob attacking him near the end.

What is probably the best thing about “Halloween Kills” besides Michael himself is the opening flashback to the original film. After Cameron, Allyson’s boyfriend who was introduced in the last movie, finds Officer Hawkins in the middle of the road from when Dr. Sartain stabbed him in the last installment, the film cuts to a flashback from Hawkins’ point of view on “Halloween Night, 1978”. The flashback goes through the night that Michael was arrested in this timeline, and begins very soon after Dr. Loomis sees his missing body at the end of “Halloween (1978).” The scene also gives insight on Officer Hawkins’ background, such as how he accidentally shot and killed his partner while Michael was strangling him. Michael himself looks incredible in this scene; his original appearance was remade to near perfection. This is accompanied by brilliant cinematography, and the entire flashback is filmed to look like a scene from “Halloween (1978).”

The ending of the film is quite surprising. While looking out of what once was Judith Myers’ bedroom window, Michael sneaks up on and kills Karen Strode before staring out that same window and into the camera with the only sound being his heavy breathing, setting up a possibly extremely vengeful Laurie Strode in the next and final installment of this “Halloween” franchise timeline: “Halloween Ends”, which is set to be released on October 14, 2022.

Overall, “Halloween Kills” is not for everybody. Those more invested in the lore and characters of the franchise may not find this movie particularly interesting. However, for people looking for a slasher with a terrifying, brutal killer and equally brutal kills, this movie might give them the thrill they’re looking for.