Halloween Kills opens immediately following the 2018 Halloween. Karen (Judy Greer) and Allyson (Andi Matichak) are taking an injured Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) to the hospital, while Laurie’s house burns with Michael Myers trapped inside. When the ladies drive past the fire trucks on the way to put out the blaze, Laurie screams, begging them to “let it burn.” Of course, they don’t, Michael gets out, and the murderous rampage continues. He kills all of the first responders before moving on to neighbors, passersby, and anyone who deigns to cross paths with the Haddonfield Boogeyman.
What follows is a two-hour rampage of bloodlust and murder. I lost count of how many victims fell prey to Michael, but it was a lot. Dozens. I have no problem with excessive body counts. Hell, I love a movie that drips red. But this doesn’t feel like Michael Myers to me. I miss the Michael Myers who creeps around, being menacing as well as murdering indiscriminately. That was what made me fall in love with the original Halloween. This doesn’t feel like a Michael Myers movie. It was a bloody fun movie, but it didn’t have the same feel as Halloween (1978).
There are a few familiar names who returned to the Halloween universe. Tommy Doyle, the kid that Laurie was babysitting in the original Halloween returned, played by Anthony Michael Hall. He has a sweet relationship with Laurie, promising that he will protect her from Michael the way she did all those years ago. Tommy has formed an informal “survivors of Michael Myers” group, that includes him, Lindsey Wallace (Annie’s charge in the original film, played by the original actress Kyle Richards), Marion Chambers (the nurse who assisted Dr. Loomis, played by the original actress Nancy Stephens), and Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet), who came face-to-face with Michael in 1978.
Lonnie is someone we meet through a number of flashbacks to 1978, shot specifically for Halloween Kills. There were a lot of flashbacks, designed to show us why Deputy Hawkins feels so responsible for Michael Myers. The number of flashbacks began to feel trite, showing us a backstory that could have been told more expediently.
Laurie Strode had an interesting role in Halloween Kills, in that she didn’t have much of a role. The human side of me enjoyed finally seeing someone slow down in the face of near-fatal injuries. But the horror movie fan in me wanted to see Laurie Strode get out of her hospital bed and fight Michael Myers. I think Tommy was meant to close that gap and provide a link between the 1978 film and the 2021 film. Laurie’s role in Halloween Kills is eerily reminiscent of her role in Halloween II (1981).
There wasn’t much “plot” to Halloween Kills: Michael Myers escapes the fiery trap of the first film and continues slaughtering the residents of Haddonfield. To beef up the story, there is a “mob justice” subplot following Tommy as he whips up the residents into a fury that borders on comical. But when you have as many stellar kills as Halloween Kills has, who needs plot?
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 7 equates to “Good.” A successful piece of entertainment that is worth checking out, but it may not appeal to everyone.
Disclosure: The critic attended Beyond Fest for our Halloween Kills review.