“Hey, Michael! It’s Halloween. Everyone’s entitled to one good scare.”
Happy Halloween… or almost Halloween. It’s that time of year to talk about movies with spooky themes and what better way to do it then to finish up the Halloween saga. A saga, which no doubt, scares us, makes us jump, and in some ways makes us roll our eyes. But to no avail, it has always, to a certain extent, entertained us. Halloween Kills is the next stop on our tour and the “second to the last” now knowing that our famous protagonist Laurie Strode, played by the talented Jamie Lee Curtis, has finished her time with this franchise. What does that mean exactly? You’ll have to see the finale Halloween Ends to find out. (Stick around later for that review.) However, “last” will always remain in air-quotes as I find that those who call it quits, always find their way back.
Following the events of 2018’s Halloween reboot, we find Laurie, her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), in the bed of a truck. Laurie having been stabbed by Michael is bleeding out as her house is now up in flames. Michael is dead, right? Not so fast. He makes a stand by taking out the firefighters who are putting out the engulfed home. His horrific acts are nowhere close to being finished. It doesn’t take long before the news reaches the town of Haddonfield that Michael has come back. But as an unconscious Laurie recovers in the hospital from her almost fatal wounds, the town, led by some of the original character’s from that fateful Halloween night in 1978, join to take down this evil monster, chanting at the top of their lungs, “evil dies tonight!”
Halloween Kills picks up where the 2018 Halloween left off. While the Strode Women may have been at the center of the last movie, I found that they often take a backseat in this one. Laurie is basically in bed for the entirety of the film, which is a bit lackluster seeing that she is the main protagonist in the franchise. Karen is the same old worry wart, even after the events of the first film. She runs around like a chicken with her head cut off. And even though there is a scene where Karen does have to stand up and take action within the confines of the hospital, it’s rather weird and pointless. As for Allyson her story serves more of a purpose as she wants to take a more “hands on approach” with her father now having been killed. To my surprise, the character you’ll find at the center of the movie is Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) and the townspeople he gathers together. Yes, that Tommy Doyle. The one that Laurie was babysitting in the original Halloween. Hall weirded me out on more than one occasion as he tries to take on this superhero role, but often tries too hard. It just didn’t fit.
Though the characters are extremely hit and miss, and the story’s a bit bland, I do appreciate that the Halloween films have gotten more violent over the years. It has made it more fun to watch, and all the scarier! I don’t find myself heading into any Halloween movie expecting tons of multi-dimensional layers to the characters, or any real story context. It’s a horror movie, and a slasher one at that. If I went in expecting an artistic magnum opus, I’d have rated Halloween Kills much differently. But for what it is, the cheesy scares and somewhat goofy dialogue, I can’t help but be entertained. Some may reach for a scarier film to satisfy their horror needs, but for what it’s worth, Halloween Kills works just fine for me.
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Dylan Arnold, Kyle Richards, and Anthony Michael Hall