Taking place immediately after the events of Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills follows the citizens of Haddonfield as they hunt Michael Myers after he escapes the burning prison built for him by Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). With Laurie hospitalised, it is the townspeople – along with Laurie’s daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) – that take to the streets to vanquish the town’s native bogeyman.
Halloween Kills immediately departs from its predecessor’s meditative tone and depiction of generation post-traumatic stress disorder for a more visceral outing – this film strives to brutalise its victims. If this is your driving desire for a slasher film, then Kills should be more than a satisfying night at the movies. If you’re invested in the new storyline and world-building begun by the 2018 sequel, then Kills is likely going to disappoint.
For all of its brutality, which itself misses the mark at times with unintentionally hilarious deaths, Kills fails to escalate its storyline beyond the 2018 film. The film takes Laurie’s motivations and then gives them to an angry and incredibly incompetent mob. There is an attempt to examine ideas of vigilantism against the failure of law enforcement to contain and destroy Myers, but there simply isn’t enough time spent to unravel the nuances of the situation and the course of action taken by survivor Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall).
Halloween Kills manages to retain the wonderful atmosphere of the 2018 instalment
That being said, director David Gordon Green retains the wonderful atmosphere from the 2018 instalment, casting a gothic fog into the white suburbia of Haddonfield. Unfortunately, sound performances and atmosphere aren’t enough to sustain the series’ momentum. Halloween Kills runs on a treadmill – it may get faster but it never goes anywhere.