Halloween Kills is a 2021 American slasher film directed by David Gordon Green and written by Green, Danny McBride and Scott Teems. The film is a sequel to 2018’s Halloween and the twelfth installment in the Halloween franchise.
The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle, who reprise their roles as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, with James Jude Courtney also portraying Myers again. Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, and Will Patton also reprise their roles from the previous film, with Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Longstreet and Thomas Mann joining the cast amongst ‘legacy’ cast members Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards and Nancy Stephens.
Jason Blum serves as a producer on the film through his Blumhouse Productions banner, alongside Malek Akkad and Bill Block. Franchise creator John Carpenter serves as an executive producer and co-composer on the film (composing alongside son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies).
Following a year release delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film, which begins precisely where the previous film ended, sees Strode and her family continuing to fend off Myers, this time, with the help of the Haddonfield community.
“And the Halloween night when Michael Myers returned isn’t over yet.
Minutes after Laurie Strode (Curtis), her daughter Karen (Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor.
But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster.
The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all.
Evil dies tonight.”
The film picks up directly after the events of 2018’s Halloween with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and grand-daughter Alyson (Andi Matichak) being driven away from Laurie house which had became the fiery tomb of Michael Myers…but clearly that is not the end of the story.
We are opened up to the wider community of Haddonfield including friends and relatives of those featured in the first film as well as several characters calling back to 1978’s Halloween. Fans of the franchise will notice several easter egg references to other installments throughout.
Anthony Michael Hall brings us an adult Tommy Doyle who is instantly likeable although clearly troubled and suffering PTSD from the events of that halloween night. He becomes a ring-leader for Haddonfield’s resistance against Michael. It is also good to see the return of Kyle Richards as Lyndsey, Nancy Stephens as Marion and Charles Cyphers as Sherrif Brackett – however their characters are underused here.
In a departure for the franchise this film explores some deeper issues; most notably the effects of ‘Mob Mentality’ and suggests that the evil inside Michael may be a reflection of the evil within us all…this is a story thread that fails to pay off in this installment, however it is an interesting concept.
Jamie Lee Curtis’s role in the story is much more subdued in this film; perhaps setting her up for a more a significant role in the sequel Halloween Ends. She does however get to show a more human and vulnerable side of Laurie as she relies almost entirely on others throughout and there a touching rekindling of a relationship with Officer Hawkins (Will Patton) which leads to some revelations about Halloween night 1978 (illustrated with some frankly poorly shot flashback scenes).
A highlight is Judy Greer’s performance as a grief stricken Karen mourning the loss of her husband and trying desperately to keep her mother and daughter safe from Myers. Throughout the course of the film Greer’s portrayal goes from strength to strength and she carries many of the key emotional scenes.
One consistent element of the film is the score from John Carpenter/Cody Carpenter/Daniel Davies which builds on the themes and driving electronic sounds created for Halloween 2018 whilst mixing in classic elements of the Halloween score.
Unfortunately as a whole this latest installment pales in comparison to its predecessor (Halloween & Halloween 2018). Where the 2018 film went back to the franchises roots and created a Carpenter-esque suspenseful film, Halloween Kills sadly goes down the gore for gores sake route.
Michael is no longer ‘The Shape’ stalking his victims in the dark, lurking and waiting for his moment to strike. He becomes more brazen in his attempts to kill literally anyone, with each kill becoming more and more gruesome and often distracting from the story.
Leaving the cinema this evening I couldn’t help but wonder if how I felt was the same way cinema goers felt when leaving Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers back in 1995 – confused, disappointed and wondering how the franchise will recover.
In a recent interview Green stated that an extended version will be coming to Blu-ray along with an alternative ending to the theatrical release.
“This is the director’s cut through and through, but there’s an additional scene that we filmed that was scripted. And actually I think is a pretty brilliant scene. So we’re going to do an extended version on the DVD, just so people can see an extended ending that’s different and cool.”
A direct sequel titled Halloween Ends, is scheduled to be released on October 14, 2022.
Pre-order your copy of Halloween/Halloween Kills on Amazon UK now.
Pre-order your copy of Halloween Kills on Amazon US now.
Pre-order your copy of Halloween Kills on Amazon UK now.
Check out our interviews with Halloween Alumni below: