“Halloween Kills”, the latest entry in the venerable “Halloween” franchise and a direct sequel to 2018’s “Halloween,” is a pleasant surprise, albeit not without flaws. I admit I had low expectations going in (I’m generally hesitant about sequels, horror sequels especially), but those were quickly surpassed by the cinematography, special effects, and performances, as well as the score, all of which are excellent.
In many respects, the film is a throwback to classic horror and its charms. This is most evident in the cinematography and score, particularly the latter, providing a delightful eeriness that modern horror has lost. The performances are good as well, with Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode from previous films in the series. The special effects are delightfully gory, with a notable scene early on, which involved Michael Myers escaping a burning building and methodically slaughtering the firefighters trying to fend him off.
However, the script is clunky and awkward, occasionally breaking immersion. The film feels a bit too aware; it’s as if one of the actors is gonna wink directly at the camera, and as the film progresses contrivances start piling on top of one another, threatening to send the whole film crashing down.
Despite this, however, the overall premise is solid and executed well enough. As a direct sequel, the film picks up where 2018’s “Halloween” left off, with Laurie being rushed to the hospital and Michael Myers trapped in her burning house. Of course, Michael survives (leading to the bloodbath mentioned earlier), and proceeds to resume his killing spree. The residents of Haddonfield are having none of that, and so they resolve to try and hunt the hunter while being hunted by the hunter they’re hunting. Again, it can get convoluted at times.
If I had to give this film a letter grade, it’d be a B to a B-. It’s by no means a bad film, and it’s well-suited for the spooky season, but there are glaring flaws to even a casual observer. Nevertheless, I recommend it to both casual moviegoers and horror enthusiasts alike.