Review: ‘Halloween Kills’ a lackluster sequel to an amazing movie


Legendary horror film character Michael Myers returns in “Halloween Kills” directed by David Gordon Green (Universal Pictures)

Javen Oswald, Correspondent

The second installment in the Halloween sequel trilogy, “Halloween Kills,” directed by David Gordon Green, continues the story of Michael Myers 40 years after the events of “Halloween” (1978). 

This movie takes place directly after the reboot, “Halloween” (2018). At the end of the previous movie, Myers was locked to burn in the basement of a house, and Laurie Strode was stabbed. In “Halloween Kills,” Myers escapes and finds his way back to town in Haddonfield, Illinois to continue his murdering spree.   Strode is taken to the hospital believing that Myers was killed in the fire. What stands apart about this movie from the others in the series is that the town decides to go after Myers and attempt to put an end to him.

Universal Pictures

The scariest part of “Halloween Kills” is how scarily predictable it is. This movie tags itself as a horror movie but fails to frighten at all. Even when it comes to jump scares, this movie is tragically lacking. I watched this movie at home on Peacock, NBC’s new streaming service, so maybe I didn’t get the full theater experience that would have made the movie as terrifying as it was led to be. “Halloween Kills” focuses too much on being a slasher, a horror genre where a masked killer murders groups of people, rather than being a truly scary movie. 

When it comes to killing, this movie delivers.  Myers brutally slaughters innocent people with no remorse. He does not discriminate between child, adult, or elder; he will murder. Every scene is gory, bloody, disgusting, and everything else you want from a horror movie. The deaths in this movie are one of the best parts and will have you grimacing.

“Halloween Kills” suffers terribly from ‘horror movie stupidity;’ a phenomenon where writers intentionally made every character so vapid that it’s comedic at points. Characters fail to learn from their mistakes. People split up for no reason other than to get killed off one at a time. The police are so incompetent that it’s a wonder that Myers doesn’t just take down the entire state. Throughout the whole movie, the police sit at the hospital despite there being a mass murderer actively killing people. On top of that, they don’t even attempt to create a perimeter around his old house, where he has returned multiple times in the series. Instead, they are preoccupied with stopping the townsfolk from going out and killing him. There are parts in this movie when I was yelling at the tv because of the poor, incomprehensible decisions some of the characters were making.

David Gordon Green brings back Anthony Michael Hall as Tommy Doyle, one of the boys  Strode was babysitting in the first movie. Doyle is by far the most interesting and competent character in “Halloween Kills.” Seeing how he struggles with his trauma of the past and his hatred for Myers is the best writing in the movie. He is a natural leader but when his lust for revenge, he becomes blinded. Complex themes such as fear can turn humans into monsters come up through the decision Doyle makes. Choosing to make him one of the main characters in the movie is a brilliant decision but still feels overshadowed by the multitude of missteps the film takes.

I was extremely disappointed in this movie. All of the trailers leading up to it were amazing, each getting me more excited than the last. After the fantastic reboot, “Halloween” (2018), I was expecting a horrifying film filled with interesting characters. Instead, we received a movie that ignored any logic at all and is far too predictable to be scary. Even the plot twists were mediocre at best, lacking the screen time to see the fallout of those creative decisions. Since I knew before watching the movie that “Halloween Ends” releases next year, and it is the final movie in the sequel trilogy, it took out any hope of there being a satisfying ending.

A good horror movie should find the perfect balance between a good plot and scares. The audience needs to be able to relate to the characters and the choices they would make. It must not oversaturate the film with the scariest part but rather conserve it to keep the audience on edge. “Halloween Kills” soars in comparison to some of the other Halloween movies but falls flat when looking at “Halloween” (1978), “Halloween 2” and “Halloween” (2018).

Universal Pictures/Miramax