By Dave Hastings
After waiting an extra year due to the pandemic, Blumhouse finally unleashes the second part of their planned Halloween trilogy, with Halloween Kills. And when we mean unleash, we mean exactly that! While Green’s 2018 take was a more personal, slower and refined piece, placing the characters we needed to know on the grand chess board so to speak, with Kills, Green doesn’t need to play to those avenues any longer, as the film picks up directly on from the previous movie, as we not only crash into the horror as it continues to evolve, but we are also thrown back the chaotic aftermath of Carpenter’s 1978 classic.
The flashback scenes are an absolute dream for fans, and the attention to detail in set design and costume, as well as the look and embodiment of The Shape are spot on too. Care has also been taken to not dilute Carpenter’s original ending, but to enhance it and give its implications even greater meaning, threat and mystery for the future. There is also a fantastic homage to a legendary and late figure from past instalments and it was a thrill to see this addition brought into the fold.
Going forward to the present, the story moves along at a tremendous pace, one other critics have argued is a flaw in the film, yet with the themes of mass hysteria, mob violence and residents all acting on rumour and speculation, you can see that Green is infusing these themes additionally through the pacing, tone and feel of his film. While the story does run at full speed, it does slow down at points to make poignant statements, especially with family members mourning the loss of their relatives, something we haven’t seen done much of in previous films, but here never feels out of place.
As Michael rampages across town, the special fx do as well, and bloody set pieces, that are tense and well-choreographed help evaluate the film even more, especially with returning classic characters making appearances. And while some do feel like missed opportunities to flesh out more, it is still fantastic to see them here finally all these years later, still haunted by the boogeyman.
James Jude Courtney continues to impress as The Shape, bringing an intensity to this portrayal we only glimpsed in the 2018 film, while Curtis excels in the limited screentime she has. But this is Judy Greer’s film, and she does not disappoint. She steps up to the challenge and takes on Haddonfield’s most horrific resident, again having some stand out audience moments that had people in the screening cheering her on.
As the film gets to its closure, Green and company sprinkle in a few new mysteries to keep us guessing until next year’s trilogy finale, Halloween Ends, but for now, enjoy the mayhem they bring to this middle chapter. Halloween Kills this is a sharp, horrific, gory and intense ride!