Review: Iconic Monster Michael Myers is Back in 'Halloween Kills'

by JC Alvarez

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday October 15, 2021

'Halloween Kills'
'Halloween Kills'  (Source:Universal Pictures)

It's October, and that means a slew of horror movies are slashing their way into theaters. But none can hold a candle to this much-hallowed franchise and its latest installment: "Halloween Kills."

John Carpenter's 1978 classic redefined the slasher film and elevated the masked serial menace into a unique position as the Modern Era of Cinema's new monster.

Green's 2018 reboot — titled "Halloween," like the original — discarded all previous sequels to the 1978 original, obliterating the convoluted mythology that had developed over the years. Green's "Halloween" (re)introduced Laurie Strode (Curtis), the "final girl" survivor of Michael Myers' murderous rampage from forty years earlier — an experience that drastically changed Laurie's life trajectory, as well as affecting her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak). All three Strode woman survive the events of 2018's "Halloween," trapping Michael Myers in Laurie's basement, setting the house ablaze, and leaving him to burn.

Unfortunately, as the trio make their escape and tend to their wounds, firefighters race to the inferno — unleashing hell again on Haddonfield!

The story and screenplay, written by Green and Danny McBride and Scott Teems, benefits from the connectivity to John Carpenter's 1978 movie, connecting back to that iconic film to consider how the town of Haddonfield was traumatized and frozen in time by that tragedy. Laurie Strode isn't the only individual scarred by those events; there's also Tommy (Anthony Michael Hall) and Lindsey (played by "Real Housewife" Kyle Richards), who were children back then and who survived Michael Myers attack thanks to Laurie Strode. Many of the people residing still in Haddonfield regard Laurie Strode as hero.

Tommy makes no bones about it: If this terror has returned to their town, he's going to lead the charge to take him out, and keep Laurie safe at all costs. Kyle Richards, who is reprising her role from the original movie, gives a surprisingly decent performance and gets a couple licks in on the masked killer. Another franchise fan favorite that many will recognize is Nancy Stephens, who returns as Marion, the nurse who assisted Doctor Loomis (Donald Pleasance) in the original. Will Patton also returns as Officer Hawkins, and reveals a link to Myers' first rampage in 1978 that also has a profound effect on him, illustrating just how deeply the threat of Michael Myers has victimized the town.

The script weaves an interesting morality play that feels forced at first and out of place. The town of Haddonfield becomes a reflection of our own times, wrought with uncertainty, fear, mistrust, and the dangers of falling victim to a mob mentality. Even as the town rallies to battle the real evil, the townspeople begin to see threats everywhere, while Myers racks up more kills. The murders are brutal, blunt, and extremely sadistic — exactly what you'd expect from a psychopathic killer who revels in his or her work! The film features the most gruesome kills to date.

One distinctive element missing from "Halloween Kills" is the original score that matched our pulse-racing and pushed our heart rates. John Carpenter's theme became a horror-movie monster's calling call, and "Halloween" set the template. The familiar score plays a prominent role towards the film's climax, which is precisely what the audience expects and anticipates, and effectively proves how profoundly important it is an indelible ingredient of this film's legacy. "Halloween Kills" is a good horror movie, with a deeply engrossing story, and if all you're after are the gruesome shock-and-awe of the nightmarish kills, than "Kills" lives up to its namesake!

"Halloween Kills" premieres in theaters on October 15.


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Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".