Director David Gordon Green takes movie audiences back to Haddonfield and into the mind of The Shape, aka Michael Myers, in Halloween Kills from Universal Pictures. Minutes after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaughter Allyson (Andi 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 through her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against this unstoppable monster. The Strode women join a group of other survivors from Michael's first rampage, who decide to take matters into their own hands by forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all.
David Gordon Green and comedian Danny McBride shocked the world in 2018 with their fresh take on the classic slasher franchise Halloween. The duo’s take on the film was a direct sequel to the 1978 film that effectively erased all previous sequels and thus established a retroactive continuity. So how does the twelfth installment in the Halloween franchise measure up? For me, the answer is pretty strong. Along with Scott Teems, David and Danny have constructed a classic popcorn slasher that mainstream moviegoers will enjoy, while adding little tidbits of fun for die-hard fans of the original.
One of the first things that die-hard fans will notice, is the return of characters Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), Marion Chambers (Nany Stephens), Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers), and Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet). Kudos to the writers for introducing the characters from the original film with impressive flashback sequences. It's a great setup, and there's a great surprise featuring some stock footage of an iconic character I won't spoil here.
However, I will point out that if you're expecting to see Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) go mano y mano with Michael Myers for the film's duration, you are in for a rude awakening. The filmmakers intentionally defer away from Laurie for the bulk of the film and there is a reasoning behind this choice. When you see the movie, you will understand the method behind their madness. Even with a less meaty role this time around, Curtis is still a great scream queen and gives her all in the role.
The rest of the cast provides solid work, with Judy Greer and Anthony Michael Hall standing out the most as they have the strongest arcs. I want to avoid spoilers as much as I can, so I will say that Andi Matichak, who portrays Laurie's niece, falls into the same category as Jamie Lee Curtis in terms of her arc. However, when the credits rolled on the film, I understood their reasoning behind these choices, which should all come full circle in next year’s Halloween Ends.
Regarding the kills and gore in the film, I can assure the fans that director David Gordon Green delivers the goods. There was never a moment in the movie where I jumped, but I did have a great time watching others react around me. My only criticism of Halloween Kills is the lack of screen time provided to the character of Julian Morrissey (Jibrail Nantambu), as he was a highlight in the first film.
Halloween Kills isn't winning awards, but the film does accomplish its goal of keeping the Michael Myers brand fresh. Whether you see the movie in a crowded theater or stream it in the comfort of your own home, Halloween Kills is fun escapist horror entertainment.
Final Grade: B
Halloween Kills opens in theaters on Thursday, October 14th. In addition, the film will stream exclusively on Peacock beginning Friday, October 15th.