The hype and anticipation for part three of the now-canonical franchise – which includes Halloween (1978) and Halloween (2018) – was high. Unfortunately, the excitement was slashed to pieces (as if by Michael Myers himself) not 30 minutes into this film. While it starts strong with two solid performances from some indie darlings, the film crashes to a halt and limps its way to an unsatisfying conclusion, leaning heavily on the fact that there is another film waiting in the wings.
Director David Gordon Green takes his new film, Halloween Kills, back to the night of the original. The sequences set in 1978 are the highlights, with Jim Cummings and Thomas Mann giving the best performances as Officer Pete McCabe and Young Officer Hawkins, respectively. They’re on the hunt for Michael Myers, and these moments really look great and add to the lore of the original film. When the movie rejoins the core characters from Halloween (2018) is where things take a dive quite quickly.
Returning characters from the original film include Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) who is all grown-up, but still suffering from the trauma of that night. In fact, apparently – all of Haddonfield is still impacted by the events of that night. Michael Myers killed four people, and then was locked away for the next 40 years…remember, all the other movies don’t exist in this timeline. While dealing with trauma could be a compelling theme for a horror franchise, that’s not really what this movie looks to do.
No, instead it relies heavily on chanting the tagline “Evil dies tonight”, and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) monologuing about Michael Myers being that evil. There is no real sense as to how she knows this or why she believes it. The attempt at building lore or exploring the depths of a murderer’s psyche feel superficial and completely nonsensical. The promise of a compelling franchise may have died alongside the many victims Myers claims in this entry.
It would seem that the next entry, Halloween Ends, was a prediction that after Halloween Kills, the audience for the film may be done with this timeline. The hope that this was a planned trilogy by Gordon Green and Danny McBride had given me much hope for the direction of the franchise – but after Kills drops off hard, I have less excitement and much more dread. Halloween Kills earns the Not a Total Waste of Time rating.