Halloween Kills is the latest and penultimate title in the long-running franchise. Since 1978, twelve movies have been made and another is currently in production for a 2022 release. Ever since the first movie, Halloween has been a staple of the horror genre and has only grown in popularity as the years have rolled by and Michael Myers has deservedly achieved the status of a horror icon.
The Familiar Faces of Halloween Kills
Halloween Kills is a direct sequel to Halloween (2018), which, in turn, is a sequel to the 1978 original. Owing to this, we see many legacy cast members once again returning to the franchise. Here are some of the returning characters we see braying that “Evil dies tonight” in Halloween Kills:
Having been the unstoppable force that has massacred through all but one of the movies (Halloween III: The Season of the Witch), the return of Michael Myers was always inevitable. Interestingly, however, while most of the scenes shot featured James Jude Courtney as Michael, Nick Castle’s breathing sounds were used in Halloween Kills. It’s reported, although not confirmed, that the original actor also made at least one appearance of the iconic masked butcher.
Donald Pleasence, the original Sam Loomis, sadly passed away in 1995. During Halloween Kills, however, the doctor is featured in the form of flashbacks. While it would be easy to believe that his appearance was down to the magic of CGI, it was instead the result of clever casting and a little cinematic trickery. Using make-up and a voice-over to transform actor Tom Jones Jr. into Loomis, Michael’s doctor was able to appear in Halloween Kills.
The original movie’s protagonist is back once again and again played by original actress, Jamie Lee-Curtis. Strode has been fighting Myers over the course of seven Halloween movies and this time she’s more determined than ever. With the movie taking place straight after the events of Halloween (2018), Laurie is still recovering in the hospital during Halloween Kills. Believing that she has finally ridden Haddonfield of the mass killer, she is distraught to hear he is still alive. As the movie progresses we almost feel her anguish, hatred, and passion for revenge. This is a true display of a phenomenal actress at work, and the reason Curtis is one of horror’s greats.
Tommy Doyle was a young boy in the original movie and was being babysat by Laurie Strode when Myers first made his appearance. Thanks to Laurie, Tommy survived the events of 1978 and is now back with a vengeance in his heart. Through Halloween Kills, we see Tommy rounding up the crowds and forming a mob. He even has a catchy chant, “Evil dies tonight”.
Having lost his daughter at the hands of Myers in ’78, Sheriff Brackett is all too eager to join the hunt for the monster in Halloween Kills. Charles Cypher steps back into the shoes of Haddonfield’s sheriff and is even more determined to end Michael Myers. You really have to admire the optimism.
Halloween Kills is True to the Franchise
Halloween Kills lives up to the franchise’s name with an abundance of gore with increasingly creative kills and executions. With a very loose story to follow, Halloween movies instead lay focus on the brutality of Myers, and Halloween Kills does not break the long-standing tradition. It’s a racing medley of blood, guts, gore, and murder. And that, dear reader, is its very charm.
In such long-standing franchises, it’s always nice to see returning faces and Halloween Kills features these in abundance. With so many old actors and characters making a return, you feel more immersed in the universe as you share once again in their anguish and innate hatred towards Myers. Furthermore, with a forty-year timeline, it’s interesting to see how the characters have developed over the decades.
The Controversy Surrounding Halloween Kills
In a world of political correctness, Myers has been accused of being homophobic for killing a gay couple; while his slaughtering of eleven firefighters caused an uproar amongst viewers. In my opinion, however, The Shape kills indiscriminately and without a second thought to creed; religion; sex, or choice of profession. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Halloween Kills is a true credit to slasher genre and, indeed, to the Halloween franchise. After twelve movies you would be forgiven to feel that the movies have lost their way, but Halloween Kills shows us that this is far from the case. With it’s quick pace and creative killings, Halloween Kills leaves very little time for boredom and is easy to watch. If you’re new to the Halloween franchise, however, it would probably be better to watch the 2018 installment first, or even the original. Otherwise, Halloween Kills will likely open up more questions than it answers.
Halloween will be back in 2022 with Halloween Ends.