Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Movie Review: Halloween Kills

Halloween Kills is now in theaters and available on Peacock! In preparation for this glorious day, I’ve been watching many of the films that preceded this one, including the 1978 original and the 2018 direct sequel. Halloween Kills is the second part in a modern-day trilogy that continues the story of the first film, ignoring any narrative elements from the numerous sequels and timelines. In the following review, I will reveal some spoilers, so please read this after you watch Halloween Kills.

Halloween Kills picks up right where Halloween (2018) left off. However, it also includes a continuation of the events that took place in the original Halloween, providing viewers with newly shot footage of “Halloween Night 1978,” replete with a cameo by a CGI Dr. Loomis. While seeing what happened after the credits rolled in the first Halloween film — according to this timeline — is a pretty damn cool concept, the voice actor they chose for Dr. Loomis, Colin Mahan, isn’t very good at all. In fact, his voice is so bad that at one point I laughed at the way he phrased certain words. This actor only has 10 credits to his name, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Why they didn’t go with Tom Kane, who did a masterful job of voicing Dr. Loomis in Halloween H20, I have no idea. He has 258 credits to his name and is immeasurably more talented than Colin Mahan. It should be noted that Tom Jones, Jr. makes his acting debut as the body for the CGI-laden Loomis in Halloween Kills. He does a fine job, it’s just that the dialogue coming from his mouth is sometimes absurd and poorly voiced.

Halloween Kills is the most violent, brutal, and bloody of all of the Halloween movies, in my opinion — even more gruesome than Rob Zombie’s take on Michael Myers. This doesn’t bother me in the least, but it may turn off old-school fans of the 1978 classic, which left infinitely more to the imagination. But these are modern times, so I can understand why this approach was employed. There are some epic deaths in this movie, including one involving a fluorescent light tube that’s particularly gnarly.

Michael McDonald from MADtv — the amazing comedian who played the man-child Stuart — is in Halloween Kills, and this makes me so happy! While his role as a gay man living with his partner in the Myers house includes some humor, it’s predominantly an opportunity for him to shine as a dramatic actor and spread his wings. He’s an exceptional and underrated talent, and I’m very happy that he received this tremendous opportunity. Let’s hope there are many more because he did a wonderful job in Halloween Kills.

Halloween Kills does a fantastic job of providing fan service. From returning characters (and sometimes actors) like Tommy Doyle, Marion Chambers, Lindsey Wallace, and Sheriff Brackett, to the inclusion of the Halloween III masks, to references to previous movies in the franchise, Halloween Kills will make many a fan smile.

Speaking of things that made me smile, John Carpenter’s score is phenomenal. It’s a modern take on a classic formula, and he continues to elevate his game. It’s timeless, otherworldly, and . . . simply perfect. Like any good score, it ratchets up the emotions, further immersing the viewer in the narrative that plays out on screen. Truly an all-time classic!

Other than the terribly voiced Dr. Loomis, the other actors in Halloween Kills are excellent. Anthony Michael Hall as Tommy Doyle steals the show, exhibiting raw emotion and a level of authenticity I didn’t expect. Everyone else, including Jamie Lee Curtis, of course, delivers in spades, making for a well-rounded and highly skilled cast that I cared about and found interesting the entire time.

Having watched it twice, so far, I can say that Halloween Kills is a formidable and well-executed second part in the modern-day Halloween trilogy. That said, it very much feels like the middle of a book. So, while it was highly enjoyable, it left me wanting that satisfying conclusion that I will hopefully get when Halloween Ends is released. I think it’s essential that you watch Halloween (2018) before firing up Halloween Kills, and if you’ve seen the other entries in the series, especially the 1978 original, even better! Halloween Kills is a fun time that lived up to my expectations and delivered a few unexpected, yet delightful, surprises. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy Halloween!

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