Halloween Kills (2021)

Director David Gordon Green simultaneously delivers a sequel that does something completely new with “Halloween” and also promises to divide horror fans down the middle. There is no horror movie in 2021 that promises to polarize horror fans more than “Halloween Kills.” Rather than a movie that features Michael Myers killing, killing, and killing some more, David Gordon Green goes a different route and explores the fall out from his murder spree in 1978 and 2018.

Set literal minutes after battling Laurie Strode (her daughter Karen and granddaughter Allyson) and being left to burn in her bunker, Michael manages to escape thanks to unwitting Firefighters. Now on the loose and even angrier than ever, Michael continues his campaign of blood shed, haunting the residents of Haddonfield once again, all while making his way home. When news of his re-emergence is made public, victims of Michael decide to go out and put and stop to him once and for all.

“Halloween Kills” is a rare sequel in this wildly inconsistent and bizarre slasher series. It’s less a follow up with Michael slashing through teenagers, and more about the stranglehold he has on Haddonfield. Michael’s been a constant shadow looming over Haddonfield since he murdered his sister. Once he returned in 1978, he managed to taint the lives of many people around him and that accidentally stood in his way. In 2018 we’re given a more interesting insight in to what kind of effect he’s had on people and the power he still wields. Gordon Green boldly opts to sideline Laurie, Allyson and Karen in favor of exploring the wider scope of Michael’s evil.

Yes, Laurie was broken after surviving Halloween night, but there were plenty of other traumatized individuals that still think of him every Halloween. The screenplay introduces past victims from the first film, while also injecting new characters, all of whom have a vendetta toward Michael. “Halloween Kills” sets the stage for a film that feels like an anthology more than a direct follow up. It’s what Carpenter initially envisioned with “Halloween.” Michael Myers is about as vicious as we’ve ever seen him in these films, as he not only murders his victims, but seems to take a horrific pleasure in doling out cruel, painful deaths to them./

Director Gordon Green stages so many sadistic, gore soaked murders, and what makes these murders so effective is that Michael has no rhyme or reason for them. He’s merely a force of evil punishing Haddonfield for merely existing. It’s not many “Halloween” movies that explore the larger effect of Michael Myers, his mythology, and the stranglehold he has on the entire town. His ability to create chaos without even lifting a single finger gives him even more power over the town of Haddonfield, and it’s a series of unfortunate events that unfolds. I, for one, loved “Halloween Kills” and admired its willingness to approach a different angle toward Michael Myers’ arc and mythology, and I anxiously anticipate “Halloween Ends.”

In Theaters and Streaming on The Peacock.