Director: David Gordon Green
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak
Release Date: January 11, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
The Halloween night when Michael Myers returned isn’t over yet. Michael manages to free himself from Laurie Strode’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) trap to resume his ritual bloodbath. As Laurie fights for her life from injuries from her last encounter with Michael, she inspires her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), and all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. The vigilante mob then sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all. Evil dies tonight.
Please Note: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Halloween Kills’ follows the terror wreaked upon Haddonfield by Michael Myers after he returns to his hometown forty years after the night of murders he committed in 1978. The film picks up following the events of ‘Halloween (2018)’ after Laurie and her family trapped Michael and torched down her home around him. But when Michael finds a way to free himself from Laurie’s trap he sets out on a new killing spree throughout the town encouraging previous survivor Tommy Doyle to rally up the townspeople to track down Michael and stop him once and for all, determined that one way or another evil dies tonight! Now as Laurie recovers in the hospital, the town sets out on a hunt for the masked killer, but will brute force and strength in numbers be enough to take him down?
Directed once again by David Gordon Green (Manglehorn, TV’s The Righteous Gemstones) from a screenplay that he also co-wrote with Scott Teems (TV’s Rectify) and Danny McBride (TV’s Eastbound & Down), Green does a great job at the helm of ‘Halloween Kills’ guiding along the crazy and gory fun with style and repeatedly showcasing his love of the franchise throughout. The film features a number of new and returning individuals from the previous film and Carpenter’s original comprising the cast which includes Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween 1978 and 2018), Judy Greer (Ant-Man), Andi Matichak (Halloween 2018), Will Patton (TV’s Yellowstone), Thomas Mann (Kong: Skull Island), Anthony Michael Hall (Live By Night), Kyle Richards (Halloween 1978) and more, with the majority each offering pretty solid if not at least fitting performances in their roles.
‘Halloween Kills’ is a wild, gruesome and hyper-paced ride that continues Michael’s new night of terror forty years after his original slayings in 1978. Taking a vastly different approach than the previous film and the original 1978 film that the story continues from, it brings back many of the notable characters we were first introduced to in John Carpenter’s masterful original (and with the majority of them being reprised by the original stars no less) and takes the tale in its own direction while never entirely forsaking its roots; merely changing up some of the approach and loading up the gore which modern horror fans should appreciate. It also concentrates a lot of time on the town’s response to Michael’s return which leads to a swarm of townspeople taking to the streets ready to take matters into their own hands, and some of it is actually more timely and relatable in today’s world than you might expect. It’s safe to say that this is easily one of the most brutal and graphic entries of all the ‘Halloween’ titles over the years (the only one that comes to mind as giving it a run for its money is Rob Zombie’s Halloween II) and the quantity of bloodshed and bodies dropping is actually somewhat surprising at times for an R rated big studio release, but certainly keeps things moving at a breakneck speed and prevents us from ever guessing precisely what (or who) might go down next. I would strongly encourage fans of the franchise and genre fans in general to make a point of checking out ‘Halloween Kills’ whenever you have the opportunity if you haven’t yet had the chance.
The Extended Cut of ‘Halloween Kills’ adds approximately 4 minutes of new footage to the new movie, much of which complements it. Some of the differences between the two include providing little narrative tidbits to help flesh out the characters and even some fun little nods to the original such as a scene in 1978 of Lonnie seeing Michael peek out from behind some bushes then vanishing promptly after to some more noticeable additions such as an extended ending which has a bit more to offer viewers before the credits roll. Perhaps one of the most key inclusions in the new cut is a nice bit of additional gore in many sequences, especially in the ending showdown where there are even numerous additional kills that weren’t included in the theatrical cut, while a few other previously seen kills have some additional gore or lingering looks at the carnage now included. If you haven’t yet seen the film and have a choice between which cut to view, I would definitely recommend going with the Extended Cut for the extra gore alone.
Overall, ‘Halloween Kills’ is a fun, fast-paced continuation of Green’s 2018 film that takes things to new levels and delivers a surprisingly different type of film than its predecessor. Absolutely loaded with carnage and graphic kills throughout and bringing back plenty of returning characters from Carpenter’s original, it serves up one incredibly exciting and different ride that with enough bloodshed to impress dedicated genre fans, while the new Extended Cut included on the release only offers even more kills and gore on top of it. ‘Halloween Kills’ is definitely recommended for fans of the 2018 film and the franchise as a whole. It’s received some mixed reactions but I can safely say that I personally enjoyed it even more than the last film (you can also read my review of Halloween 2018’s Blu-ray release HERE) and even after three viewings it hasn’t lost any of the fun it delivered the first time around. If you’re a fan of the series I would strongly suggest at least renting the film when you have a chance.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Halloween Kills’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio on both the Theatrical Version and the Extended Cut. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and provides a clean, colorful and richly detailed presentation from start to finish that never suffers from any unexpected issues along the way; even staying true to the filming style such as showing noticeable differences in the picture between current time and flashbacks to 1978 which helps to really allow the viewer to feel like we’re moving between time periods. It holds up impressively even during the many darkly lit and fast moving sequences which there are a great deal of within, never allowing anything onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible along the way. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that should easily thrill the fans and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack on both versions of the film. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack is quite spectacular in its own right and delivers a crisp, clean and aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send the score, along with fire booming, bullets whizzing by and plenty more whipping throughout the various speakers at every reasonable opportunity, while never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a fantastic Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds great every step of the way and repeatedly contributes some extra tension and excitement to the viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Halloween Kills’ provides a nice collection of bonus content that fans of the film and franchise should enjoy. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary by Director/Co-Writer David Gordon Green and Stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer’ (available on both cuts of the film), along with a few ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 3 minutes in length altogether) and an amusing ‘Gag Reel’ (running approximately 3 minutes). We are also treated to various Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of bringing the film to life, featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are ‘Haddonfield’s Open Wounds’ (running approximately 7 minutes), ‘The Kill Team’ (approximately 11 minutes), ‘Strode Family Values’ (approximately 3 minutes), ‘1978 Transformations’ (6 minutes) and ‘The Power of Fear’ (4 minutes). A ‘Kill Count’ video (1 minute) tallying up the film’s body count is also included.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Halloween Kills’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Blumhouse, Miramax & Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
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