And Kills… and Kills… and Kills…

The striking moment in Halloween Kills comes as the citizens of Haddonfield begin to rush a hospital, chasing an innocent man they believe is the murderous Michael Meyers. They’re wrong, of course. In their self-induced hysteria, they injure multiple people. That reckless behavior extends even to nurses and doctors who charge forward, trying to run down a ghost.

It’s the only scene of value in Halloween Kills, if somewhat unclear in intent. If social commentary, then whether the script is asking for a level-headed response to a pandemic or political lies isn’t clear; Halloween Kills isn’t terribly interested in clarity, just death.

… even with a chance to compile a unique backstory, Halloween Kills runs aground

An old adage goes people only attend slasher movies for the gore, or to see what creatives whipped up as a means to slaughter victims on camera. Halloween Kills easily brushes that idea aside, because when a slasher flick focuses only on stabbings, it’s dull. Numbing even. Therefore, so is Halloween Kills.

In directly following the previous reboot/sequel, focus shifts to the Strode family. Matriarch Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) spends the movie confined to a bed, letting her daughter and granddaughter hunt her assailant. This is where the murder quotient turns into a liability – time is wasted on scenes featuring random, even pointless characters around Haddonfield, who frequently spout inane, obnoxiously coarse dialog, as if the R-rating weren’t a certainty from the splattered brains alone. Strode’s daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) become secondary even to these ancillary players who exist only to be maimed.

As for Michael Meyers himself, there’s nothing gained in this rampage. He’s a lifeless figment, blankly staring into oblivion as the lore around him grows ever weaker. It isn’t until the closing scenes that Laurie poses a hypothetical reason for Michael’s improbable power, bringing something of consequence to this reset lineage (which includes an alternate take on the original film). All that does is give the sequel leeway to lessen the logic further.

Based on the final images, another Halloween is due. The plan is there. Yet, even with a chance to compile a unique backstory, Halloween Kills runs aground as the other franchise follow-ups did. This time though, it happened with incredible expediency.

Video

Coming in fierce with a heavy, dominating Dolby Vision pass, Halloween Kills’ digital cinematography pushes shadows into pure black and it’s spectacular. They reach deep enough to sustain depth, but never crush. A decent chunk of contrast creates highlights, not the most intense, if still impressively bold.

The mild grain structure doesn’t cause any compression problems. In fact, the clarity is unusually pure, even in hazier flashbacks or smokey bars/house. From a pure 4K source, texture spills out in gobs. Clarity is marvelous. Sharpness remains at a high grade too, defining every shot to the format’s peak. This is UHD at its best.

Also filled with an unusual amount of color saturation for a horror movie, primaries deliver on their end, perking up flesh tones, giving blood an intense red, and staying quite attractive. While certain scenes take a more reserved approach (hospital interiors run cooler for example), dynamic hues still make a statement.

Audio

Halloween Kills doesn’t like subtlety. Gunshots drop impeccable bass, rumbling whenever they fire. Michael’s murders tend to enhance his strength through brilliant range, shaking the room. Major scenes like the house fire generate awesome power.

Plus, in aiming for reference grade, Atmos mixing uses the whole soundstage. Heights factor in prominently, whether it’s obvious touches like falling water or the generous ones like blood splattering, then falling through the rears. Channel separation doesn’t miss anything. Even the score fills in stereos and surrounds, smoothly moving around as much as voices or jump scares. This is easily reference grade.

Extras

Writer/director David Gordon Green joins cast members Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer for a commentary track. Note both discs also include the extended cut, which runs just a few minutes longer. A three-minute blooper reel has a bunch of gags worth seeing. Then, a trio of deleted/extended scenes, and a featurette after that running seven minutes. For eleven minutes, the kills are the focus, including the team behind them. An EPK on the Strode family offers little worth seeing at three minutes. Looking at the cast, notably those brought into the present day, is a brief five-minute piece. Four minutes is spent on the panic scene, another generic dud. Then, over a minute, there’s a supercut of Michael’s kills.

Halloween Kills
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
2

Movie

Other than a moment of public panic, Halloween Kills provides nothing other than dull formula and nothing to enhance Michael Meyers’ maniacal persona.

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User Review
3 (1 vote)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 47 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: