20/10/21 This article originally claimed that the firefighters were played by members of the Cannon Air Force Base Fire Department. We’ve since been informed by the Deputy Fire Chief of Cannon AFB that this was incorrect.
Cue John Carpenter’s iconic score because The Shape is lumbering down the street. Some 43 years after Michael Myers first terrified Haddonfield, he’s back and wielding a butcher knife in the bloodiest entry in the Halloween series yet. Following Michael’s seemingly fiery farewell in 2018’s Halloween, David Gordon Green and the babysitter butcher return for Halloween Kills.
Jamie Lee Curtis shares title billing with Andi Matichak and Judy Greer, meaning there’s a trio of Strode women to face the Boogeyman. Despite the tagline of “evil dies tonight”, Halloween Kills neatly sets up the final chapter with Halloween Ends in 2022. Considering there are now 12 Halloween movies of various timelines and continuity, the writers had a smorgasbord of trick or treat canon candy to choose from.
Remembering the acclaimed legacy of Michael Myers and his many movies, Halloween Kills is packed to the rafters with Easter eggs, references, and tributes to the terror of this masked madman. If you’re ready, lock the doors, arm yourselves, and get ready for the best Halloween Kills Easter eggs.
Warning: major Halloween Kills spoilers ahead
The opening flashback
2018’s Halloween made the bold step to retcon everything that came after John Carpenter’s 1978 original. Although this erased hated entries like Halloween: Resurrection, it left some serious holes in the story.
Halloween Kills opens with a grainy flashback to 1978. As well as revealing how Michael ended up in the psychiatric hospital he lay dormant in until 2018. The flashbacks gave a prominent role to a young version of Will Patton’s Frank Hawkins.
A vital plot point was Hawkins saving Myers’ life because he believed he was just someone’s little boy. Instead, the kind-hearted officer inadvertently put the bloody massacre of 2018 into motion.
For the flashbacks, Halloween Kills went and resurrected that iconic William Shatner mask to give us one of the best we’ve seen to date. In keeping with the age-old Halloween tradition, any full shots of Michael’s face are obscured.
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Even though it’s once again Nick Castle behind Michael’s ghostly visage, we still don’t get to see him in all his glory.
The Doctor is in
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the flashback to 1978 is the use of cinematic necromancy to bring back Donald Pleasence’s Dr Samuel Loomis.
Loomis, surprisingly though, wasn’t brought back through special effects or VFX trickery. He was played by actor Tom Jones Jr who bears an uncanny resemblance to Pleasence and then dubbed over by Colin Mahan, who previously voiced the good doctor in an audio recording during Halloween 2018.
Halloween Kills or Halloween II?
While the reboot franchise has slashed everything after Carpenter’s original out of existence (for better or for worse), there are several throwbacks to 1981’s sequel. As well as both movies spending a lot of their time in a hospital, Halloween Kills uses the same logo for the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital.
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Weirdly, Halloween Kills seemingly accidentally retcons Halloween II back into existence. The flashbacks use footage of Charles Cyphers’ Sheriff Brackett and Nancy Kyes’ Annie. However, the scenes featured were from Halloween II.
Unlike 2018’s Halloween only bringing back Curtis and Castle, Kills was a who’s who of returning cast members. Cyphers, Nancy Stephens, and even The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Kyle Richards reprised their respective roles as Sheriff Brackett, Nurse Marion Chambers, and Lindsey Wallace.
Not everyone was back from the old days, though. Robert Longstreet replaced Brent Le Page as Lonnie Elam, and most noticeably, Anthony Michael Hall portrayed an adult Tommy Doyle instead of Brian Andrews.
The sprawling Halloween franchise famously cast Paul Rudd as Tommy Doyle in later movies, and it’s hard to get away from the idea of the Ant-Man star playing Tommy in Halloween Kills. Sadly, producer Malek Akkad told ScreenRant it would’ve been distracting to have Rudd in the role.
Fanning the flames of controversy
Halloween Kills wastes no time arterial spraying corn syrup, with the firefighter massacre standing out as a bloody highlight.
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Despite being an iconic moment of the movie, a Change.org petition went viral, asking to remove the scene. A soon-to-be firefighter branded the firefighter massacre as “offensive”. Fans launched their own counter-petition that ironically has more signatures.
Halloween (literally) Kills
Living up to its bloody namesake, Halloween Kills has the highest body count of any Halloween movie. Starting things with Officer McCabe, through to the Strode compound massacre, Big and Little John, and even Karen at the end, there are at least 28 on-screen kills – not to mention those that implied or show off-screen.
The previous record was held by a joint body count of 20 for Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. It remains to be seen whether Haloween Ends can top this, but we doubt it.
When John Carpenter first envisioned Halloween as a franchise, he’d planned an anthology series with Halloween III. What was born was the Michael-free Season of the Witch, which was panned upon release and has since become a cult classic. (Editor: damn straight)
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Eagle-eyed viewers picked up on a possible Silver Shamrock tie in the various trailers, with three of Michael’s victims sporting the now-iconic masks of a Jack-o’-lantern, skeleton, and a witch. Now the movie is out, we know the unlucky trio are Vanessa, Marcus, and poor Marion Chambers – with Halloween Kills kind of bringing Season of the Witch canon into continuity.
Better Call Saul
Like we previously said, not everyone from the OG days could return. A news report playing in the bar mentioned Michael’s victims from 1978, including Bob Simms (the guy that wore the ghost sheet). The casting team reportedly struggled to find a likeness of actor John Michael Graham.
David Gordon Green is a big fan of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk, and with the star bearing a slight resemblance to Graham, it’s a shot of a young Odenkirk that makes it into Halloween Kills.
Let it Burn
Halloween Kills starts with the Strode women thinking they’ve successfully let Myers burn to death in Laurie’s house. When they’re being driven to the ER, Laurie screams: “let it burn”, at the firefighters heading to her compound.
It’s a clever homage to a deleted scene from Halloween 4 that tied directly to Halloween II and featured Donald Pleasence’s Dr Samuel Loomis shouting “let him burn” when a group of paramedics went to rescue Michael from the exploding operating room.
A nod to the pandemic
Some well-placed signs around the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital read “Vaccinate before it’s too late”. It’s no secret that the global pandemic shifted Halloween Kills from its original release date and also upended plans to film it back-to-back with Halloween Ends.
Be warned, Halloween Ends will jump to the present day and actually mention COVID-19. Green has said the final movie would acknowledge the pandemic and the “peculiar politics” we’ve been experiencing since 2018.
Jamie Lee Curtis – final girl
Even though Jamie Lee Curtis doesn’t appear as Laurie Strode until a full 19 minutes into Halloween Kills – and then spends the rest of it confined to a hospital – it’s a landmark moment for the star.
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With six Halloween movies under her belt, Curtis overtakes Donald Pleasence for most franchise appearances. Elsewhere, this is also the first movie starring Laurie that she doesn’t share a single scene with her heavy-breathing nemesis.
The Curse of Michael Myers
Another maligned entry in the history of Halloween is 1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Focussing on Rudd’s Tommy, there was a convoluted plot about the shadowy Cult of Thorn giving Michael his immortal powers.
In Laurie’s final speech, she talks about the “real curse of Michael Myers”. Saying, “the more he kills, the more he transcends”, the new trilogy is in danger of moving into Halloween 6 territory. Curtis told NME the next movie would “make people very angry”, and if that doesn’t cue up a return of Dr Wynn, nothing does.
Halloween Kills is in cinemas now.