David Gordon Green’s Halloween helps ease audiences back into the atmospheric horrors of John Carpenter’s original universe, but 2021’s Halloween Kills is a considerably more extreme affair that thrives on excess. The majority of Halloween Kills takes place on Halloween night 2018, as the previous film’s aftermath elevates Michael to what almost feels like a supernatural status. However, the sequel begins with a crucial flashback that’s set in 1978 during the original film’s finale. The circumstances of this prologue are largely designed to refocus the motivations of officer Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) and give him just as much of a stake in Michael’s demise as Laurie.
Curiously, Halloween Kills sidelines Laurie Strode in the recovery ward of Haddonfield Memorial Hospital for the entire film while Michael instead wreaks havoc on the random survivors of the ’78 massacre, such as Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), and Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards).
Halloween Kills presents quite the condensed timeline, but while the entirety of the movie only covers a few hours, it contains one of Michael’s most gratuitous body counts. Michael successfully kills off many of the faces from his past, as well as Laurie’s daughter, Karen Nelson (Judy Greer). Halloween Kills appropriately feels like the middle installment of a trilogy that bides its time before the final showdown. Its commentary on mob mentality and vigilante social justice don’t go deep enough, and Michael’s obsession with his sister’s old bedroom isn’t the breakthrough that it thinks it is.
2019 – 2022
The original plan for Blumhouse’s modern Halloween trilogy was to have these three films all occur during one extended night of terror. Halloween Kills picks up immediately from the conclusion of 2018’s Halloween. However, Green later decided that with Halloween Ends, they’d let the pain and trauma marinate for a little longer. Set in 2022, four years after the events of Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills, Laurie Strode and her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak) seem to have finally found some semblance of peace. Michael hasn’t been seen since the end of Halloween Kills and Laurie has spent the following years processing her pain through a memoir about her four decades of living in fear.
Alternatively, Allyson continues to cope with the loss of her mother through therapy, which introduces her to kindred spirit, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell). Corey’s story actually turns the clock back to 2019, one year after Halloween Kills, back when he becomes a Haddonfield pariah after a freak accident on a babysitting gig brands him as a killer.