Halloween Kills – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Halloween Kills

After watching Halloween Kills again, my thoughts on the flick have dropped a bit since I reviewed the film back in October. For my original thoughts on the film, click here. Michael Myers is as resilient and as brutal as ever. He isn’t going after babysitters or random Haddonfield citizens anymore. This time he has to deal with the well-armed citizens of Haddonfield. Yes, Halloween Kills shifts focus from Michael’s battle with Laurie to expand and cover the whole of Haddonfield. The trauma of the Haddonfield murders in 1978 still lingers, and these residents are ready to eviscerate evil tonight. That’s what makes Halloween Kills so enjoyable. It works because watching Michael Myers steamroll through Haddonfield’s inhabitants was morbidly entertaining. 

Sadly, Kills does not feel as focused as the first film. Not to mention, the combination of creative characterization, gore, and, most importantly, really great pacing is gone in this one. Halloween Kills goes to great lengths to illustrate the connective lines between Green’s Halloween and the original film. The frequent, pace-killing flashbacks take us back to ’78, again and again, to fill in the gaps between 1978 and 2018.

The movie certainly is chock-full of fascinating ideas, but director David Gordon Green can’t cohesively bring them together. There’s just too much going on where none of the themes can breathe. As I said in my earlier review, Halloween Kills is not perfect, and it’s a fairly messy film. 

Of course, sometimes things like deep themes about the dangers of mob mentality wouldn’t matter to loyal genre fans. If you want to see Michael Myers going on a brutal killing spree for 100 some odd minutes, then Halloween Kills should be right up your alley. Halloween Kills is by no means one of the best of the franchise, yet it does allow more of the world-building in this edition of the Halloween saga. At the same time, it’s certainly entertaining enough to hold us over until the Carpenter saga concludes with Halloween Ends.

Movie Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Halloween Kills - James Jude Courtney

Video

Halloween Kills hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Vision/HDR10 transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The highlights and lights are the primary sources of the white levels, and these areas stay bright throughout with no discrepancies in them. Because the entire movie takes place at night, darkness and shadows are, obviously, crucial elements. The blacks in the film are deep and inky black that is almost dark to the point of crushing. It’s close, but it never gets to that point. Also, the colors have a natural but bold look to them. Of course, it’s not the most colorful movie. However, it’s red (duh) is the primary color the stands out the most. There are also many small and intricate details within Halloween Kills, and the video transfer displays them all crisply. The film grain creates a filmic layer that’s consistent and distinct throughout.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Halloween Kills - Judy Greer

Audio

Halloween Kills hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Halloween Kills‘s Dolby Atmos track. Once again, as I’ve said many times before (1, 2) to get the best horror experience, you’re going to need a stellar audio mix. Thankfully, the surround activity for Halloween Kills is phenomenal. When things get chaotic or when Michael is on the hunt, the soundstage comes alive.

However, between the score and chaos, there isn’t much room for any atmospherics in the mix. Even during the quieter moments, the sound effects come from the front channels. The score sounds rich and dynamic on the soundstage—including the overheads. Although the score by John and Cody Carpenter and Daniel A. Davies fills the soundstage, they still complement the mix well. Nothing overpowers each other, including the vocals. Speaking of the dialogue, it’s clear and takes priority.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Halloween Kills - Jamie Lee Curtis

Special Features

Halloween Kills‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc has the following special features on it:

  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
    • Allyson Meets Brackett
    • Sondra’s Drone Find the Shape
    • Protestors Rock Outside Hospital
  • Haddonfield’s Open Wounds
  • The Kill Team
  • Strode Family Values
  • 1978 Transformation
  • The Power of Fear
  • Kill Count
  • Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer David Gordon Green and Stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer
Features Assessment

You wouldn’t expect to see a gag reel in a horror film, but with David Gordon Green at the helm, you’re bound to get some funny bloopers. Luckily, there is a lot of funny stuff that happened during filming. The deleted and extended scenes are all skippable. However, it is nice to see Brackett with more screentime. “Open Wounds” is a featurette documenting the idea of trauma and how it has affected the citizens of Haddonfield. Not to mention how that translates into the legacy characters that are reintroduced in Kills. “Kill Team” isn’t about the various Michael Myers actors but about the crucial filming crew that kept Halloween Kills going. Afterward, we look at the making of the myriad of kills in the movie.

Next, “Strode Family Values” talk about the complicated relationship between the Strodes and their complex history with Michael Myers. The “1978 Transformation” featurette focuses on the recreation of Carpenter’s version of Haddonfield. Meanwhile, “Power of Fear” feels more like a postscript featurette of “Open Wounds.” The feature looks at the themes of fear and how mob mentality became a crucial element of the story. Also, it features the creation of the mob riot within Haddonfield hospital. Of course, “Kill Count” is exactly what you think it is.

Finally, the feature commentary with David Gordon Green, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Judy Greer can be played on either the theatrical cut or the extended cut. The track is such a blast to listen to (or annoying to those who can’t stand Jamie Lee and Judy’s reaction to all of the kills). Nevertheless, the amount of information and trivia (Bob Odenkirk!) you’ll find in this feature commentary is off-the-charts. You may also find some details and Easter eggs that may show up in the upcoming Halloween Ends flick. 

Special Features Rating: 4.5/5 atoms


Overall, Halloween Kills is a blood-soaked and fairly messy entry in the franchise. It’s not perfect, but it’s still good enough to tide us over until Halloween Ends in October. The video and audio presentations are fantastic, and the bonus features are equally stellar and informative.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Halloween Kills is now available in stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

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