Few types of cinema suffer quicker and more regularly from the law of diminishing returns than horror sequels, with the desire to cash in on a hot property as fast as possible leading to a succession of inferior follow ups. Fans were hoping that David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills would have avoided the same fate based on the quality of the opener, but the early reviews have painted a thoroughly mixed picture.
The second installment in the trilogy currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 56%, which is way down from the opener’s 79%. While that rating is going to fluctuate when the movie comes to theaters and Peacock on October 15th, it’s still good enough to rank as the entire franchise’s most acclaimed sequel.
The 1978 and 2018 versions of Halloween unsurprisingly lead the pack, but before Halloween Kills came along, top honors went to H20: 20 Years Later, which could only muster 52% on the aggregation site. In fact, Season of the Witch is the only other sequel to have even exceeded 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the rest of the back catalogue running from The Curse of Michael Myers‘ 9% to Halloween II‘s 32%.
That’s a damning indictment on sequel culture in general, with polarizing reviews still more than enough to ensure that Halloween Kills reigns as the third most acclaimed installment in the brand’s 43-year history.