Why Is 'Halloween Kills' R Rated and Just How Scary Is Jamie Lee Curtis' New Horror Movie?

Halloween Kills continues the new trilogy of Halloween movies, which act as sequels to the original 1978 film. Jamie Lee Curtis returns in the leading role of Laurie Strode, who began as a babysitter forced to take on terrifying adversary Michael Myers.

The 2018 movie, named after the original Halloween, saw a traumatized Laurie faced with her foe once more, after Michael Myers (played by James Jude Courtney) had escaped from a mental institution.

This time, however, she had her daughter and granddaughter, Karen and Allyson (Judy Greer and Andi Matichak), by her side to help her.

The end of the 2018 film saw Laurie's house burn down with Michael inside, as Karen and Allyson flagged down passers-by to take Laurie to hospital, while Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) was left for dead.

A post-credits scene, however, showed Michael breathing, suggesting there would be more to come.

The new movie picks up where they last left off, and seems to suggest the whole town is ready to back Laurie and get rid of Michael once and for all.

How Scary Is Halloween Kills?

Halloween Kills has been rated R by the Motion Picture Association, suggesting there is quite a lot to see that could be scary.

R means it is "restricted" and can only be attended by those under the age of 17 with a parent or adult guardian.

The MPA guidance says the film is "rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, grisly images, language and some drug use."

Horror hasn't been mentioned as a reason for rating the film R, but given its genre it may be there are several moments that will prove unsuitable for more sensitive viewers.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rated the film an 18, the highest level, for "strong bloody violence," and even mentions some of the particular elements that fans may find distressing and can prepare for in advance.

The BBFC mentions there is a "strong horror threat throughout," which further suggests there are plenty of scary scenes.

With the film freshly out, reviewers have plenty of thoughts on how scary it is.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the review aggregator, critics haven't been particularly kind to the film, giving it a rating of 47 per cent.

Stephanie Zacharek of TIME spoke of the violence, though stated that wasn't sufficient to make it seem particularly scary.

She said: "The violence in Halloween Kills is gruesome and gory in a way that's so dull and unimaginative it almost doesn't register as unpleasant."

However, Sara Michelle Fetters of MovieFreak.com felt there were plenty of spine-tingling moments, saying: "Halloween Kills knows how to jolt an audience into fits of giggly yelps of fright, and watching this iconic villain do his thing with such calmly calculated ferocity is oftentimes bone-chilling."

Ultimately, you will have to judge how scary it is for yourself, but for the faint-hearted or even those who are a little concerned, sites like the MPA and BBFC are worth checking out in advance.

Halloween Kills is in movie theaters now.

Production still from Halloween Kills
Production still from Halloween Kills
Production still from Halloween Kills
Production stills of "Halloween Kills"