Still from Halloween (2018)
Halloween Kills is a 2021 American slasher film directed by David Gordon Green and written by Green, Danny McBride and Scott Teems. The film is a sequel to 2018's Halloween and the twelfth installment in the Halloween franchise. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle, who reprise their roles as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, with James Jude Courtney also portraying Myers again. Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, and Will Patton also reprise their roles from the previous film, with The Breakfast Club nerd Anthony Michael Hall and Thomas Mann joining the cast. The film, which begins precisely where the previous film ended, sees Strode and her family continuing to fend off Myers, this time, with the help of the Haddonfield community.
Jason Blum serves as a producer on the film through his Blumhouse Productions banner, alongside Malek Akkad and Bill Block. Before the release of the 2018 film, McBride in June 2018 confirmed that he and Green had originally intended to pitch two films that would be shot back-to-back, and then decided against it, waiting to see the reaction to the first film. Following the critical and commercial success of the 2018 film, development on the sequel promptly began as early as October 2018. By February 2019, Teems was hired to co-write the script. The film's title was officially announced in July 2019, along with its sequel. Principal photography commenced in September 2019 in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Halloween Kills had its world premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 8, 2021. Following a year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on October 15, 2021, by Universal Pictures, you know, that theme park with Jaws; it will also stream on paid tiers of Peacock for 60 days just in case you're a QAnon asshole who won't get vaccinated. Initial reviews for the film were mixed, with praise for the film's kills, references and the performances (particularly from Curtis, Greer and Matichak), but criticism for its screenplay, direction and for not adding anything new for the franchise. That said, Myers was praised for wearing a mask and social distancing.
A direct sequel, Halloween Ends, is scheduled to be released on October 14, 2022 after it too was delayed one year by the pandemic.
After Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) leave Michael Myers caged in the basement of Laurie's burning house, Michael manages to free himself. The Strode women join a group of other survivors that decide to form a mob to hunt Michael. Hilarity ensues.
- Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, the sole survivor of Michael Myers' 1978 killing spree, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, arthritis, and Alzheimer's and needing more fiber in her diet. She is Karen's mother and Allyson's grandmother.
- James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle as Michael Myers / The Shape, the masked figure who carried out a horrific massacre on Halloween in 1978, and returns to Haddonfield for another killing spree. The guy everybody pays to see. Eligible for AARP and Medicare.
- Judy Greer as Karen Nelson, Laurie's daughter and Allyson's mother.
- Andi Matichak as Allyson Nelson, Karen's daughter and Laurie's granddaughter.
- Will Patton as Deputy Frank Hawkins, a sheriff's deputy
- Anthony Michael Hall as Tommy Doyle, Lindsey's friend and one of the kids Laurie babysat in 1978. Intended to appeal to the Generation X audience. He was previously portrayed by Brian Andrews in the 1978 original (and Paul Rudd in the now-unrelated Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers).
- Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace, Tommy's friend and one of the kids Laurie babysat in 1978. Intended to appeal to people who enjoy those trashy Real Housewife reality TV shows nobody watches, who are too young to remember Richards as a child actress. Richards reprises her role from the 1978 original.
- Nancy Stephens as Marion Chambers, retired former assistant to Dr. Sam Loomis. Stephens reprises her role from the 1978 original, and the now-unrelated films Halloween II (1981) and Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998).
- Robert Longstreet as Lonnie Elam, Cameron's father. A character only real Halloween nerds remember. Originally played by Brent Le Page in his (to date) only acting role.
- Charles Cyphers as Leigh Brackett, the former sheriff of Haddonfield who lost his daughter in the 1978 killing spree and pursued Michael alongside Dr. Sam Loomis. Takes 20 minutes to crap anymore. Only eats Corn Flakes and oatmeal.
- Dylan Arnold as Cameron Elam, Allyson's ex-boyfriend and Lonnie's son.
- Jibrail Nantambu as Julian Morrisey, a young boy who escaped from Michael's killing spree in the previous film.
- Scott MacArthur as Big John, probably not even that big.
In June 2018, Danny McBride confirmed that he and David Gordon Green had originally intended to pitch two films that would be shot back-to-back, and then decided against it, waiting to see the reaction to the first film:
|“||"We were going to shoot two of them back-to-back. Then we were like, 'Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. This could come out, and everyone could hate us, and we'd never work again. So, let's not have to sit around for a year while we wait for another movie to come out that we know people aren't going to like.' So, we were like, 'Let's learn from this, and see what works, and what doesn't.' But we definitely have an idea of where we would go [with] this branch of the story and hopefully we get a chance to do it."||”|
In September 2018, producer Jason Blum said that "we will do a sequel if the movie performs". By October 2018, after the film's opening weekend, McBride confirmed that early development on a sequel had begun.
In February 2019, Collider exclusively confirmed Scott Teems was in talks to write the script, having collaborated with Blumhouse Productions on several projects in development. Teems had also written a story treatment for the film prior to the negotiations. Blum, Malek Akkad and Bill Block return as producers, while Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer and Andi Matichak all reprise their roles.
In June 2019, it was reported that a sequel would begin filming in September 2019, with Green returning to write the script and direct and Curtis, Greer, and Matichak reprising their roles from the 2018 film. On 19 July 2019, Universal Pictures revealed the titles and release dates of two sequels were announced: Halloween Kills, set to be released on October 16, 2020, and Halloween Ends, set to be released on October 15, 2021. Green will direct both films and co-write the scripts with McBride, and Curtis will reprise her role in both films. Teems was confirmed as a co-writer for Halloween Kills, while Paul Brad Logan and Chris Bernier were announced as co-writers of Halloween Ends.
Casting for extras were announced in late August 2019.
On July 26, 2019, it was confirmed that Nick Castle will return for both sequels for some scenes as Michael Myers with James Jude Courtney again playing Myers for the majority of the films. On August 26, 2019, it was announced that 80s John Hughes nerd Anthony Michael Hall would join the cast as Tommy Doyle, a character portrayed by Brian Andrews in the original Halloween film. Paul Rudd, who played Doyle in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, was approached to reprise his role, but declined as he was unavailable due to his highly lucrative commitments to Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
On August 30, 2019, it was announced that Kyle Richards would reprise her role as Lindsey Wallace from the original film. Charles Cyphers was officially confirmed to return in October, his first role in a film since Methodic in 2007. On September 5, 2019, it was reported that Robert Longstreet would play Lonnie Elam, a character from the original film. On September 27, 2019, Nancy Stephens, who portrayed Nurse Marion Chambers in the original film and its sequels Halloween II and Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, was cast to reprise her role. Jibrail Nantambu is set to reprise his role as Julian from the previous film; while Victoria Paige Watkins and Brian F. Durkin joined the cast. In May 2021, it was revealed that Thomas Mann would appear in an undisclosed role.
On July 19, 2019, a spokesperson for Blumhouse Productions confirmed that Halloween Kills and its sequel Halloween Ends will commence production and filming in Wilmington, North Carolina at the same time. The movie commenced filming September 16, 2019. According to a film permit obtained from the city, there will be a news reporter scene giving updates on the events of the 2018 film. Filming in Wilmington on September 20 to 21 involved a car wreck scene. Additional photography included simulated gunfire scenes on September 27, September 30, and October 1. Filming concluded on November 3, 2019.
In an interview with Andi Matichak, it was revealed that filming was planned back-to-back with Halloween Ends but did not occur due to the "intense schedule".
Halloween Kills premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 8, 2021. The film was originally set to be theatrically released on October 16, 2020 but in July 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was delayed to October 15, 2021. On September 9, 2021, it was announced that in addition to being released in theaters the film would also be streamed on paid tiers of Peacock for 60 days.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 59% based on 17 reviews with an average rating of 5.7/10. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 47 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Reviewing the film for TheWrap, Asher Luberto praised the return of cast members from the 1978 film and wrote: "Green seems less interested in rewriting the Halloween playbook than in giving audiences what they came for, from ghastly scares to a ghoulish score. It's a strategy that promises to make the series as immortal as Michael Myers himself." /Film's Marshall Shaffer gave the film 7.5/10 and said: "There's good reason to be excited for how Green will bring this all to a head in his grand finale. Halloween Kills manages to put a playful but petrifying spin on mythology without resorting to cheap self-referentiality."
Owen Gleiberman of Variety wrote: "Halloween night may be Michael Myers' masterpiece, but Halloween Kills is no masterpiece. It's a mess — a slasher movie that's almost never scary, slathered with 'topical' pablum and with too many parallel plot strands that don’t go anywhere. My father never hugged me."
In July 2019, the film was announced alongside a direct sequel titled Halloween Ends, which is scheduled to be released on October 14, 2022. Whether Halloween actually ends remains to be seen.