Everything We Know

Everything We Know About Halloween Kills

With the first official trailer promising a bloody and brutal return to Haddonfield, we're breaking down who's who, how it fits into the ever-confusing timeline, and why Halloween Kills is a slasher movie for our time.

by | June 25, 2021 | Comments

If you really thought Michael Myers burned to death in Laurie Strode’s rat-trap basement bunker at the end of Halloween (2018), all we can say is we envy you in what is clearly your first slasher franchise experience. Not to stomp all over your new snow, but the Man in the William Shatner Mask is very much coming back again, along with ultimate Final Woman (c’mon, you’re not calling the incomparable Jamie Lee Curtis a “girl”) in Halloween Kills

With our full first glimpse at Part Two – Part 2 Vol. 2? Part 2B? – in the form of a just-released full trailer, this franchise has gotten extremely messy with its timelines and continuity. To help, we have gathered up everything we know so far about Haddonfield’s favorite son and his refusal to retire gracefully.

This Is the Middle Chapter of a New – and Likely Final – Trilogy

Right from the start, director David Gordon Green (Our Brand is Crisis, Pineapple Express) and writer Danny McBride (yes, that Danny McBride) planned their return to the Halloween franchise as a trilogy. In fact, they intended to shoot all three back-to-back-to-back but decided to pause in between: First to gauge the response to Halloween (2018) and make sure fans and new audiences were down with their franchise-course-correcting efforts, and second, because, reportedly, Halloween Kills was a really intense shoot. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, actress Andi Matichak (who plays Laurie Strode’s granddaughter, Allyson) explains, “They thought about doing them back to back. But Halloween Kills was just so ambitious. It was such an intense shooting schedule that it would have been a bit much to try to do them at the same time.” The final installment, bluntly titled Halloween Ends, is slated for a 2022 release.

The Intention Is to Establish a Definitive “Story”

Perhaps no horror franchise is messier than Halloween. You’ve got reboots, remakes, disowned sequels, and warring continuity all jumbled together into a hodgepodge of indecipherable nonsense. There’s the original 1978 Halloween, then the straight sequel Halloween II (which added the “huh?” element of Laurie being Michael’s sister), and then things get really nutty. Halloween III: Season of the Witch takes a hard left turn by having nothing at all to do with Michael Myers or Laurie Strode. (It’s a standalone story about a sinister corporation making killer Halloween masks.) The franchise then spiraled into increasingly silly and more generic cash-ins like Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (which added the “huh?” of Laurie having a daughter named Jamie out of nowhere); Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (said daughter shares a psychic link with Michael? Because, sure, why not?); Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Um, Michael was “created” by a Druid cult?); then Halloween H20 (which sees Curtis return as Laurie because this movie pretends that Halloween 4, 5, and 6 didn’t happen – the first but not last instance of selective memory); and then Halloween: Resurrection (also known as the one where Michael fights Busta Rhymes). Exhausted? We’re not even done.

After all this, Rob Zombie decided to do a complete reboot with Halloween (2007) that starts from scratch with new actors, and then he followed it up in 2009 with a second Halloween II. And finally, in 2018, Green and McBride gave us their own Halloween, which is actually a third try at Halloween II, since it’s meant to be a direct sequel to the original 1978 Halloween and ignores everything that came after it. Whew. It’s a lot, but streamlining and focusing the main storyline is exactly what this franchise needs – especially since it looks like the events of Halloween, Halloween Kills, and Halloween Ends will all take place in a relatively short period of time.

There Is No Time for Downtime

Halloween Kills - Fire

Joel Meares

As you can see at the start of the trailer, Halloween Kills implies the movie – like the 1981 Halloween II – will pick up immediately after Halloween. Very immediately. We see Laurie, her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and Allyson literally still in the back of the pick-up truck where we last saw them at the close of the first movie. It seems like the intention here is to keep the story tight and quick – all three movies may take place over the course of a few hours or days when all is said and done.

The Gang’s (Almost) All Here…

Although it’s a shame the late Donald Pleasence won’t be able to join in as indomitable Myers hunter Dr. Loomis, Halloween Kills is taking a page from Cobra Kai and bringing back all of the familiar faces (or at least character names) that it can. Actress Nancy Stephens will reprise her role as Marion Chambers, a nurse and colleague of Dr. Loomis who appears in the original Halloween (and the original Halloween II and is actually killed off in the opening of now-retconned Halloween H20) – which seems especially appropriate given that the trailer suggests Halloween Kills could heavily reference the original Halloween II with some hospital-based horror. Kyle Richards (of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame) will return as Lindsey, one of the two kids Laurie babysat in the original 1978 film, and Charles Cyphers, who played Haddonfield sheriff Leigh Brackett (whose daughter Annie was one of the original film’s victims), will also be back. A grown-up Lonnie, who is name-checked in the 2018 movie, will actually show up too. And finally, the character of Tommy Doyle (the other kid Laurie babysat in 1978) will be back as well… for the second time.

…But Some Will Have New Faces

Yes, Tommy actually returned once before, in 1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, where he was played by none other than Paul Rudd (Ant-Man). Read that again: Yes, it’s 100% true. Although it would be absolutely show-stopping if Rudd reprised his role in Halloween Kills, it’s just not happening. But Tommy will be played in Halloween Kills by another cult icon: Anthony Michael Hall.

Halloween Kills Is About Haddonfield

The 2018 Halloween dealt primarily with Laurie’s trauma, and how it shaped her life and turned her into a paranoid, bunker-dwelling alcoholic. But there is more than nostalgia behind bringing back so many old characters – Laurie wasn’t the only one traumatized by Halloween night, 1978. The trailer shows glimpses of the town’s collective angst, and the movie was filmed under the working title “MOB RULES.” This installment is about all of Michael’s victims facing unstoppable evil once again and confronting their own traumas and scars – from the nurse who treated Michael in the sanitarium to the sheriff who couldn’t protect his own daughter, much less the town. It may be The Town of Haddonfield vs. Michael Myers.

The Collective Anger Will Be Intentionally Timely

In a recent interview, Curtis explained more about the “mob rule” theme behind Halloween Kills and how it was influenced by the politics of the past four years. She says the movie will deal with “what happens when trauma infects an entire community, and we’re seeing it everywhere, with the Black Lives Matter movement. We’re seeing it in action, and Halloween Kills, weirdly enough, dovetails onto that.” Speaking with NME, director Green added, “it’s one thing to be afraid of the Bogey Man, to have someone who might be in the closet, under the bed, creeping around your house, but what we wanted to explore next was confusion, misinformation, and paranoia. What happens when fear goes viral? You can’t stick your head under the covers anymore.”

Only COVID-19 Could Stop Michael Myers

Halloween Kills has been in the can for a while now. It was originally due to come out in October 2020 but was held back due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the mass closure of theaters.

The Other Big Man Is Back, Too

One of the reasons fans were excited about the 2018 Halloween wasn’t just because it meant a proper return for Laurie Strode/ Jamie Lee Curtis (can you believe they tried to kill her off – via an off-screen car accident, no less – in Halloween 4? Put some respect on her name), there was another monumental reunion to celebrate. For the first time since the disastrous Halloween III, John Carpenter agreed to lend his name to a Halloween project not only as a producer but also to retool and revamp his classic score alongside his son (with The Fog actress Adrienne Barbeau) Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies (son of The Kinks’ Dave Davies). The trio will be back for Halloween Kills (and Halloween Ends).

It’s Going to Be Very Bloody… Even Carpenter Was Shocked

When asked by MovieWeb about Halloween Kills, new writer Scott Teems – who came on to collaborate with Green and McBride on the sequels – called it “like the first one on steroids, I guess. It really is the bigger, badder, meaner version of the first one.” If that’s enough to make horror hounds howl, even Carpenter himself was taken aback by the new film’s bloodlust. Speaking to IndieWire, Carpenter mentions seeing an early cut of the movie and describes it as “fun, intense, and brutal, a slasher movie times one hundred, big time. It’s huge. I’ve never seen anything like this. The kill count!” When a Master of Horror is that impressed, you know you’re onto something…

Halloween Kills opens in theaters on October 15, 2021.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

festival PBS mutant ITV Ghostbusters 4/20 cancelled TV series Country DC Universe vampires Pacific Islander Disney Channel animated BAFTA Television Critics Association spy thriller Horror comedies Kids & Family A&E 72 Emmy Awards remakes Pop BBC spanish Pride Month quibi Holiday Brie Larson 2017 Legendary Warner Bros. Comedy 2021 crime thriller legend slasher child's play theme song casting spain Crunchyroll name the review Exclusive Video CNN historical drama Star Trek Biopics Walt Disney Pictures Pixar Ellie Kemper Marvel X-Men Logo justice league archives franchise miniseries feel good blockbusters adventure Amazon Studios lord of the rings FX on Hulu Interview 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Teen christmas movies Alien TV One psychological thriller TV renewals dexter Columbia Pictures Discovery Channel Mary Poppins Returns National Geographic independent Vudu SXSW Apple TV Plus thriller Action mcc GIFs Captain marvel based on movie Grammys boxoffice cartoon Hulu Bravo TCA Awards BBC One a nightmare on elm street TV popular films Western cats 2015 SDCC Lucasfilm italian dramedy adaptation Masterpiece Lionsgate El Rey First Look comic book movies Cosplay Polls and Games game of thrones know your critic international The Purge SundanceTV CW Seed batman LGBTQ king arthur Academy Awards zombies TCA new star wars movies YouTube Red WarnerMedia spanish language anthology 20th Century Fox GLAAD VH1 71st Emmy Awards Ovation Film Winter TV Crackle japanese Best and Worst Spectrum Originals Nickelodeon Superheroe werewolf NBC Marvel Television Sundance screen actors guild latino Holidays saw Freeform Fantasy trailers Awards Tour godzilla FX NBA crime drama Women's History Month 2020 ABC Signature The CW biopic Shudder king kong 73rd Emmy Awards Turner Classic Movies target biography deadpool Video Games mission: impossible Super Bowl Certified Fresh slashers 2019 unscripted crossover cancelled TV shows Disney+ Disney Plus Marvel Studios sag awards Netflix Christmas movies reviews ABC Red Carpet medical drama Mystery Esquire Amazon Prime Paramount Network period drama superhero Showtime scorecard dogs obituary The Walking Dead rt archives Year in Review Sneak Peek Mary Tyler Moore discovery VOD Sundance TV streaming canceled TV shows 99% TCA Winter 2020 elevated horror Tokyo Olympics Character Guide Awards Drama OWN doctor who sequel Rock spinoff comic book movie scene in color diversity docuseries DC Comics cancelled Tomatazos Trailer Pirates Marathons golden globe awards what to watch Comic Book festivals documentary emmy awards Animation Syfy VICE The Academy blockbuster canceled Netflix series fast and furious TCA 2017 worst rt labs critics edition Winners aliens breaking bad richard e. Grant hispanic Acorn TV suspense See It Skip It best kaiju YA rt labs IFC Broadway cars Writers Guild of America 007 laika children's TV Countdown Film Festival TIFF Tumblr BET anime football true crime Music Family OneApp asian-american chucky Image Comics Comics on TV cops Superheroes Mary poppins police drama Watching Series critic resources Christmas indie Apple TV+ movie Mindy Kaling sports Cannes debate movies ESPN jamie lee curtis PlayStation rotten movies we love finale CBS romantic comedy superman Peacock Summer The Walt Disney Company Anna Paquin DC streaming service E3 Sony Pictures 93rd Oscars ID singing competition directors USA Network classics Reality Competition YouTube Hear Us Out politics comics TCM Premiere Dates Elton John NYCC romance social media die hard kids worst movies Pop TV documentaries Amazon Prime Video Lifetime Classic Film Rocky halloween tv Wes Anderson nature high school nbcuniversal indiana jones YouTube Premium Apple book Travel Channel The Arrangement blaxploitation Photos Quiz Podcast GoT satire Fall TV streaming movies Martial Arts New York Comic Con action-comedy Rocketman criterion renewed TV shows Disney TBS telelvision DirecTV Chernobyl A24 prank Spring TV sequels new zealand reboot strong female leads Stephen King Fox Searchlight harry potter MCU hollywood crime Extras TV Land Oscars BET Awards HBO Go Cartoon Network MSNBC Pet Sematary Disney Plus CMT Schedule robots Nat Geo Toys Starz travel twilight olympics japan Amazon San Diego Comic-Con witnail HBO Max Musical Heroines Reality comiccon video on demand australia ratings spider-man Shondaland kong stoner rotten docudrama hidden camera television Britbox Paramount free movies psycho versus talk show American Society of Cinematographers E! all-time Trivia Rom-Com Infographic Television Academy 2016 game show marvel comics Food Network WGN 2018 disaster parents Funimation scary movies 21st Century Fox APB Thanksgiving dragons basketball serial killer Paramount Plus PaleyFest HBO Musicals Avengers dceu comic toronto revenge The Witch FXX Comic-Con@Home 2021 cinemax 90s cults Disney streaming service Sundance Now tv talk comic books nfl concert dc wonder woman pirates of the caribbean Song of Ice and Fire AMC Nominations hispanic heritage month Endgame TV movies space critics Adult Swim IFC Films Star Wars political drama First Reviews 24 frames joker aapi Dark Horse Comics Comedy Central women gangster Emmy Nominations technology french President live action History Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt book adaptation Epix Mudbound composers binge Sci-Fi natural history science fiction stop motion royal family heist movie LGBT teaser award winner adenture Black Mirror Hallmark Universal war USA DGA mockumentary stand-up comedy jurassic park Fox News ghosts 1990s ViacomCBS transformers facebook FOX rom-coms Trophy Talk Creative Arts Emmys dark Baby Yoda TruTV Box Office golden globes MTV Arrowverse foreign monster movies Tarantino james bond universal monsters RT21 Opinion Hallmark Christmas movies razzies Calendar boxing zombie BBC America TNT cancelled television marvel cinematic universe Tubi new york south america young adult halloween CBS All Access toy story sitcom Chilling Adventures of Sabrina screenings Valentine's Day Lifetime Christmas movies posters fresh Set visit ABC Family Turner RT History black TLC news Emmys hist video Binge Guide green book venice zero dark thirty supernatural 45 Election cooking Spike Black History Month