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What to Expect from ‘Halloween Kills’

Michael Myers is back – and he’s angrier than ever before.
Halloween Kills Trailer Michael Myers
Universal Pictures
By  · Published on July 28th, 2021

Welcome to Great Expectations, a recurring series in which we break down the most essential information about an upcoming movie or show. In this edition, we look at what you can expect from — and where you can watch — the twelfth installment in the Halloween film series: Halloween Kills.


In 1978, Halloween terrified the world and arguably permanently altered the trajectory of the horror genre, inspiring popular slasher franchises such as Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream. Directed by composer and horror legend John Carpenter, the original Halloween follows teenager Laurie Strode, who is terrorized by a masked killer named Michael Myers on the titular holiday.

Upon its release, the movie became an instant smash-hit, and exceeded all expectations at the box office, earning $47 million in the US against a $300,000 budget. Since then, there have been eleven films in the franchise (including remakes, reboots, and retcons), with a twelfth looming on the horizon.

That next sequel, Halloween Kills, is a direct follow-up to the 2018 entry, also called Halloween, which boasted the highest opening in the history of the franchise with $76 million. Like the previous entry, Halloween Kills is also written and directed by David Gordon Green and co-written by Danny McBride. This time, they got help on the script from filmmaker Scott Teems (The Quarry), too. Halloween Kills is the second part of a sub-trilogy, which will end with a finale titled Halloween Ends.

Carpenter himself promises that the new movie will be an outlier in the Halloween universe. In an interview with Indiewire, he explained: “The movie is something else. It’s 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!”

With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about

Halloween Kills Release Date (and Where to Watch)

Halloween Kills originally had a fall 2020 release. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the movie saw significant delays. Now, it is set to premiere in theaters on October 15, 2021, courtesy of Universal Pictures. Just a couple of weeks before the titular holiday. It is not yet known when and where the film will make its streaming debut. So be sure to book your theater tickets as soon as you can.

Halloween Kills Cast

When it comes to the Halloween franchise, you can always count on seeing some familiar faces, and a couple of new ones, as well. First off, it pretty much goes without saying that Jamie Lee Curtis is reprising her role as Laurie Strode. In addition, from the last installment, James Jude Courtney is back as the infamous Michael Myers (a.k.a. The Shape), with original Michael Myers actor Nick Castle filling in where he can. Judy Greer also returns as Strode’s daughter, Karen, and Andi Matichak is again on board as Laurie’s granddaughter, Allyson. Will Patton is likewise back, as Deputy Frank Hawkins.

From the very beginning of the franchise, Nancy Stephens is reprising her OG Halloween role as nurse Marion Chambers, who also appears in Halloween II (1981) and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), and Charles Cyphers is returning as Sheriff Leigh Brackett from the first two Halloween movies while Kyle Richards is back as Lindsey Wallace, one of the young kids Laurie babysits in the original. The other kid, Tommy Doyle, is now played by ’80s Brat Pack icon Anthony Michael Hall (The Breakfast Club). Other newcomers include Thomas Mann (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) as a young Frank Hawkins.

The Plot

Halloween Kills picks up right where the 2018 Halloween left off. For those who need a refresher, that film ended with an epic showdown between Laurie, her daughter Karen, her granddaughter Allyson, and, of course, the one and only Michael. In a fiery battle, Michael finally seems to be defeated. But fans of the franchise know better. Obviously, he’s not going down that easily. In a chilling post-credits scene, we hear the ominous sound of Michael’s breathing. After all that, he isn’t dead. And chances are, he’s angrier than ever.

Halloween Kills sees Laurie, Karen, and Allyson fighting Michael – again. But this time, it’s not just the dynamic trio: it’s all of Haddonfield, Illinois. In an interview with SiriusXM, Curtis explains that, given the uprising of the town, the movie ended up being more timely than ever. “What we were seeing around the country,” she says, “of the power, of the rage of voices, big groups of people coming together enraged at the set of circumstances, that’s what this movie is. The movie is about a mob. And so it’s very interesting because it takes on what happens when trauma infects an entire community.”

Watch the Trailer

Not only is the Halloween Kills trailer packed with exciting bloodbaths and action sequences, but it also has a number of callback moments for fans of the franchise. For example, we see a couple of clips in Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, which features in Halloween and Halloween II. We also see the Haddonfield mob, which is featured in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988). And, we see a potential mask-removal moment, which is hinted at multiple times in the series — and epically features in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989).

But whether you’re a die-hard fan of the franchise and are looking for ways in which Halloween Kills fits into the giant spider web of Halloween lore, or you’re a newcomer looking for a movie to send chills down your spine, based on the trailer alone, it’s clear that Halloween Kills has something for horror fans of every caliber.

Believe it or Not, Paul Rudd was Almost in the Movie

It is undeniable the Halloween Kills cast is jam-packed with iconic actors. But it turns out it could have been just a little more iconic. None other than Paul Rudd was asked to jump on board as Tommy Doyle. You might recall that he actually played the character in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995). But sadly for all of us, he couldn’t squeeze it into his schedule this time around. Luckily, we have Anthony Michael Hall, whom we know will do Tommy justice.

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Aurora Amidon spends her days running the Great Expectations column and trying to convince people that Hostel II is one of the best movies of all time. Read her mostly embarrassing tweets here: @aurora_amidon.