Michael Myers is coming back once again, this time in a new sequel to the original 1978 film (following 2018’s Halloween, itself a direct sequel) that helped kick off the slasher genre. Halloween Kills is set to debut on October 15th, and when it does, it’ll do so both in theaters and on Universal’s streaming service, Peacock.
John Carpenter directed the original film, which introduced the horror icon: Michael Myers, an institutionalized boy who murdered his sister, and eventually gets out and goes on a killing spree, leaving behind babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Carpenter) and Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence).
The film spawned an entire franchise, in which Myers gets out and being killing again (except for Halloween III: Season of the Witch). Most of those sequels weren’t well-received by fans or critics, and in 2007, Rob Zombie filmed a reboot of the original, as well as a sequel in 2009.
After that, Universal picked up the rights to the franchise, and kicked off a trilogy, starting with 2018’s Halloween. Directed by David Gordon Green, it was positioned as a direct sequel to the original 1978 film, ignoring the films had followed it. It also brought back Jamie Lee Curtis to reprise her role as Laurie Strode (she’s reprised the role a handful of times in 1981’s Halloween II, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, and Halloween: Resurrection).
This new Halloween took place in real-time after the original, and saw Strode still traumatized after the events of the 1978 film. Myers was institutionalized for forty years, escapes while being transferred to a prison, and resumes his killing spree. At the end of the film, Strode, her daughter Karen, and her granddaughter Allyson confront Michael and trap him in the basement of their house, and then set it on fire, presumably killing him.
As we saw in the trailer for Halloween Kills, that isn’t enough to stop Michael. Strode and her family get to the hospital to treat their injuries, but he’s still out there, and Strode is forced to go back out, leading a mob to try and stop him. A final film in this trilogy, Halloween Ends, is set to be released next year.
The COVID-19 pandemic threw theatrical calendars into disarray, but two of the biggest studios, Disney and HBO Max settled on a new distribution method to cope: use their streaming services to release their films, either bypassing theaters altogether, or releasing them simultaneously in theaters and on the platforms. With Halloween Kills, Universal is following in their footsteps, allowing people who are comfortable venturing into theaters to catch the latest slasher film, and for those unable or unwilling to watch in a theater to still catch it.
The move has been controversial within Hollywood. Theatrical chains have been unhappy with the move, because it’s an alternative to their revenue, while some high-profile directors like Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve, and Patty Jenkins voicing their frustrations with their blockbuster films being streamed, rather than appearing in theaters as intended.
Those wanting to watch Halloween Kills on Peacock will need to subscribe to the service’s paid tier.