If you’re a fan of horror films then today is an exciting one: A press release from our friends over at the official Halloween movie website Halloweenmovies.com (accept no substitutes) confirms that Universal Pictures in conjunction with Trancas International Films, Miramax and Blumhouse Productions will be shooting TWO new Halloween films back to back, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends.
Halloween Kills gets a October 16, 2020 release, while Halloween Ends is slated for the following year on October 15, 2021. Both films will be directed by a returning David Gordon Green who is still riding high off of the tremendous box office of his first Halloween pic in this new trilogy (quadrilogy I suppose if we count John Carpenter’s first masterpiece). Along with directing the follow-ups, Green will be co-writing the new flicks with his returning writing partner Danny McBride, with the latter also featuring the deft writing chops of newcomers to the franchise, Paul Brad Logan and Chris Bernier. Returning to the role of Laurie Strode is the legendary Jamie Lee Curtis.
Universal released a teaser trailer today to whet the appetites of fans of the Halloween series and now the speculation game begins amongst fans: Will the co-creator of Halloween John Carpenter also be returning to produce and score the films as he did with the most recent effort? Where does the film pick up from? Will the town of Haddonfield, Illinois again be subject to the brutality of hometown boy Michael Myers?
The Carpenter question may be solved, at least in partial: The horror maestro earlier today tweeted out, “The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode isn’t over,” and included hashtags for the two new films. Clearly, early on at least, Mr. Carpenter is a real player in the new chapters of Halloween.
Some things to unpack briefly here: The folks at Blumhouse, Trancas, Miramax and Universal were wise in pursuing Green and McBride to return to the franchise that they (along with Curtis) revived last year. Fans for the most part were satisfied with the recent installment which course corrected the series after what many considered to be an extreme and unwise revision in Rob Zombie’s two installments in the series. Ditto Jamie Lee Curtis who is something of the de facto Doctor Loomis in the absence of the much missed acting legend Donald Pleasance. Creative continuity in the horror genre is not always a given and is usually the exception rather than the rule (Howling 2: Your Sister Is a Werewolf anyone?). The efforts to put the band back together that made Halloween 2018 more than an anomaly is to be applauded and this trio obviously feel as if there are more stories to tell about everyone’s favorite boogeyman, Michael Myers.
My initial thoughts upon hearing the news of this bonanza like windfall of Halloween movies? I had a knee-jerk fanboy reaction that was, in hindsight, sort of embarrassing. You see, I’ve loved the original Halloween since the first time I saw Carpenter and Debra Hill’s masterpiece when I was in the sixth grade. Over the years I’ve sat through all of the sequels and seen the initial premise – an escaped psychopath returns home on Halloween night and goes trick ‘r’ treating for new victims – take on some interesting dimensions from Laurie Strode retroactively being turned into Michael’s sister to Halloween masks designed to wipe out the children of the world and all the way to an eight installment which showcased rapper and sometime actor Busta Rhymes embarrassingly summarizing his take on the Halloween franchise: “Michael Myers is a killer shark. In baggy ass overalls, who gets his kicks from killing everyone and everything he comes across.” This salient comment intoned with great Shakespearean tone is what ultimately led to the total reboot of the series courtesy of the aforementioned Mr. Zombie.
So we’ve all seen the highs and lows of a long lived horror series and, as I affectionately gaze upon my uber-Halloween blu-ray box set, I can’t help but hope that this forty plus year story has a really nice sendoff with Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends. Until then, I’ll keep my party favors at the ready. Happy Halloween!