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Evil dies tonight. Well, not quite tonight. It almost died in 2020 before it was delayed a year, and then Evil was ostensibly killed. But it survived the night, murdered a Strode, made a killing on day-and-date release, and traipsed away into the darkness for the inevitable conclusion. Halloween Kills was one of 2021’s most polarizing horror releases, with some enjoying its brazen, wall-to-wall slaughter. Others questioned the efficacy of dipping into the same well of material that murdered the franchise its first go-round. It was an unusual middle-entry, especially following on the heels of its 2018 predecessor, a Halloween movie that went back to basics, almost to a fault.
Love it or hate it, though, the forthcoming Halloween Ends is guaranteed to be an event. It’s a movie that will either right the perceived wrongs of Kills or continue down the strange path director David Gordon Green has laid out. Here, we’ll be polishing our kitchen knives, airing out our coveralls, and reviewing everything we know about this year’s Halloween Ends so far.
1. Much of Kills’ Cast is Returning
Jamie Lee Curtis’ Instagram
While Halloween Kills did several legacy players dirty—I’m still struggling to forgive its handling of Nurse Marion (Nancy Stephens)—and killed several of them off, that hasn’t stopped Ends from bringing back a suite of familiar faces to round out its cast. Expected figures, including Jamie Lee Curtis and Andi Matichak’s Allyson (RIP, Judy Greer), are poised to return, though several unexpected faces will be back to face Michael down again. Will Patton’s Deputy Hawkins, miraculously resurrected in Kills, is confirmed to be back. So is everyone’s favorite Housewives alum Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace. Additionally, Omar Dorsey’s Sheriff Barker is set to return as well.
2. Danny McBride and David Gordon Green Waited to Learn from Kills
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, co-writer Danny McBride revealed that Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends almost shot back-to-back. Those plans were swiftly scrapped, however. Both McBride and David Gordon Green wanted to learn from the reception to Kills before continuing. McBride is clear that they nonetheless had a trilogy planned and don’t intend to scrap that entirely. But more nuanced elements were certainly variable and capable of being swapped around as they better understand what did and did not work for audiences. It’s an augur, hopefully, of good things to come. The trilogy capper is poised to have been recalibrated to better meet audience expectations. Given the reaction to Kills, it’s hard to argue that’s a bad thing.
3. It Takes Place Four Years After Kills
The extended cut of Halloween Kills (one that admittedly adds very little) ends on a more propulsive note than the theatrical cut. After Michael slaughters Karen Strode (Judy Greer), the movie ends with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) staring out of her hospital room. In the extended cut, Laurie calls Karen, but it’s Michael who answers. Recognizing what’s happened, she promises to come for him. Fade to black. Cue Halloween Ends. The filmmakers reportedly wanted a more conclusive ending to better acclimate audiences to the forthcoming time jump. So, they cut the addendum theatrically. Nonetheless, it has been confirmed thatHalloween (2018) is so totally dead, and Halloween 2022 is where it’s at. Halloween Ends is going to be set four years after Halloween Kills. It’s a bold move and one that certainly expands the narrative potential. Good or bad, Halloween Ends is destined to get people talking.
4. The Pandemic is Going to Figure into its Plot
Credit must be given for Halloween Kills at least endeavoring to try something different with its mob mentality “Evil dies tonight” thematic underpinnings. It didn’t work at all. Tim Waggoner’s novelization did make considerable amends, showing how it could have worked well. But that hasn’t stopped the filmmakers from adding more zeitgeist, real-world parallels to their boogeyman narrative. According to director David Gordon Green, the pandemic and, in broader terms, real-world politics are going to figure into Halloween Ends. Certainly, in exploring the trauma of Haddonfield, it makes sense to detail how post-2018, the world around them fell apart as much as their ostensibly tranquil community. But it’s fair to hope that they have a more assured touch of hand when it comes to imbuing real tragedy into a bloody, brutal slasher movie.
5. Curtis Wrapped Filming Early
Jamie Lee Curtis announced on Instagram that she wrapped filming on Halloween Ends on February 22. While that itself may not seem unusual, Halloween Ends continued to film in Sylvania, Georgia until March 9. That is to say, Curtis wrapped her scenes several weeks before filming was completed. Of course, moviemaking is complex. What general audiences perceive as problematic (see: every time an audience overreacts to reports of reshoots) is rarely actually so. But it is an odd timeline, especially when taken in the context of what Ends intends to do. Whatever happens, there’s a chance Curtis’ role will be truncated or concluded early, with the remainder of Ends following a different throughline entirely.
6. The Messaging is Mixed
The digital age is both a blessing and a curse. While frequent updates can prove enticing, they can also become interminable. Resultantly, they yield little value—anyone familiar with the behind-the-scenes teasers for Kills knows what I’m saying—and often stand to confuse audiences more than enlighten. Take the behind-the-scenes accounts of Halloween Ends. Director David Gordon Green has remarked the movie will have a considerably different tone than its predecessors. That’s something in line with John Carpenter’s Christine, while Curtis has gone on record to say the movie is liable to make people “very angry.” It’s hard to reconcile Curtis’ remarks with Green’s retro giddiness. Whatever the case, there remains a chance Ends is going to polarize audiences no differently than Kills.
What say you, Dread readers? Are you excited for Halloween Ends? Where do you hope the trilogy capper goes this round? Let us know on Twitter, and remember, Evil dies on October 14, 2022.