After giving horror fans a solid “Halloween” installment, serving as a sequel to the original John Carpenter film with Jamie Lee Curtis playing a more seasoned and gritty incarnation of her iconic Laurie Strode role, director David Gordon Green is back with “Halloween Kills” which premiered at the Venice Film Festival yesterday. Ignoring all the subsequent sequels and reboot from Rob Zombie, Green’s 2018 “Halloween” was a monster box office hit and near-universally acclaimed by critics and audiences.
However, the Venice Film Festival reviews about the horror slasher were not particularly kind or enthusiastic (including ours). And yesterday, seemingly in immediate response to the reviews (all 15 of them on Rotten Tomatoes), Universal Pictures announced that “Halloween Kills” would be pivoting to a release in traditional theaters and their streaming service Peacock on October 15.
It certainly feels like Universal Pictures might be flinching after the Venice response and are using it as an excuse to salvage the release and at least get audiences to sign up for a Peacock subscription. One has to wonder if Universal and Blumhouse knew what they had on their hands, a so-so picture at best, and reviews only echoed their fears about the movie, hence the immediate pivot.
This is not the only classic horror franchise installment heading to a streaming service as Fede Alvarez‘s latest “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” pic is heading directly to Netflix, a little more dramatic than what we’re seeing with “Halloween Kills.” A third film, “Halloween Ends,” is still on the horizon, rounding out a trilogy from David Gordon Green, and we’ll have to wait to see if they can salvage the “Halloween” narrative in the final film.
Here is the official synopsis from Universal:
“Minutes after Laurie Strode (Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor. But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all.”