It's finally here - after a year-long wait Michael Myers will be released into the world once more in Halloween Kills.
A pandemic-induced delay was rather unfortunate for the Halloween franchise, which is rather reliant on releasing around the titular holiday for the greatest impact.
However 12 months on and it is spooky season once again, with trick-or-treating allowed and cinemas open - meaning this year Michael Myers can join in the celebrations.
Halloween Kills is a direct sequel to the successful 2018 reboot, which saw Jamie Lee Curtis reprise her iconic role of Laurie Strode respectively.
This time, however, Laurie and Michael will be joined by several other "legacy characters" from the 1978 original for a rather grisly reunion - so it may be worth going back and binging the Halloween movies in order.
Read on for everything you need to know about Halloween Kills.
Halloween Kills release date
Halloween Kills will suitably be released in cinemas on Friday 15th October 2021.
The movie will also be simultaneously released on steaming service Peacock for 60 days in the US, but will only be available in cinemas here in the UK where the service is not yet available.
Originally the film was slated for an October 2020 release, but unfortunately, it was one of many movies hit by the coronavirus pandemic - and the release date was delayed by a whole year.
Of course, given that it seems pretty essential for a Halloween film to come out during the month of October it makes sense that the release would be pushed back by an entire year rather than just a few months, but the extra wait no doubt came as a disappointment to horror fans.
John Carpenter posted a joint statement from him and David Gordon Green on his Twitter account, claiming that the pair were "heartbroken" that the delay even had to be considered.
It read: "If we release it in October of this year as planned, we have to face the reality that the film would be consumed in a compromised theatrical experience.
"After weighing our options, we have chosen to push the film’s theatrical release by one year.”
The good news, though, is that fans definitely won't have to wait for longer than a year, with producer Jason Blum confirming that this will be the only delay to the film regardless of circumstance.
Speaking to Forbes, he said, "If this is still going on next Halloween? No, we're not holding it. Halloween Kills is coming out next October come hell or high water, vaccine or no vaccine. It is coming out."
Halloween Kills trailer
The film's delay means we've had teasers all year round, but a full-length final trailer was released in September 2021. It's suitably pulse-pounding, but is also filled with several references to the original 1978 classic:
To make up for the film's delay, a 36-second teaser trailer was first released just in time for Halloween in 2020.
In the teaser, we hear Curtis' Lauri Strode say, "Next Halloween, when the sun sets and someone is alone, he kills!" with the poor Strode family seen battling with the masked murderer yet again.
Earlier Carpenter had shared a teaser clip on Twitter - which seems to show how Michael Myers might have escaped his predicament at the end of the last film. You can check it out below:
Halloween Kills cast
While the release delay was a blow, that news was softened somewhat by news that a huge list of characters from the franchise's history would be returning for the film.
Jamie Lee Curtis will of course return, but Carpenter's statement revealed that Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews) - the child who appears in the very first film from 1978 - was set to return (now played by Anthony Michael Hall) in addition to a whole host of "legacy characters" including Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), Lonnie (Brent Le Page) and Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cypher).
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What is Halloween Kills about?
The film is a direct sequel to the 2018 Halloween film, and in David Gordon Green and Danny McBride have confirmed that the action will take place on the same night as that film - following straight from the events at the film's climax which seemed to show Laurie, her daughter and her granddaughter managing to trap and kill Michael Myers.
Speaking to Empire, McBride said: "It takes place the same night, picking up where the last movie ended. Events in the film bring together a lot of characters who were in the 1978 film who we didn’t see last time.
"They gather to try, once and for all, to take down Michael, to stop this madman."
Green has added that there will be some thematic differences this time round: while the last film was primarily focused on Laurie and her own personal revenge, this one takes a more community approach.
"This is more about the unraveling of a community into chaos. It’s about how fear spreads virally," he told Empire.
In October 2020, Jamie Lee Curtis teased a few more details about the film – including just how much fake blood was required – telling Variety, "So the second movie that we shot takes place immediately where the first movie lets off, which is similar to what Hallowen II did.
"Halloween II picked up exactly after Halloween I. So I’ve been stabbed in the stomach by Michael. And the first sequence is us in the back of this truck which you see us climb into at the end of the movie.
"I posted on Instagram this video because you’re in the back of a truck, they’re trailing behind you. But I’m supposed to literally be bleeding out, I’m supposed to be haemorrhaging.
"So we had to freshen the sticky blood. And they have this big bucket, like a paint bucket. And by the end of it I was like ‘Give me my bucket. I want my bucket.’ Because it was warm, and it was super cold. David called it ‘the sauce.’ He said 'Bring in more sauce.'"
Halloween Kills reviews
The reviews for Halloween Kills are out, and while the film has been praised for its performances and for delivering a suitable amount of gory kills, many felt the film focused too much on referencing the 1978 original or setting up a sequel rather than being its own film.
Those looking for a classic Michael Myers rampage will not be disappointed however, with Asher Luberto of TheWrap writing that the the film was "a textbook 'Halloween' movie", while The Guardian's Jonathan Romney added that "director David Gordon Green has made a creditable stab, as it were, at reanimating the title."
Eric Eisenberg of Cinemablend was particularly praiseworthy, writing: "[I]t finds fantastic ways to tie into the canon events that played out on Halloween in 1978, but does so without repeating itself, and while also splicing in some well implemented commentary that succeeds in heightening the story and the horror."
However others were not so convinced by the film's heavy referencing of the original John Carpenter film, with Adam Woodward of Little White Lies writing: "Where others have dared to challenge audience expectations for what a slasher can be - looking ahead while still paying respect to their horror forebears - the Halloween series is stuck in 1978."
The film was also criticised for not furthering the franchise and instead setting up the upcoming sequel Halloween Ends, with The Telegraph's Robbie Collins writing: "Halloween Kills certainly feels like more Halloween. But the game board is left exactly as it was found it in readiness for round 13; the only thing that advances is the body count."
Perhaps the most frightful news of all, however, is that Halloween Kills may not even be scary, with Variety's Owen Gleiberman arguing that the film is "a mess - a slasher movie that's almost never scary", while The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney concluded: "This latest instalment is like a latex ghoul mask so stretched and shapeless it no longer fits."
Halloween Kills will be released on Friday 15th October 2021 - if you've already watched the movie, here's our Halloween Kills ending explainer, but beware of spoilers! If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our Movies hub for more news and features.