When Michael Myers returns to wreak havoc in Haddonfield this Halloween his rampage won’t be limited to theaters. In a somewhat surprising move, Universal has decided to give Halloween Kills a day-and-date release. The 12th film in the horror franchise will stream on Peacock free of charge to subscribers. Both Universal Pictures and Peacock are operated by NBC Universal.
Jamie Lee Curtis is all set to reprise her role as Laurie Strode in Halloween Kills. Directed by David Gordon Green from a script he co-wrote with Danny McBride and Scott Teems, the film is a sequel to 2018’s Halloween. A third film in the bunch called Halloween Ends is scheduled to be released in October 2022.
The Halloween Kills story continues on the night of October 31, 2018, minutes after Laurie Strode, her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left the masked murderer caged and burning in the basement. But as Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, he manages to free himself and continue his ritual bloodbath on the spooky holiday. Now, Laurie and her family must work with new and old allies to form a mob against Myers who is still loose in Haddonfield.
Starring alongside Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween Kills is Nick Castle as Michael Myers, with James Jude Courtney also portraying Myers. Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Kyle Richards, Nancy Stephens, and Charles Cyphers reprise their roles from the 2018 and 1978 films. Anthony Michael Hall and Robert Longstreet also join the cast.
Halloween Kills is the latest in a long line of releases to move away from a standard cinematic release. Since movie theater attendance has remained low due to the ongoing global pandemic, studios like Warner Bros and Disney have opted to roll out many of their biggest movies on the big screen and streaming platforms simultaneously.
Universal debuted their day-and-date release strategy on Peacock earlier this year with The Boss Baby: Family Business. The animated family adventure film earned $57 million at the domestic box office and $48 million internationally. While those numbers probably aren’t what the studio hoped for, it isn’t exactly terrible given the current Covid-19 crisis. However, it is worth noting that the box office takings didn’t come close to matching ticket sales for its predecessor The Boss Baby.
Halloween Kills had its world premiere at the 2021 Venice Film Festival. While the film promises fans a lot of kills, critics have been less than kind with their reviews about Michael Myers’ latest outing. “Call it Halloween Overkills,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote, comparing the film to a latex ghoul mask that’s been so stretched and shapeless it no longer fits.
Unfortunately, the brutal review isn’t a one-off cheap shot at the franchise. Halloween Kills currently has a Metacritic rating of 46 out of 100 and just 53% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes as of Thursday afternoon.
Halloween Kills is scheduled for release on Peacock and in theaters on October 15, 2021.