The upcoming follow-up to David Gordon Green’s 2018 Halloween reboot, Halloween Kills is slated to be released in October of 2021. With the high praise Halloween 2018 received, this new sequel is eagerly awaited by fans of the franchise, but there’s a chance that the series might repeat one of the problems that fans had with the recently released mini-series of Stephen King’s The Stand.
Halloween Kills follows Laurie Strode and her family as they work with new and old allies to form a mob against Michael Myers, who is still loose in Haddonfield. The movie will be an immediate follow-up to Green’s Halloween reboot and will also take place on Halloween of 2018. However, the nature of the plot might repeat an issue that the The Stand encountered: the timing.
The Stand was criticized for releasing a story that focuses entirely on a world ravaged by a global pandemic during a real-life global pandemic. While The Stand wasn’t based on COVID-19, being originally published in the 1970s and filmed in 2019, it still received criticism for poor timing. Similarly, could a Halloween movie focused on an angry mob be too close to much of what’s being seen in the United States and all over the world right now as the political landscape becomes increasingly volatile?
Much of how Halloween Kills plays out and the details of the plot have been kept secret, but director David Gordon Green and lead actress Jamie Lee Curtis have both given interviews discussing bits of the story. Green described Halloween Kills as “aggressive” and “efficient,” while Halloween Ends gets personal and more streamlined. Expanding a bit more on the story and mood of Halloween Kills, Jamie Lee Curtis explained to SiriusXM’s Jess Cagle and co-host Julia Cunningham:
“What we were seeing around the country of the power, of the rage of voices, big groups of people coming together enraged at the set of circumstances, that’s what the movie is. The movie is about a mob. And so it’s very interesting because it takes on what happens when trauma infects an entire community. And we’re seeing it everywhere with the Black Lives Matter movement. We’re seeing it in action and Halloween Kills weirdly enough, dovetailed onto that, proceeded it, it was written before that occurred, but then of course, so when you see it, it’s a seething group of people moving through the story as a big angry group, it’s really, really, really intense. It’s a masterpiece.”
Curtis definitely talks about the movie in terms of what’s happening about in real life, but also makes a positive comparison, discussing how the movie explores how trauma affects an entire community. The way she talks about Halloween Kills, however, is in opposition to the way The Stand series significantly underperformed expectations. This dichotomy directly illustrates the differences in the way that different movie fans, especially horror fans, approach their media.
Some people prefer to seek out stories that mirror difficult things they’re going through in real life as a way to work through them. This is evidenced by the increased release and popularity of horror movies during economic recessions and depressions, as well as during times of war and conflict. This also tends to be one of the major reasons that people connect so strongly to horror as a genre on a general level, as well. People often use horror for catharsis and working through complicated feelings; through horror, many experience an emotional release in a safe way. This is especially relevant for more uplifting horror movies.
However, other people tend to avoid media that too closely relate to real-world problems, preferring to use movies and TV shows as an escape. Anything that feels uncomfortably close to reality or mirrors difficult situations happening either on a large scale or more personal scope can simply be too much to handle. Considering this dichotomy, Halloween Kills is potentially going be a controversial release, with half the audience appreciating its topical nature and the other half being deeply uncomfortable with its premise, depending on how the final product is executed.