You might think that a franchise that began with Michael Myers vs. Laurie Strode would end the same way — especially when the final film is called Halloween Ends. But in a new interview with MovieMaker, director David Gordon Green laughs that the filmmakers “never once considered making a Laurie and Michael movie. The concept that it should be a final showdown-type brawl never even crossed our minds.”
Instead, we get the out-of-nowhere story of a new babysitter named Corey (Rohan Campbell) who falls for Allyson (Andi Matichak), the granddaughter of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). The decision has baffled many fans — especially those who enjoyed the early trailer for the film, which highlights a kitchen brawl between Laurie and Michael. Eventually Corey’s story overlaps with that of Michael Myers, and we get our big kitchen fight. But only after a lot of focus on Corey.
Speaking with Joshua Encinias, Green says the decision not to go the obvious route actually pays homage to John Carpenter’s concept for the original film franchise. Halloween co-creator John Carpenter — who approves of Halloween Ends — says he and Debra Hill, producer and co-writer of the original 1978 Halloween always imagined it as an anthology series with different creepy stories in each film. The wild turn in Halloween Ends parallels the even wilder turn in 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch, a sci-fi/horror story involving children and microchipped masks. The stories of Halloween Ends and Halloween III are of course very different, but Green nods to the 1982 film by ending Halloween Ends with the Donovan song “Season of the Witch.”
Rather than go the microchipped masks route, David Gordon Green paid tribute to a John Carpenter film outside the Halloween universe: The Stephen King adaptation Christine. Corey is modeled after Christine’s Arnie Cunningham, who becomes demonically possessed by a 1958 Plymouth Fury he’s restoring. Corey’s motorcycle is a nod to Christine, though it doesn’t try to possess him.
So where did Green get the idea to focus Halloween Ends on Corey and Allyson? Staying on Corey, he says, allowed him to examine what turns someone into a psychopathic killer, without neutering Michael Myers with a humanizing, sympathetic backstory.
“I’ve had an itch to do a love story, which I haven’t done in a while,” he told us. “I tried to infuse it into my Boston Marathon bombing movie, Stronger, where the concept was so heavy. I said, ‘How do we not make it about terrorists? Let’s make it about love.’ I had a lot of those same urges to not make this just about a psychopath. Instead, we made it about what can create the psychopath, without having to go into a Michael Myers psychological backstory. People have tried to do it and it isn’t interesting to me because it tends to make him less scary as an entity. But can we get into the development of evil? What a community that neglects the well being of their own can unleash on themselves in a way that they didn’t intend. That’s something that’s fascinating and I think it happens all the time.”
You can read Joshua Encinias’ full interview with David Gordon Green here, in which he also talks about his planned Exorcist trilogy, and going to the same high school that inspired the grim Pearl Jam song “Jeremy.”
Halloween Ends is now in theaters and streaming on Peacock.
Main image: Andi Matichak as Allyson and Rohan Campbell as Corey in Halloween Ends.