Drawing inspiration from franchise godfather John Carpenter for Halloween Ends, director David Gordon Green, who has helmed and co-written all three films of the trilogy, and his fellow filmmakers have given each film its own creative signature and narrative and emotional arc, while still providing fans with what they love about the franchise. “Audiences expect certain ingredients of a Halloween movie,” Green says, “so we’ve tried to provide that. Sometimes, we have leaned into the trope or the cliches of the mythology, and other times we have put a spin on it.”
Over more than four decades, the Halloween franchise has reshaped and redefined the horror genre forever. The record-breaking relaunch of the franchise that began with 2018’s Halloween and continued with 2021’s Halloween Kills now reaches its jaw-dropping conclusion with Halloween Ends, a film that is unlike any Halloween film that has come before.
David Gordon Green, who co-wrote the screenplay with Paul Brad Logan (Manglehorn) & Chris Bernier (The Driver series) & Danny Mcbride, based on characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, turned to John Carpenter’s seminal works for character development.
“There are a lot of other Carpenter movies that I have referenced within this one,” Green says. “For example, there’s the inspiration of Christine and The Fog. We find our influences in unlikely places. His movies have great bullies and nerds…as well as some of those narrative devices that we have had fun with.” Four years after the events on the night of Halloween 2018, depicted in the previous two films, Laurie Strode has, after decades of being hunted and haunted by Michael Myers, decided to no longer allow fear to define or direct her life. After Michael killed her daughter, Karen, four years ago, he has seemingly vanished.
Four years after the events on the night of Halloween 2018, depicted in the previous two films, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has, after decades of being hunted and haunted by Michael Myers, decided to no longer allow fear to define or direct her life. After Michael killed her daughter, Karen, four years ago, he has seemingly vanished.
Laurie has undergone intense therapy and has slowly built a safe, stable, loving home for herself and her 21-year-old granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak). Laurie is finishing a memoir, has developed a trusting friendship with fellow survivor Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), and is even flirting with the idea of dating again.
Deepening the interior lives of the central characters and heightening the terror and emotional stakes of this final chapter
“Halloween Ends digs into the dramatic world, emotions and mindset of Laurie and Allyson, as well as introducing a new character, Corey, who is Allyson’s love interest…and how that relationship is affected by the horrors of Michael Myers,” Green says.
The film explores how violence ricochets through a family and a community and reverberates long afterwards. Wounds may heal but scars remain. Michael Myers may have been coming for Laurie in 2018, but the events of that night shattered hundreds of lives. Allyson lost both of her parents and her then-boyfriend to Michael Myers, young people like Corey have been caught in Michael’s wake and the Haddonfield families of Michael’s many victims are still struggling to heal.
Curtis has portrayed Laurie for more than four decades now, one of the longest actor-character pairings in cinema history. After 44 years as Laurie Strode, Jamie Lee Curtis is one of an elite pantheon of artists who have played the same role on film for more than four decades, including Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Curtis was just 20 years old when the first Halloween was released in 1978. The character of Laurie— conceived and written by director John Carpenter and late producer Debra Hill.
“We made that first movie for nothing in 1978 in 17 days,” Curtis says. “But, at its core, there was something that has carried on for 44 years. I have spent a lot of time— ever since I rejoined Laurie Strode for this new trilogy—asking, ‘Why me? Why her? What is it about Laurie and Michael that has survived the test of time?’ What I have now come full circle to, appreciated and embraced, is that Laurie is and was everyone’s hope for the possibility of a happy life. She represents everyone’s sister, best friend, daughter, niece and granddaughter.”
Laurie is an avatar of a life interrupted, a survivor who has spent her life trying to not let an inexplicable evil chart her path and define her existence. It’s particularly meaningful that Laurie Strode has become a symbol of female strength, resilience and endurance worldwide, and that the success of this character and these films has helped pave the way for a new generation of strong, layered female film characters, not just in the horror genre, but industry-wide.
“The legacy of Laurie Strode is directly attributed to Debra Hill,” Curtis says. “Her vulnerability, her intelligence, her strength is in all of those original women in the first film—Linda, Annie and Laurie. Her imprimatur on Halloween is indelible. It’s never to be removed. The gentle soul of Laurie and that fierce warrior spirit are the legacy of Debra. As a feminist, she’d be very proud of how women are represented, and how Laurie has evolved as a character—with the deep emotionality, incredible bravery and physical prowess she demonstrates in this trilogy. I know she’d be incredibly proud of her contributions, which are forever.”
When Michael Myers resurfaces and the killing begins, all of that emotion swirls beneath the final confrontation between Laurie and Michael. Their fight is more violent, sustained and physical than anything before in the Halloween canon.
As Curtis and James Jude Courtney, who plays Michael Myers (aka The Shape), prepared for their final scene, their history together, both as characters and actors, and the weight of the moment became overwhelming.
“When Jamie and I had our big finale, I pulled her aside and asked her to walk me through the beats,” James Jude Courtney says. “As she did, both of us just started going deep into this emotional place together. Then we had tears coming down our cheeks. This was what was happening between the characters, but it’s also what was happening to us while we acted it.”