“Halloween Ends” is here.
The sequel — in theaters and on Peacock on Oct. 14 — concludes the trilogy that started with 2018’s “Halloween,” which wisely jettisoned most of the cumbersome backstory and mythology that had gummed up the subsequent sequels and spin-offs. Instead, it offered a version of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who was dealing with the trauma of her past and ready to face her demons (personified by Michael Myers) head on. The sequel, last year’s “Halloween Kills,” was a blood bath that investigated the mob mentality that consumed the town of Haddonfield, Illinois, following Michael’s return. And now with “Halloween Ends” is completely different again – it’s something slower, more melancholic and romantic, with Laurie’s granddaughter (Andi Matichak) struggling to find peace after the carnage took away everything she loved.
TheWrap spoke with co-writer/director David Gordon Green about whether not he always wanted to end the trilogy this way, the movie’s diverse inspirations and whether or not he ever considered adding a supernatural element to the story.
Was this always sort of the idea, to wrap up the trilogy in this way?
Well, I wouldn’t say in terms of the specific architecture of it, but I think in a broad stroke, I did want to establish a trust of a fan base, invite new people with our first film, then unravel it all and go into the chaos and upheaval and upside-down nature of Haddonfield in the second movie, and in the thid one, I wanted a quieter, atmospheric love story. And so that was kind of always the intention, to return to this intimacy of character, and then the specifics kind of fell into place over years, I guess.
It’s pretty crazy that one of the main characters of the third movie is introduced in the cold open of the third movie. Where did that come from?
Good question. I mean, for me as a filmmaker, I’m always trying to reinvent myself. Sometimes it’s desperate, sometimes it’s inspired, but I’m always trying to do something different. I’m a gypsy, and I like to wander around and I’m curious, and I say, “What’s this? What’s this?” And I open a closet door on a location scout, and then all the basketballs fall into my lap. So I find myself constantly in this phase of discovery, and so when we were workshopping ideas for “Halloween Ends” and I started feeling like there’s redundant ideas going, and I was like, “How am I going to, as a filmmaker, be passionate, bring a hundred percent to the table with something that I’ve done before, or that has been done before and it’s just emulating other movies?” And so the idea of bringing a new character in so that I could get a fresh perspective on other characters became the device.
And so introducing the movie in a way was the only way to get a character that you were going to hang your hat on through this film, and meeting Rohan Campbell, an actor that could really inhabit the vulnerability and sincerity of that character, was the only thing that kept us from drowning. Because without the performance that I believe he delivered, the movie would’ve been totally confusing and it wouldn’t have worked. But what he brings to it I think is those layers and emotions that at least we can talk about. We don’t see a character like that, that has so many characters within the character in a short period of time, and it’s really fun for me, and inspired to play with bad boys and leather jackets and motorcycles and some of the ’80s tropes that I grew up with, and he was really playful and up for the challenge.
Can you talk about the inspirations for this movie? It felt very “Lost Boys” and “Near Dark” in places.
There were also I would say things like “Twin Peaks” and “My Bodyguard,” there were dramatic work that was equally as inspiring as some of the more obvious, “Christine,” and “Lost Boys,” as you say, “Near Dark,” for sure, which is super underrated. But yeah, it’s a transformation movie kind of, and the horror genre can relate to that in so many ways. And then I just tried to make it more of a human version of that, where it wasn’t supernatural, it was informed by the context of this community.
You mention the supernatural and there’s a moment that is quasi-supernatural. Was there ever an inclination to go full-on Curse of Thorn [a controversial element of the sixth film “The Curse of Michael Myers”]?
I mean, I’m just not the guy for that, but when I would show early cuts of the movie to people, sometimes they’d be like, “Oh, this is a transference of evil.” You know these things that you’re like, “No, not literally.” I mean, the answer is yes and no. Sure it is if that’s what you see in it. I love that. I love interpretation. In fact, I think the “Halloween” franchise in a lot of senses thrives on ambiguity. Michael Myers’ background, for example. I like the fact that there are those conversations. I don’t think he does anything that’s supernatural. I just think he does things that are spectacular and resilient.
“Halloween Ends” is in theaters and on Peacock this Friday.