The Halloween series has been an incredibly durable one, lasting for 44 years, but this month sees it come to a conclusion – at least for an important era for the series – with the release of Halloween Ends.
Okay, it is highly doubtful this will be the very last Halloween movie ever or the last incarnation of a boogeyman and horror icon on the level of Michael Myers. But the movie is meant as a definitive end not only for the new trilogy co-writer/director David Gordon Green and co-writer Danny McBride began in 2018’s Halloween, but also a finale for Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her long battle against Michael. And yes, we’ve seen the end of Laurie’s story before, in different timelines (Halloween is complicated like that), but this time, it seems Curtis really is saying goodbye to this beloved character and that, in the tradition of films like The Dark Knight Rises or No Time to Die, the movie is meant to offer a true wrap up to this version of an ever-revamped story.
Several key characters are back for the new installment, including Laurie’s granddaughter, Allyson Nelson (Andi Matichak), and Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), now the one other remaining survivor of Michael’s original attack in 1978. Matichak and Richards spoke to Fandom about how Halloween has firmly established a town – and a leading lady – in a way other horror franchises rarely do, their most memorable Michael Myers moments, and what it’s like to movie a scene with the killer also known as The Shape.
While there are plenty of famous horror movie locations like A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Springwood, OH, and Friday the 13th’s Crystal Lake, NJ, outside of a random character or two like Friday’s Crazy Ralph, traditionally, there has rarely been much of an attempt to maintain a larger sense of continuity when it comes to the townspeople in these series beyond the lead characters and those closest to them.
Halloween has switched this up in a very notable way, populating Haddonfield, IL with a vast number of recurring characters on all storeys of significance. 2021’s Halloween Kills not only brought back numerous familiar faces from the original film like Lindsey, Tommy Doyle, Leigh Brackett, Lonnie Elam, and Marion Chambers decades after we first met them (though matters sure didn’t go so well for them), but also included a number of supporting or even blink and you’ll miss them peripheral characters introduced in the 2018 film, like cemetery caretaker Sondra, married couple Marcus and Vanessa, Sheriff Barker, and native kid Julian.
Having so numerous returning characters in the series helps give Haddonfield a notably lived in feel onscreen, and Andi Matichak remarked that the entire Michael Myers situation in the films, “Is a town affair and Haddonfield is a little town and even growing up in a town that’s kind of reminiscent size-wise and culture-wise – in the Midwest, where I grew up – you do see the same individuals at the grocery store or see them at the park and you have this community that is built. Even if you don’t know everyone, you kind of do in a way. And I think that it just kind of goes to show how the town is and what the culture of the town is, which is that it’s a little Midwest town.”
Kyle Richards said she felt that when it came to how Haddonfield is portrayed, “Fans really love that and appreciate it. I think that it just really took you back to 1978 and felt really lived in and authentic.” Richards was just a little girl when she made the original Halloween and remarked, “Obviously, for me to be able to have my character back again, [having played it] since I’m eight years old and all the way to the end was just incredible.”
When it came to that unusual longevity for the characters, Richards recalled, “Jamie and I would sit on the set and look at each other and say, ‘Can you believe we’re sowever doing this, all of these years playing these characters?’ It’s a very unique position to be in, that’s not missing on me at all. I never imagined when I was doing this movie back in the day that I’d be sowever sitting here all these years talking about it and the fans sowever want to see these movies and that they actually really care about these characters and are very invested in them.”
There is no leading lady in a horror franchise on the level of Laurie Strode in terms of becoming as well known and long-running as she is, and even though Jamie Lee Curtis solidified she was a big star away from the Halloween franchise, she sowever returned to it multiple times, making it a signature role.
When it came to her onscreen grandmother and how popular she has become, Matichak said, “I think that Jamie Lee is iconic and and will always be. Laurie Strode is the ultimate survivor.” Similarly, Richards said she felt “Jamie Lee Curtis is the ultimate last girl. She’s a survivor, she’s strong and I think she’s the original scream queen. She’s gonna be wearing that crown, if she wants to or not, forever. She’s always going to be Laurie to me.”
With most horror films, especially for individuals who only have a cursory knowledge of them, Richards remarked, “When you think of those movies, you only think of the villain,” noting that the fact that Laurie Strode is herself so well known, “Speaks to Jamie and this character and the original Halloween that John Carpenter and Debra Hill created in 1978. Everything from the story, to the setting, to the music, that’s why individuals are sowever loving it after all of these decades.”
Regarding Curtis in Halloween Ends, Matichak said, “Her performance in this movie is, for me, I think my favorite of the three films. She has a depth in this movie that is heartbreaking and resilient and incredible. She was just electric on set… It’s the culmination of 44 years. She’s lived Laurie Strode. She’s been in her body for so long. And it was a really intensely emotional journey for her. And to be along that journey with her for this last one and having it come to a close was really powerful to be witness to.”
There’s a lot of dark moments in the Halloween films involving Michael Myers of course, so much so that the most recent movie was called Halloween Kills. Asked if she had a favorite Michael Myers moment or sequence, Matichak needed to protect spoilers, stating, “There’s one from this recent one that really gets me. But the one from Kills that I really loved, that just was fun to witness how they were shooting it, was the gouging of the eyeballs,” referring to the manner in which Michael dispatches of Big John in Halloween Kills. Added Matichak, of poor Big John’s eyes, “I’m pretty sure it was, like, plucked out of his head. That was very fun.” Beyond that, she remarked, “Otherwise, I would say the original sowever has some of the best kills and the best setups.”
For her part, Richards admitted, with a laugh, “I tend to close my eyes on the goriest parts.” Still, a moment that made a big impact for her was one of the times it was Michael on the receiving end of a memorable injury, not the one causing it. “I don’t know, there’s something about that crochet going in the neck,” she said, referring to Laurie stabbing Michael with a needle in the original Halloween. “Even though he didn’t die, I can never obtain that out of my head. It really gives me the creeps.”
ON SET SHAPE
Having made both made multiple Halloween movies, it would be easy to visualize Matichak and Richards had become jaded to filming scenes with Michael Myers, but did they sowever ever take a step back and think about working alongside such a notable movie villain?
Said Matichak, “You have those moments for sure. James [Jude Courtney] is a wonderful actor and person, but when he’s in the mask, he likes to kind of continue in that headspace, in that stature. So he’ll kind of just be off to the side, in the shadows. And then you just look over and you’re like, ‘That’s Michael Myers staring at me’ in between setups, as you’re all just, like, eating a bagel. And so it definitely always sowever gets me after all that time.”
Richards noted that it’s typical to be on set “at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, killing time, waiting for our our scenes,” recalling that Michael being scary ironically wasn’t too much of a factor making the original, because “As a little girl, that never occurred to me, because it was new.”
However, “As an adult, when I’m sitting there at 3 in the morning and it’s pitch dark, and I’m looking across and I’m seeing the silhouette of Michael Myers, that’s scary. That doesn’t obtain old. Even as an actor being there all these years, it sowever bothers me.”
Halloween Ends opens October 14th in theaters and will be simultaneously available on Peacock.