It’s fair to assume that most people who watched David Gordon Green’s bloody, brutal “Halloween Kills,” the second film in his “Halloween” trilogy, weren’t necessarily thinking “romance!” Green was, though. At least when it came time to write “Halloween Ends,” the final film in the franchise.
For longtime fans of Green’s multi-faceted résumé, which includes everything from dreamy romances like “All the Real Girls” to R-rated stoner comedies like “Pineapple Express,” the filmmaker’s desire to embrace all sorts of genres, even within one franchise, should come as a happy surprise. As Green explained to IndieWire, after the “devastation” of “Halloween Kills,” he was eager to tap into something a little different to close out his series.
“We wrote ‘Halloween Ends’ alongside ‘Halloween Kills,'” Green told IndieWire during a recent interview. “But I didn’t know where it was going to go until we finished editing ‘Kills,’ and when we decided the ending point of ‘Kills’ was going to be this devastation. I knew I couldn’t do that again, and I think prior to that understanding, I would’ve gone darker, just because that’s instinctive within my impulses within the genre.”
For Green, writing two different sorts of stories that exist within the same framework just made sense. And rest assured “Halloween” fans: The final chapter is just as gory and scary as “Halloween” and “Halloween Kills,” albeit with a somewhat sweeter center.
“I wanted to write an action movie and a love story at the same time and see how they juxtaposed each other, and it was just fun, because I like to mix it up in genres,” the filmmaker said. “I don’t want to just make the same movie over and over, the same genre, the same anything. I would literally be writing on the same day these two very opposite types of scripts. I knew where I wanted to go atmospherically and I knew I wanted to be very romantic, and I knew I wanted to put my heart on my sleeve and make a movie about bad boys and motorcycles and leather jackets and that kind of thing.”
Trilogy star Andi Matichak takes on an even greater role in “Halloween Ends” — she’s one-half of that central love story, alongside franchise newbie Rohan Campbell — and was thrilled about the chance to explore Allyson’s psyche and the impact the terrors of “Halloween” and “Halloween Kills” had on her.
Ryan Green/Universal Pictures
“It was a really fun experience getting to dive into the aftermath of what occurred in 2018 in ‘Halloween Kills’ and kind of seeing this person’s life unfold in front of you,” Matichak said, adding that she was excited about diving deeper into “the poise of a person who’s looked at as a heroic survivor [and] be tested and you see the cracks and you get to peak under the surface of that facade.”
Over the course of the series, Allyson has lost multiple friends and her own parents, and while she’s always seemed surprisingly stable, “Halloween Ends” gives her a chance to unleash a ton of inner pain. Matichak was primed for the experience.
“I had heard little snippets of what ‘Halloween Ends’ was when we were filming ‘Halloween Kills,’ so I had just a couple things thrown in my ear here and there,” Matichak said. “When I got the script, it wasn’t unexpected, and I saw some of this coming and I knew that this was the direction that they were going to take it and I loved it. I think that it’s a very real take on probably what would happen. Even though you have somebody who’s incredibly self-aware and can probably spell out what is going on psychologically in her head and heart and all of that, that doesn’t mean you’re OK and that doesn’t mean that you still don’t have that trauma, that pain that’s just boiling under the surface.”
For all the darkness of “Halloween Ends,” Green is hopeful that people can still enjoy its bombastic genre elements, its unexpected love story, and the many questions it will likely inspire in its fans. (More on the ending of “Halloween Ends” to come on IndieWire in the coming days.)
“But without reciting the ending, I just wanted it to be something people think about and can discuss, and has a degree of ambiguity and uncertainty,” Green said. “That was important to me. As much as this is, in my mind, an eat-some-popcorn-with-your-friends and enjoy a midnight madness, somewhat campy, but also artistically confident genre film, I also like a movie that you can have a conversation about it on the way out. … I love a movie that has those complicated layers and this asks a lot more questions than it answers.”
A Universal Pictures release, “Halloween Ends” will hit theaters and start streaming on Peacock on Friday, October 14.