Breaking Down the End of Halloween Ends

13 minute read

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Halloween Ends

Halloween’s final girl Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) is taking her final bow in Halloween Ends. Director David Gordon Greene’s last movie in his Halloween saga, a direct sequel to the 1978 original that ignores the 10 sequels that came after, marks Curtis’ last appearance in the 44-year-old horror franchise. “It’s now the end for Laurie and me,” Curtis wrote in an essay for People before her last Halloween movie hit theaters and Peacock on Oct. 14. “I’m weeping as I write this. I’m going to miss her.” The final twist of Halloween Ends teases that Michael Myers’ reign of terror might finally be over, too.

Halloween Ends is set four years after the tragic events of 2021’s Halloween Kills, in which Laurie’s hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois was attacked 40 years to the day by the same masked murderer who murdered six people and one dog on Halloween night in 1978. Laurie is still dealing with the fallout of Michael’s latest killing spree, which resulted in the shocking twist-ending death of her daughter Karen (Judy Greer). Laurie is trying to move forward with her life, unpacking her trauma by writing a memoir and making a happy home with her granddaughter Allyson (​​Andi Matichak) in Haddonfield. When tragedy strikes the small town again, Laurie is ready to face off against her longtime nemesis, who at 60-something years old is still racking up the kills. Hopefully, for the last time. This time around, though, Michael has a bit of help in the murdering department.

What happens in Halloween Ends?

The movie starts with a recent flashback of a character Halloween fans won’t know: Corey (Rohan Campbell), a 21-year-old prospective engineering student who, in 2019, is tasked with babysitting a rather difficult child on Halloween night. The little boy attempts to scare Corey by locking him in the attic. It’s the one-year anniversary of Michael Myers’ attack on the town and everyone is on edge, including Corey, who kicks open the door only for it to slam into the child. The little boy goes tumbling over the railing, falling three stories to his death. It was an accident, but the town brands Corey a murderer for what happened.

Flash forward four years, Corey is known to the locals as “the psychotic babysitter” who lost his temper and killed an innocent child in cold blood. He’s been ostracized not unlike Laurie Strode, who, no surprise, looks to nurture this outsider. The Laurie of Halloween Kills is much different than the one of the two previous films. She’s doing the work in therapy, trying to let go of the fear, paranoia, regret, and anger that the man known as the Boogeyman caused her. She’s also a bit of a matchmaker. After Corey is attacked by a group of teens, Laurie drives him to the hospital where he bonds with Allyson, the nurse who cleans his wounds so they don’t get infected. What is clear is that the hate Corey’s received has hardened him, but he begins to open up with Allyson. The two go to a Halloween party where he finally gets to cut loose, but at the bar, he runs into the mother of the boy he accidentally killed. She’s not happy to see the kid who ruined her life enjoying his. Laurie also runs up against this with locals who are quick to let her know that she’s to blame for Michael Myers’s return.

Corey’s interaction with the grieving mother causes him to lash out and blame Allyson for forcing him out of his comfort zone. Corey is a monster in the eyes of Haddonfield. After storming off from the bar, Corey runs into the same teens who came after him before. He fights back against them, but they end up throwing him over a bridge where he’s dragged off into the sewer by a shadowy figure. When Corey eventually wakes up, he comes face-to-face with Michael Myers who has been hiding right under the town’s noses in the years since the events of Halloween Kills.

Previous Halloween sequels have hinted that Michael Myers might be a kind supernatural being, which would surely explain how he has managed to survive being stabbed and shot so many times over the years. 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the only sequel that doesn’t feature Michael Myers, is a witchy slasher film focused on pagan rituals and child sacrifice that sets up the “Thorn Trilogy” arc, which reintroduces an immortal Michael Myers, a product of a satanic cult that has cursed him to kill his bloodline. In Halloween Ends, Michael Myers seems to psychologically infect Corey by forcing him to stare in his cold, black eyes. From that moment on, Corey becomes Michael Myers’ partner in gruesome crimes. Corey wears his own scarecrow mask and blue jumpsuit to kill Allyson’s former boyfriend and the doctor who didn’t give her a promotion. Corey soon becomes a conduit for Michael, going so far as to wear the iconic mask to get revenge on those who have tormented him in the years since the child died under his care. Corey starts to delight in the killing, which becomes more gruesome as the movie goes on. It becomes almost preternatural, as if this evil has always existed within Corey.

Laurie almost immediately sees a change in Corey after his run-in with Michael, telling fellow Halloween survivor Lindsey (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’s Kyle Richards) that his eyes reminded her of the Boogeyman’s. She later sees Corey standing outside her window, staring back as Michael once did. She never implies that it’s something supernatural that has taken over Corey. In fact, she seems to believe his evil side comes from something all too human. She confronts Corey by telling him that there’s two kinds of evil in the world. The first one is “an external force that threatens the well-being of the tribe,” but the other “lives inside us,” she tells him. “Like a sickness or an infestation. It’s more dangerous because we may not know we’re infected.” She alludes that Corey is in the latter category, that he has chosen to let evil take hold of him, to let it infect him figuratively and literally. (His hand becomes infected from holding the knife he uses to murder Allyson’s boss.) But this pep talk doesn’t stop him from killing—Corey just becomes more unhinged, killing his teen tormentors, his mom, and anyone else who gets in his way. He tries to get Allyson to leave town with him, to start anew, but he can’t outrun his past. It’s something Laurie knows all too well, which is why she’s the only one who can stop Corey, the second coming of Michael Myers.

Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in Halloween EndsRyan Green—Universal Pictures

How does Halloween Ends end?

Corey becomes hellbent on killing Laurie, realizing that as long as she’s around he won’t be able to continue seeing Allyson. Laurie is struggling with the rift that this relationship is causing between her and Allyson. She appears to be spiraling and calls the police to report a suicide at her home. She goes to her office, lights the jack-o-lantern on her mantle, and grabs a gun from a locked drawer in her desk. While she does this, the viewers see that someone is watching her from outside the office door. She brings the gun to her head and just as she pulls the trigger, the camera peers in from beyond the door. Something orange and gooey splatters on the wall and the creeper pushes the door open to find a smashed pumpkin on the floor. Laurie then pops into frame pointing the gun at them. “You think I’d kill myself,” she says before pulling the trigger and hitting Michael Myers. But it isn’t Michael she’s shot, it’s Corey in Michael’s clothing.

Laurie isn’t interested in killing Corey. In fact, she tries to appeal to his better senses to turn himself in for the crimes he’s committed. But Corey decides to take things in his own hands. “If I can’t have her,” he says in reference to Allyson before stabbing himself. Laurie pulls out the knife just as Allyson opens the door to see her grandmother standing over her boyfriend’s lifeless body. It’s in that moment that Laurie seems to revert to the scared teen she was all those years ago. She cowers in the corner, pained by what Michael is doing to her, giving the masked maniac a chance to enter her home. The real Michael immediately grabs his mask back from Corey. As he reaches for the knife, Corey awakens and tries to stop him, but to no avail. Whatever power Michael may have had on him, he’s no longer useful to him so he snaps on Corey’s neck and continues on his menacing way.

Laurie seems to sense that Michael is somewhere in the house and hides in a kitchen closet. It’s similar to the final moments in the original Halloween when Laurie attempts to hide from the knife-wielding Michael in a bedroom closet, narrowly escaping by stabbing him with a hanger.

This time, she’s able to get the jump on him, barreling out of the closet with a fire extinguisher in her hand. He manages to stop her from bludgeoning him by getting in a few good hits. Laurie puts up a fight, stopping him from putting her hand in a garbage disposal by headbutting him. She then stabs him with a knitting needle, only to have him stab her in the side of the face with it. Luckily, she grabs a butcher knife and sticks it through his rotting two-fingered hand, the one she shot through in Halloween (2018). He becomes stuck to the butcher block table, unable to move, and in his vulnerable state, Laurie gets on top of him and stakes a knife through his other hand. She then pushes the refrigerator on top of him. She grabs another large butcher knife and pulls off Michael’s mask. She uses the knife as a mirror, forcing him to look at himself one last time. “I have run from you. I have chased you. I have tried to contain you. I have tried to forgive you,” she tells him. “I thought maybe you were the Boogeyman. No. You’re just a man who’s about to stop breathing.” With that, she slits his throat, but at the same moment, his arm goes up and grabs her throat. The two seem destined to die together and Laurie seems resigned to this fact. “Do it! Do it!” Laurie shouts as he tightens his grip. As she begins to lose consciousness, all her run-ins with Michael flash before her eyes. She is finally ready to let go, to end all of this, but Allyson isn’t ready to let her go.

Thanks to a call from Officer Frank Hawkins (Will Patton), Allyson manages to get to her grandmother’s house in time. She runs in and stabs Michael, causing him to let go of Laurie’s neck, before breaking his arm to ensure he can’t do anymore damage. Laurie then takes the knife and cuts Michael’s wrist. Despite all the pain he’s caused her, she gently holds his hand as he begins to bleed out. For once, it seems that Michael is dead, but Allyson already knows that Michael has a tendency to pop back to life. Allyson comes up with a plan that not everyone in law enforcement would agree with. She has Frank strap Michael to the top of her car as if he’s a beast like King Kong so she can drive him to the auto body shop where they plan to throw him in the car crusher. The drive to the shop becomes an impromptu funeral procession in which the locals join in to make sure the monster is finally dead. The funeral goers include familiar faces from Green’s previous Halloween films that managed to survive Michael’s brutality. They’re not there to fight, but to heal. It’s Laurie that gets a front row seat to Michael’s death. She seems to breathe a sigh of relief as she watches his body get crushed and disappear forever.

The movie then flashes forward, though it’s unclear how long it’s been since Michael’s death. Laurie is sitting in her office, finishing her memoir. With Michael’s death, she’s ready to finally put his story to bed. Her story, however, is one of survival. “I said goodbye to my Boogeyman,” she writes, but evil takes on many different shapes. (One of Michael Myers’s nicknames is “The Shape,” in fact.) For now, she’s looking to live a more peaceful life. In the final seconds of the film, she sits on her stoop next to Frank on a block that looks like any other in America. She seems calm and unbothered. The camera makes its way into her home, where everything has been put back in its rightful place. There’s no sign of the previous attack, no evidence that if things had gone differently Laurie may not be here to enjoy this beautiful day. The only sign that Michael Myers ever existed is his mask, which is propped up on Laurie’s table. In the daylight, it’s not quite as menacing as it once appeared to be.

That final shot feels very, well, final. Michael really appears to be gone, but it’s possible someone else could put on the mask again. Green’s Halloween saga is a reboot after all, and it’s hard to believe someone else might not want to reimagine this again sooner or later. By not destroying the mask with Michael Myers, Green might have created a symbolic passing of the torch for anyone who might be bold enough to revive the Boogeyman again. But Halloween has always been Laurie Strode’s story so it feels only fair that she gets the final word on the matter. “They can go off and make however many Halloween movies they want to make now and create a whole new narrative,” Curtis told the New York Times in October. “But our four movies can be played as a perfect quad—these three movies [directed by Green] and 1978—and I feel very good about the completion of that.” Long live Laurie Strode, the ultimate final girl.

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