The misjudged reboot Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2022 fumbled what could have been a legendary Final Girl moment, but Halloween Ends promises better.
The latest trailer for Halloween Ends seems to imply that the slasher sequel will fix one of the most notorious missteps featured in another recent horror franchise reboot. It is not easy to reboot a classic horror series, but the Halloween franchise has taken a pretty good stab at it since 2018. Director David Gordon Green’s Halloween 2018 was a lean, brutal slasher that retconned every sequel after 1978’s Halloween and brought back the effective, sparse horror of that original movie in the process.
Admittedly, its sequel struggled with critics (although it was a box-office hit), and the question of whether to kill off Laurie Strode means Halloween Ends’ attempt to find its perfect ending will present a significant challenge. However, the latest trailer for Halloween Ends implies that the slasher sequel will get one important trope right. Unlike an earlier horror franchise reboot, Halloween Ends will offer viewers something they have wanted for decades.
Viewers of the original Halloween, and countless slasher movies since, have often wished that the Final Girl would just shoot the villain. Something that the Scream movies took advantage of in their punchy, effective climactic fights. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2022 attempted to subvert this trope but ended up frustrating many viewers with a pointless scene where the returning franchise heroine Sally Hardesty holds a gun to Leatherface only to freeze at the worst possible moment. The sight of Laurie holding a gun to Michael in the first Halloween Ends trailer could have led viewers to conclude that this was a new Final Girl slasher trend, but fortunately, the filmmakers must have seen the online reaction to the widely disliked Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2022 scene. While it probably won’t kill him, the final trailer for Halloween Ends unambiguously promises that Laurie will shoot Michael.
To be fair to Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2022, the scene was clearly intended to illustrate the freeze response to trauma, a real-life phenomenon. The problem is, it occurred in a movie that was otherwise goofy, over-the-top, and cartoonishly unrealistic. Meaning a realistic depiction of a victim feeling unable to act when faced with their tormentor didn’t have the intended emotional impact when it was surrounded by scenes of larger-than-life ultra-violence. A similar issue occurred when the indie slasher hit Terrifier had its killer simply shoot the movie’s supposed Final Girl, a surprise that might have been effective in a lighter movie but instead came across as relentlessly bleak.
Evidently, Halloween Ends learned from these missteps, with its trailer offering viewers a more satisfying shot of Laurie finally, mercifully, just shooting Michael as viewers have angrily demanded for decades. Odds are, this fateful shot will either miss the aging killer or won’t be enough to take him down, knowing how supernaturally powerful Michael Myers has proven throughout the slasher series so far. However, Halloween Ends is at least following through on the promise of its heroine shooting her attacker, unlike another recent slasher reboot.
Halloween Ends will make considerable changes to Laurie Strode’s character, setting up a satisfying end to the legendary Laurie and Michael story.
Halloween Ends will jump four years into the future following the franchise’s previous installment, Halloween Kills, with scream queen Jamie-Lee Curtis revealing that this time jump will significantly impact her character Laurie Strode. Halloween Ends has claimed that it will be the end of the Laurie and Michael story, with Jamie-Lee Curtis confirming that this will be her last appearance as the iconic final girl. So far, the current reboot of the Halloween franchise has relied heavily on Laurie’s trauma from Michael Myers’ 1978 killings, so the time jump will be an exciting way of showing how Laurie has developed following on from the 2018 massacre.
Jamie-Lee Curtis explained to Total Film (via CBR) that when audiences see Laurie Strode again in Halloween Ends, she will be a completely different person. According to Curtis, Laurie will have received the help she needs to overcome the suffering that Michael Myers has caused her and the town of Haddonfield. Additionally, Laurie will also be processing the death of her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), and forming a closer relationship with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). Laurie is expected to be a different character, with an air of hope surrounding her for the first time in over 40 years, but her newfound liberation does not last long as Laurie is expected to face the evil that is Michael Myers once more.
While there have been some concerns over the Halloween Ends time jump, it will actually make Laurie Strode even better. Jamie-Lee Curtis described Laurie’s peaceful life at the beginning of Halloween Ends as a “beautiful place to start a really tragic, incredibly violent ending”. Unlike the battle-hardened Laurie that viewers are now used to, she will now be unsuspecting, with her willingness to receive help hinting that she may believe Michael Myers is gone for good. Therefore, the fact that she will have to face the Boogeyman one last time makes the final showdown between the pair all the more impactful. It emphasizes that no matter how easy life gets, the specter of Michael Myers will always be looming, adding a far greater sense of finality to Halloween Ends.
Laurie Strode’s return in Halloween Ends will mark Jamie-Lee Curtis’s seventh and final time playing the character. After wrapping up Halloween Ends, Jamie-Lee Curtis proclaimed that she finally understood what it meant to be a final girl, leaving fans to question how Laurie Strode’s story will conclude. Of course, the final girl comments make it highly plausible that Laurie will survive Halloween Ends and continue to live a peaceful life, but that doesn’t necessarily add up with the tragic ending that has been teased.
In fact, it could be even more likely that Laurie will die in Halloween Ends, sacrificing herself to bring an end to Michael’s murderous rampage, making her death the final one to taint Haddonfield. In many ways, such a sacrifice would set her apart from many contemporary characters and slasher icons. As a result, Halloween Ends could allow Laurie to cement her status as the ultimate final girl.