How Halloween Ends Pays Tribute To One Of Halloween's Classic Posters

This article contains major spoilers for "Halloween Ends."

In the span of just one weekend, it became clear that the conversation around whether "Halloween Ends" is an abysmal finale or a bold subversion of lofty expectations has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. The moment those blue credits showed up, it sent a signal that this was going to be something different than more Michael Myers rampage, and it largely works.

As the final film in director David Gordon Green's divisive trilogy, "Halloween Ends" could have gone the safest route possible, but instead decided to show a different side to The Shape's legacy through the people of Haddonfield, even more so than in "Halloween Kills." Michael's infection of evil spread throughout the town until it led to the death of a mentally ill man and countless more of their own dead. With "Ends," the brunt of Michael's silent presence lures in a twentysomething named Corey Cunnigham (Rohan Campbell).

While Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) attempts to move on with her life, in walks the once timid Corey, who succumbs to Michael's evil. I never imagined Michael having a slasher buddy protege, but "Halloween Ends" shows how fascinating that would look like in terms of the bigger picture.

The transformation was foreshadowed in that fantastic opening, but not quite in the way you may think.

Getting a kick out of babysitting

The reason why "Halloween Ends" gets off to a great start is because it plays on your expectations, and throws you a horrific curveball.

Taking place one year since Michael Myers' renewed attack on Haddonfield, the concluding chapter opens on Halloween night. In saving up for college, town local Corey takes up a babysitting gig for Jeremy Allen (Jaxon Goldenberg), a bratty child whose parents own possibly the nicest manor in town.

The two stay up late, eat some candy, and watch John Carpenter's "The Thing" for good measure. But the fun comes to a halt when Jeremy makes Corey realize that he might be at risk of being killed by Michael Myers, who has killed plenty of babysitters, visibly upsetting the latest potential victim. As the house goes quiet, this would be the point where you start wondering if Michael is out and about on a new Halloween night. The opening gives you all the warning signs, especially when Corey finds a kitchen knife on the stairwell after leaving it with a zucchini loaf in the kitchen just a moment earlier.

The situation gets even more intense when Corey hears Jeremy upstairs yelling for help, but once he opens the door to the attic, the kid locks it behind him. In a truly unfortunate stage of events, as a panicked Jeremy kicks down the door to get out of the attic, the Allen child brings a new meaning to "let the bodies hit the floor." Of course, Jeremy's parents hear Corey angrily yell, "I'm going to kill you," in a panicked frenzy, before witnessing their offspring violently kiss the floor in a bloody thud.

The cherry on top is when they look up and see Corey holding the knife from earlier. If it looks familiar, that's because you've likely seen that exact image with this series before.

A new parallel to a classic poster

Green's trilogy holds a great amount of reverence for Carpenter's seminal horror masterpiece. Thankfully, "Halloween Ends" opts to form its own path, rather than solely falling back on callbacks and recycled plot points. But that doesn't mean there aren't some Easter eggs to be found throughout, with the most interesting of them all appearing right before the opening title sequence.

As you'll see right above you, Corey standing at the top of the stairs, while brandishing a kitchen knife, is framed as an homage to one of the original posters for "Halloween."

The opening sequence really captures how quickly a seemingly normal day can go horribly wrong in a matter of seconds. In the span of 30 seconds, a kid playing a prank leads to his babysitter being charged with manslaughter, which then leads him down a troubling pathway to becoming the next Michael Myers.

Seeing the two images back-to-back just goes to show how much Green really wanted the audience to form a connection between Corey and Michael prior to their rendezvous in the sewers of Haddonfield.

Timid babysitter to slasher protege

I feel for Rohan Campbell, as he hasn't received quite the warm welcome into the world of the "Halloween" franchise, which is a shame because he gives a spirited performance. Where Michael was a straight up boogeyman that haunted Haddonfield, Corey becomes the social pariah after the accident. Simple things like going to the store or grabbing a drink comes with a constant reminder of what he did.

As Michael's evil further spreads throughout Haddonfield in his absence, so does the town's influence on Corey. By the time the two meet, Michael is gifted with the perfect vehicle to spread further chaos. Haddonfield became obsessed with having another monster, so they were given one.

Corey's transformation is even more interesting considering his relationship with the Strodes. This time around, Laurie sees how the town treats him in a similar manner to how they see her, that Michael's slayings were ultimately her fault. But of course things get even more complicated when Corey starts to fall deeper down into The Shape's rabbit hole, especially while dating Allyson in the meantime.

If anything, Corey's transformation into Haddonfield's next big slasher shows how Laurie learns to demystify the source of her fear. The boogeyman is just a man, and he can be killed.

Just as "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" was reevaluated in due time, "Halloween Ends" will likely go through the same motions.

"Halloween Ends" is now playing in theaters, in addition to streaming on Peacock.