Are ‘Halloween Ends’ (2022) and ‘Christine’ (1983) Related?
Bullied boys unite.
Halloween Ends (2022) is the final installment of director David Gordon Green’s trilogy. A strange and controversial twist finds the film focusing much of its time on the development of a completely new character, Corey Cunningham. On Halloween night 2019, one year after Michael Myers returned in the events of Halloween (2018), Corey was babysitting a boy named Jeremy. While playing a prank on Corey, Jeremy died in a freak accident which resulted in Corey becoming a local pariah.
Warning: spoilers for ‘Halloween Ends’ (2022) ahead:
Corey’s role in Halloween Ends illustrates that evil can take many shapes (pun intended). While Michael Myers is now an elderly man living in the sewer, Corey has recently turned to the dark side after becoming an outcast in Haddonfield who is routinely violently bullied. You can read our full Halloween Ends explainer here.
Horror fans have noticed parallels between the film and original Halloween director John Carpenter’s adaptation of Stephen King’s story, Christine (1983). Not only does Corey share a last name with Christine protagonist Arnold “Arnie” Cunningham, but the characters are both bullied boys who come into possession of a new vehicle (for Arnie, it’s the 1958 Plymouth Fury he names Christine, for Corey it’s his motorcycle), both were involved in the accidental death of a child, both have toxic moms and both boys eventually choose to take revenge on their bullies.
There are also a few more subtle references to Corey being inspired by the character of Arnie Cunningham. Both drive red vehicles with bright headlights. Corey and Allison dine at a 1950’s dinner with a red and white theme (visually reminiscent of Arnie’s Christine). Both films also end in a junkyard. In Halloween Ends, Michael Myers is destroyed by a junkyard shredder, just like the finale of Christine sees the titular vehicle destroyed in a junkyard by a car crusher.
Are ‘Halloween Ends’ and ‘Christine’ in the same universe?
David Gordon Green actually incorporated so much of Christine into Halloween Ends that he asked John Carpenter to read his script and tell him if it was too much, “I sent Carpenter the new draft of Halloween Ends the other night, and I said, ‘If it feels too Christine, let me know.’” However, the Christine elements of Halloween Ends feel like more of an homage than a hint that the films exist in the same universe. There’s no mention of Arnie, or Christine, or Christine’s first owner George LeBay. Instead, we are just given clues that the protagonists Corey Cunningham and Arnie Cunningham are similar character archetypes.
For Halloween Ends, it’s jut a love of Carpenter, you know. It’s more than just, ‘Hey, here’s a character and a community that you’ve created.’ It’s, ‘Here’s an appreciation of your legendary body of work.David Gordon Green, David Gordon Green Says Halloween Ends Is ‘More Intimate’, And Influenced By Christine
Up next for David Gordon Green is the daunting task of creating a direct sequel to William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973). Like his Halloween films, Green’s foray into the Exorcist universe is planned be a trilogy with Ellen Burstyn reprising her role as Chris MacNeil. Which classic horror movie might he reference with this retelling?