11 Ways the ‘Halloween Ends’ Novelization Improves Upon the Movie

This month marks the publication of Titan’s final Michael Myers movie tie-in, Halloween Ends. Authored by the series’ co-screenwriter, Paul Brad Logan, Halloween Ends sets itself apart from the film version by giving fans entirely new side-stories involving The Shape, Laurie Strode and their doomed Haddonfield neighbors.

Expanding the Blumhouse trilogy’s lore, throwing in some awesome bonus kills and packing in more Easter eggs than a rabbit in red, here are ten ways the Halloween Ends tie-in novel expands upon the strengths of its cinematic forebear.

Spoiler alert– if you haven’t seen the movie or want to read the book first, mosey on over to Peacock or Amazon to avail yourself of Michael and Corey’s last ride.

1. Willie the Kid and WURG: The Urge

As his voice is the first thing filmgoers hear at the opening of the film, what better place is there to start than with WURG DJ Willie the Kid? In the book, Willie earns the ire of Allyson and Corey by broadcasting some QANON-adjacent conspiracy theories about the Michael Myers murders. Ever hear the rumor that there’s a secret cult of shadowy authority figures pulling Michael’s strings from a hellmouth located deep beneath Haddonfield’s surface? If not, Willie’s got you covered.

The pompous DJ’s prognosticating is Logan’s nod to both the Silver Shamrock cult at the center of Halloween 3 and the similarly druid-focused Thorn cabal featured in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers. Additionally, the novel’s version of Willie the Kid is very reminiscent of the latter film’s doomed Howard Stern knockoff, Barrry Sims.

2. Darcy’s Demise

Diana Prince, aka Darcy the Mail Girl, Shares Her Shudder Halfway to Halloween Picks Ahead of 'The Last Drive-In' Return!

Unlike the movie, WURG’s radio manager, Susan (played by Diana Prince, aka Darcy from The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs), receives an extended death scene. Tragically, it happens just as she’s about to quit her job due to Willie’s unprofessionalism. Unlike the film, where she’s (presumably) dispatched offscreen, Darcy gets the full “Bob” treatment here: a wrecking bar through the chest, pinning her to the radio station’s wall. In case you didn’t get the subtly of this murder, Corey’s inner monologue notes it is “an homage to his teacher.”

Rest in Peace, Susan, you were a real one.

3. Dr. Loomis: The Lost Tapes

Unlike previous entries in the series, Sam Loomis is featured heavily in the novelization of Ends. His first appearance is through a series of audio tapes that Willie the Kid plays on air to hype the return of Michael Myers. This is part of a War of the Worlds-style radio prank that unwittingly belies the actual return of The Shape. This plot wrinkle is more than reminiscent of Larry Brand’s original script for Halloween Resurrection, whose logline is basically “What if Orson Welles did a webcam version of Halloween and was played by Busta Rhymes?”

4. Smith’s Grove Shenanigans

Logan expands on Michael’s influence by putting readers in the shoes of other Smith’s Grove residents, each destined to internalize The Shape’s evil through sheer proximity. This includes Nelson, who is revealed to become the vagabond caretaker of Michael Myers during his sewer dwelling days, as well as Carl, a schizophrenic unlucky enough to become Myers’ cellmate due to budgetary cutbacks.

Carl’s proximity to Michael inspires him to cut his own face off and wrap it up in white gauze before attacking two orderlies en route to his attempted murder of Sam Loomis. After Carl’s death, Loomis fails to convince hospital admin that Michael was behind the murders, having only the psychiatric equivalent of “bad vibes” to support his theory.

Nelson, meanwhile, crosses paths once again with Michael when The Shape chases prey into the sewers beneath Haddonfield. Recalling the hermit who acts as a caretaker for The Shape in Halloween 5, Nelson feeds Michael everything from dumpster scraps to new victims. Worshiping the Boogeyman as his dark god, Nelson is painted as a chilling supporting antagonist in his own right and a preview of Corey’s apprenticeship to come.

5. Tramer Family Values

One of the more amusing revelations of the Halloween Ends novel is that lead bully, Terry the Band Kid, is actually heir to the Tramer family fortune. Based on the Tramers’ fates in Halloween 2 (1981) and Ends, said inheritance amounts to total bodily immolation. Though not explicitly clarified, Logan’s naming of the character heavily implies that Terry’s abusive father, Robert, is the brother or cousin to fan favorite non-character Bennett Tramer.

6. The Lampkin Lane Memorial Garden

By 2019, Michael’s childhood home has been demolished by the city for obvious murder house-related reasons. In its wake a memorial garden is erected in remembrance of all the people Michael wiped out the previous year. This includes names and, inside the fountain, images of the victims. Yet by 2019 the garden is more or less abandoned, considered too spooky for anyone but Haddonfield’s goth kids to frequent.

Prior to his showdown with Corey, Michael appears in the same spot as his old bedroom. Looking out from what would’ve been his window, he watches a group of 7th graders (dressed in creepy The Shape cosplay with blue coveralls and ghostly white paper mache masks) as they attempt to conjure the spirit of Michael Myers to do their evil bidding. As with Corey, it doesn’t turn out the way they hope. It’s worth noting the kids’ are named John, Debra, Nick, Tommy and Dean, respectively, after the iconic filmmaking collective behind the original 1978 Halloween.

Leading into our next entry…

7. John Carpenter Easter Eggs

Along with references to The Thing amping up Corey’s existential paranoia during his time babysitting Jeremy, it’s worth noting that erstwhile murder victim Ryan (a character only featured in the book) drives his best girl around in a vintage Plymouth Fury, obviously recalling the Carpenter adaptation of Stephen King’s Christine.

Logan also adds a bit about the 1978 massacre inspiring multiple TV movies, a slight allusion to Carpenter’s work on the NBC broadcast thriller Someone’s Watching Me. Said film stars future Carpenter leading lady Adrienne Barbeau and served as a sort of production test-run for the atmosphere, pacing and scares of the original Halloween.

8. Bonus Kills Increase Michael’s Body Count

Fans angry that Michael was summarily out-slashed by up-and-comer Corey Cunningham will be pleased to know that the OG Shape’s serial killing score comes out slightly higher in the novelization. This includes:

Hugo and Ozzy, a pair of garbagemen who come across Michael during the November 1st manhunt.

Cheerleader Kim Hart (last seen on screen stealing smooches from Cameron Elam during the Haddonfield High Halloween dance) and boyfriend Ryan, who are chased by Michael through an abandoned meat packing plant.

A pair of neon-clad, teenage urban artists who make the very poor life choice of trying to tag Michael’s sewer dwelling.

Meredith, a drifter Nelson leads to Michael on an especially slow All Hallow’s Eve.

Finally, in perhaps the biggest change from Halloween Ends— Michael’s penultimate victim is none other than Corey’s mother, Joan. Here she’s stabbed to death by a maskless Michael as he searches Corey’s house for his preferred face. Though understandably changed in the final cut to be Corey’s kill, the death of Joan is an especially chilling instance of bad meeting evil.

9. The Third Death of Laurie Strode

The spine of the book’s narrative is broken up with glimpses into Laurie Strode’s ever-expanding memoirs. Here we get a raw glimpse at the darkest chapters of her life that resulted in her losing the thing that mattered most– custody of her young daughter, Karen.

In a flashback to the eighties, Laurie’s PTSD and nightmares are so bad that her mom kicks her out of the house. Her only confidant during this time is Sam Loomis, who shares her belief that Michael Myers is an ultimate evil that can never be contained. Logan’s choice to bolster Laurie and Loomis’ connection delivers some delightfully overwritten, doom-laden speeches, always a welcome addition to any Halloween story. However, the sad reality is that Strode and Loomis make for an incredibly depressing duo and a highly unhealthy friendship.

Present-day Laurie fares somewhat better in comparison, but unlike the movie becomes so subsumed with paranoia about Michael and the rise of Corey that she fails to recognize her own Shape-like personality traits emerging. Which brings us to…

10. Why You Can’t Kill the Boogeyman

Per the ending of Halloween Kills, where a mortally wounded Michael single-handedly wrecked a mob of heavily-armed vigilantes through sheer force of will, Logan’s version of The Shape is one that feeds on the fear of his victims to help transcend his mortal limitations.

Through interactions with Corey, Nelson, and a 10-year-old girl held captive by her drunken, abusive father (in one of the book’s most chilling sequences), Michael shows that he will not attack individuals who do not perceive him as a threat. Quite the opposite, Michael seems to transfer his own evil powers onto his new friends with nothing more than a piercing gaze. This almost vampiric quality makes sense of Michael’s place in the story, cleans up his motivations, and gives a retroactive explanation as to why this guy is so damn indestructible after all this time.

11. Michael’s Mask

halloween ends final trailer

After the dust has all but settled on the remains of Michael and Corey, Laurie finishes… then abruptly deletes her memoir. In response to Frank’s romantic gesture of flowers and vegetables on her front porch, Laurie blows him off, locking the door in his face. As she recedes into the shadows of her home, Frank is reminded of the same uneasy feeling he got from Michael after their encounter in ‘78. Sensing Laurie’s all-engulfing obsession with The Shape, he vows to watch over her to contain whatever darkness may lie within.

Bleak and creepy, this closing confirms the theory that Michael’s mask is the true personification of the Boogeyman. Which is to say, an empty void that traps anyone brave enough to get too close.

Will the pull of the Boogeyman’s visage seduce her as it did Michael, Nelson, Sartain and Corey? Logan keeps the answer ambiguous but promises the mask is still sitting on her coffee table, just as it was in the final shot of the film, waiting patiently for a wearer who will inevitably become “its next shape.”

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