John Carpenter, of course, directed the original “Halloween” in 1978, and would go on to make “Christine” in 1983, an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel from the same year. “Christine,” also set in 1978, was about a nerdy outsider named Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) who becomes strangely drawn to a red 1958 Plymouth Fury for sale in his neighborhood. Arnie buys the car, nicknamed Christine, and begins fixing it up. His obsession with the car grows and grows … and the car begins to respond to him. It plays its radio on its own and seemingly begins driving itself. Arnie begins transforming into a 1950s greaser and becomes more and more unbalanced and violent. There is something demonic about the car.
“Christine” is clearly a commentary on the dark legacy the seemingly squeaky-clean image of the 1950s was having on the then-nascent conservative ’80s. Stephen King saw the ’50s as something to flee, not nostalgia to indulge in. Green, with “Halloween Ends,” seemed to want to give the same anti-nostalgia treatment to 1978’s “Halloween.” There is nothing rosy about serial killers, and violence can, terrifyingly and naturally, become a legacy. Violence, he ultimately argued, cannot provide satisfying catharsis.
It seems the influence on “Halloween Ends” was both direct and thematic. Green said:
“Everything’s a little darker, a little more atmospheric than the previous films, trying to make it more that raw, grainy vibe. When we were writing [‘Halloween Ends’], me and the writers watched John Carpenter’s ‘Christine.’ We talked about how Keith Gordon’s character is bullied — in fact, we got [Corey’s] name, Cunningham, from Gordon’s character.”
Green wrote “Halloween Ends” with Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, and Danny McBride. One can see the parallels. It helps that Campbell looks at least a little bit like Gordon.