In Halloween Kills, Andi Matichak fights for her life.
The infamous killer Michael Myers, played by James Jude Courtney, spends the majority of David Gordon Green’s new Halloween sequel (now in theaters and streaming on Peacock) rampaging through the suburban town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night.
Eventually, Michael comes face to face with Matichak’s character, Allyson, granddaughter to original Halloween protagonist Laurie Strode (played once again by the legendary Jamie Lee Curtis). What follows is an old-school, knock ‘em down slasher movie brawl between a masked menace and the fierce “final girl.”
“It was one of the highlights of filming,” Matichak tells Inverse. “Working that closely with James Jude Courtney. In the first [Halloween] I wasn’t able to do that, but getting to come face to face with him was a blast. It’s something I have up there as one of the best moments [for me].”
In an interview with Inverse, Matichak walks us through the making of Halloween Kills’ dramatic confrontation between herself and one of the most famous killers in movie history.
Warning: Minor spoilers for Halloween Kills ahead.
Halloween Kills ending: Trick, or treat?
The end of Halloween Kills is rather straightforward.
First, a restless Allyson confronts Michael Myers in his old home, where the two fight one-on-one after Michael kills Allyson’s boyfriend, Cameron (Dylan Arnold). But Allyson survives just long enough for her mother, Karen (Judy Greer) to arrive, leading Michael to another street. That’s when Michael finds himself outnumbered by a vigilante mob of Haddonfield residents, led by a now-adult Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall) who briefly gains the upper hand.
Unfortunately, these citizens commit a serious cardinal sin: They forget to aim for the head. Michael quickly overpowers the mob and sneaks his way back to his childhood bedroom. Michael creeps up on Allyson’s mother, Karen, and kills her. Neither Allyson nor Laurie knows about this yet, as the movie ends there, but the pieces for Halloween Ends are now in place.
How the finale of Halloween Kills came together
Behind the camera, Matichak worked with her would-be killer to make their confrontation look convincing. “It’s funny because it is chaos — but it’s technical,” Matichak tells Inverse. “It’s so choreographed. It is a dance. I think we did our job well if it doesn’t look that way.”
Allyson’s burning hatred for Michael results in gruesome violence that’s sure to satisfy slasher-movie faithful. But Matichak and Courtney placed plenty of trust in one another to make everything look good — and to be safe.
“I had to look to James quite a bit, for him to guide me through hand-to-hand combat,” Matichak says. “He had to trust I’d hit my marks, that we wouldn’t hurt each other. I trusted him. I was really happy he was my partner because I hadn’t done any stunt work prior.”
Matichak doesn’t take credit for all her stunts — her double, Lydia Hand, made her look “unbelievably badass” in one nasty tumble down a flight of stairs — but working with the man beneath Michael’s mask was an all-time career high. “He is such a great actor who brings so much depth,” she says. “I think that translates and why fans like him so much.”
After Laurie Strode brandished a shotgun in 2018’s Halloween, Halloween Kills leaves its mythical heroine at the mercy of IV fluids and stitches — and forcing Allyson to carry on her own.
For Matichak, observing her legendary co-star was like being enrolled in a specialized program for horror movie filmmaking. “Watching [Jamie Lee Curtis] on set, her tenacity, intensity, and bravery — how she will go 150 percent every single take — was prep in and of itself,” she says. “If Allyson is gonna pick up her torch, she better carry it.”
But is Allyson ready to become the series’ new “scream queen”? Is Matichak?
“I don’t think Allyson at this stage can take any titles that Jamie Lee Curtis has worn for the last 43 years,” Matichak tells Inverse. “Personally, as Andi, I don’t think I’ve earned the title ‘scream queen,’ just because it’s an honor Jamie has been wearing. I hope one day I can.”
Matichak is equally compelled by another title Curtis popularized: “Final girl.”
Officially coined in the seminal 1992 book Men, Women, and Chainsaws by Carol J. Clover, “final girl” refers to a main protagonist, often a woman, who makes it to the end of horror movies. In addition to Halloween, other films that feature the trope include The Last House on the Left (1972), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Alien (1979), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), and Scream (1996). In 2015, a horror satire titled The Final Girls affectionately spoofed the trope.
Matichak isn’t sure if her character is the “final girl” — yet. And she believes the term is undergoing radical change. “I think it’s evolving,” Matichak says.
“I think with these new perspectives in storytelling, writers like David Gordon Green and Danny McBride are shaping what that means,” she adds. “You have three generations of women fighting this unstoppable force. That’s something you really don’t see. That’s special.”
Halloween Kills opens in theaters and streams on Peacock on October 15.