Halloween Ends’ Backlash Is Proving 1 Major Scream 2022 Point
The backlash against Halloween Ends proves one of the major plot points in Scream 2022 right. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 39%, the latest installment of David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy has been poorly received by both regular audiences and critics alike. The film picks up 4 years after the events of Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills, when new franchise character Corey Cunningham takes revenge on Haddonfield and becomes the movie’s main antagonist for the majority of the film until Michael Myers returns for the third act.
The decision to shift the focus away from Michael Myers himself and introduce a new character has left many fans bitterly disappointed, with some claiming the film ruined their lives. Indeed, an online petition has gone viral (via change.org) calling for the film to be remade. The petition, which currently has over 15,000 signatures, states that « Halloween Ends was NOT a film that the Fans wanted! This was an Origins Story! The Corey Story! » and that the film « left us sad, mad, disappointed, and Infuriated ». Combined with a series of death threats reportedly sent out over the movie, these events represent real-life examples of the kind of toxic obsession that was explored so damningly in Scream 2022.
Halloween Ends’ Backlash Explained
As well as resenting Michael Myers’ lack of Halloween Ends screen time, the petition also states « our Killer is Strong, relentless, & unstoppable! » and « this movie gave us a weak pathetic Michael who needed his mask to survive ». With phrases like « our killer » and « we deserve wayyyyyy better » the petition enacts a typical trope of toxic fandom by laying claim to the franchise. In another classic example of unhealthy obsession, the petition claims that Halloween fans are personally offended by the latest movie and vows that « we’re not accepting the horrible film that was put out ». There’s nothing wrong with audiences being displeased with the movie or specific aspects of it, but petitions and death threats aren’t an appropriate reaction to not enjoying Halloween Ends, and this backlash likely only serves to further complicate any future movies for the franchise.
How Halloween Ends’ Reception Connects To Scream 2022’s Richie & Amber
In many ways, the rhetoric of this petition is reminiscent of the killers from Scream 2022. Through its two killers, Amber and Richie, the film addresses the dangers of toxic fandom and entitlement. The two are obsessive fans of The Stab movies – the meta-fictional movie franchise within the Scream universe – and, personally offended by the direction the franchise took, decided to commit a series of murders and write their own Stab film. While this is of course not to suggest that Halloween Ends’ backlash is the exact same, there are clear similarities between Richie’s attitudes towards his beloved franchise, and what some have had to say online.
The main source of Richie’s annoyance is that the creators of the Stab movies do not acknowledge or respect its audience. In one of his most relevant lines, he explains « nobody takes the true fans seriously, not really…We’re just a f***ing joke to them! How can fandom be toxic? It’s about love! You don’t f***ing understand, these movies are important to people ». Here the incensed serial killer sounds eerily similar to a recent update on the same Halloween Ends petition that reads: « Do they care? Probably not! But we care! The fans matter!! This movie wasn’t made for US! » Scream 2022 is regarded as one of the best horror movies of 2022, and one reason for this lies within its representation of obsessive modern fan culture. If the Scream 2022 portrayal of toxic fandom wasn’t already relevant enough, the backlash to Halloween Ends proves that it is more relevant than ever.