In 1978 John Carpenter would give birth to the slasher genre. Technically yes, Peeping Tom and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho would be the first, but Halloween was different. There was a formula, and it worked. The formula worked so well, it’s been duplicated for well over 40 years. Between the sequels to Halloween and the other classics like Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream the slasher genre has been relevant for decades. Now in 2022, a new universe and modification of the slasher have ruined what was supposed to be a grand closing in Halloween Ends.
What is Halloween Ends about? (Spoiler Free)
Halloween Ends has a very weird opening set up, but the opening scene is glorious. Corey (Rohan Campbell) is babysitting Jeremy. While babysitting, a really weird incident happens and Corey’s life is changed forever. After Halloween Kills, the people of Haddonfield needed a new villain. Michael Myers was gone, so Corey is the new town monster. He runs into Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) at a gas station after an accident. She sends him to the hospital to meet her grandmother Allyson (Andi Matichak). The two hit it off and things begin to get a little crazy in Haddonfield as the spirit of Michael Myers corrupts the innocent and turns a town on its head. Unfortunately Halloween Ends takes a downturn from there.
Halloween Ends review
Halloween Ends is the most divisive of this new trilogy. In my opinion, the first film in this new trilogy will always reign as the best. Halloween Ends is definitely a different vibe from the first movie, as was Halloween Kills. Kills and Ends are films that deal with the ideas of mob mentality, copycat killers, and the themes of witchcraft. The first two elements are new to the franchise, but witchcraft has been a staple in Halloween for some time. It was featured in the original series of films, and it was extremely relevant in the Rob Zombie films. It’s not heavy here, which is partially what makes the film uninteresting.
David Gordon Green should not receive any heavy criticism, but he does deserve blame. As does the writing team for this film and the trilogy as a whole. Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, Danny McBride, and Green all had a hand in writing Halloween Ends. The first act was interesting, but the second act is disgustingly messy. The third and final act may be the greatest act in a Halloween movie since Rob Zombie’s in 2007, but that isn’t enough to save the film as a whole. The plot and concept are clear as day, but the plot takes forever to be driven home. Executing a film like Halloween Ends should’ve been easy, but apparently it wasn’t.
A terrible script causes problems
The concept of cult followers and copycat killers is very overt. As is the message of how easily the innocent can be corrupted. But it almost backward in terms of Halloween films. In this series, usually the films are a case study on the mind of a serial killer. Halloween Ends was different though, it was watching an innocent soul become corrupted by the evil that touched it. While I love these ideas and concepts, they do not belong in a Halloween film. Especially not the “final” one.
The other underlying concept of Halloween Ends is fear, and this film does not miss that beat at all. Part of the story here is that Laurie is writing a memoir, and in that memoir we hear the word “fear” a lot. The town is scared and on edge because of the killings in the previous film. And every interaction Laurie has with people outside of Allyson and Frank (Will Patton) is them blaming her for Mike Myers. There’s a lot going on in the film so blending it all together was a tall task.
Final thoughts on Halloween Ends
Outside of the terrible screenplay and just being a very messy story, Halloween Ends is a masterclass in film production. The cinematography from Michael Simmonds is well done, and the editing from Timothy Alverson is great. They work well and bounce off each other as the film goes on. The kills are brutal and the action sequences are extremely insane. As far as brutality goes and just outright body count this is definitely a slasher film that fans can enjoy if they completely ignore the plot.
There’s a good film in here somewhere, but that film should not have been Halloween Ends. The film is not the ending anybody wants for Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. They weren’t on the center stage like they should have been. After the excellent Halloween (2018) I was expecting a very fast-paced slasher trilogy, but the following two movies are boring and uninspired. There’s no reason for a franchise this beloved to see such a downfall. The fans and this franchise deserved better, and unfortunately, we didn’t get it.
Recommendation: Watch this at home on Peacock, it’s not worth the $15 movie ticket + snacks.
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