‘Halloween Ends’ Spoiler Review

Slasher films have always neared campy territory, whether it was intentional or not. With David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” forty years later trilogy coming to a close it’s unfortunate that this falls under the unintentionally campy category. As per many interviews, it is well-known that this was a trilogy of trauma, focusing not only on Laurie Strode but the town of Haddonfield, Illinois. David Gordon Green may have been trying to make something grand and prestigious about social issues, but the problems became more apparent as the trilogy progressed. “Halloween” is my favorite horror franchise out there, yet I enjoyed this conclusion, but the best thing I can say about these movies is that it was great to see Jamie Lee Curtis back in action kicking evil’s ass.

I always find myself wanting more out of something until I want less. Back in 2018, when I was sitting in the theater watching “Halloween,” did I find myself wanting more Michael and Laurie after the conclusion of that film? Of course! Why? Because sequel after sequel, that was one of the first instances where Michael Myers felt real and scary again; there was no Cult of Thorn, he was not a supernatural being, but just a man. Looking back on these three films, I prefer him burning in the basement of Laurie’s cabin, and there is the last we see of him.

I walked out of “Halloween Ends” leaning more positive than negative, not to say I was mixed overall. The worst part is that this is barely a “Halloween” movie. It feels like a bad “Scream” movie without a proper ending and a “Halloween” movie with nothing but an ending stitched themselves together and called it good. They do not overlap correctly.

In a bait-and-switch of marketing, until the final twenty minutes this movie is not about Laurie and Michael. It’s about a brand new character, Corey Cunningham, who accidentally kills the kid he was babysitting the Halloween after Michael Myers’ disappearance. Now that Haddonfield’s boogeyman is gone, they need someone new to hate. While I quite enjoyed the cold open – and that touch with the title card font referencing “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” was fantastic. As John Carpenter’s “The Thing” played on the television, I would typically not advise letting the audience know they could be watching something better. What immediately followed was so good I’ll let it slide.

The problem with so many retconned plotlines in this series is how much they tried to further interpret the pure evil seen in Michael’s eyes – the same goes for Corey. I would be less critical of this character had it felt like his presence had a meaning to it. Instead, he’s just there as a distraction while Michael warms up on the sidelines, and as soon as he’s game ready he disposes of Corey. The hour-and-a-half leading up to the showdown is studying Corey’s descent into chaos and a romantic subplot between Corey and Allyson, which made me dislike her character as well. Corey teaming up with Michael (hence the “Scream” comparison) felt so out of place; there are so many writing mistakes with a character that’s so prominent, I would’ve honestly axed this entire cut and rewritten everything. Aside from the opening scene, everything that surrounds Corey I had a hard time liking in a movie I otherwise loved.

Since this movie is also available on Peacock, I time-stamped the exact moment when Michael Myers shows up. It is not until forty-one minutes in, and all he does is grab Corey in a sewer. Keep in mind, this movie is roughly an hour and forty-five minutes long. After that, we don’t officially see Michael in action for another fifteen minutes. Even though it was divisive, dare I say outright negatively panned, the best part of “Halloween Kills” is that we consistently saw Michael Myers in action. Now, I still believe that’s the weakest of these three films, but I still enjoyed it.

Due to the four-year time jump, Michael has lost steam and laid low; killing is what fuels him and he hasn’t done so in a while. I’m not sure how I feel about the time jump because it ruins the horror of the antagonist – I can easily believe this Michael is just a man and not an indestructible man. The kills altogether are cool, not the most original, but I did find myself having to look away for some. I did also appreciate the callback to Bob’s death, pinning someone to a wall, followed by a head tilt, but it wasn’t shot anywhere near as good. If there wasn’t a time jump, we would’ve had a trilogy of the same movie all taking place on the same night where in all three movies Laurie and her allies try to kill Michael, and from their perspective, he’s dead at the end of each. Again, maybe we should’ve stuck with 2018 being a one-and-done.

There are three characters in this movie that have died or almost died in a predecessor and for whatever reason, they were kept alive. Diva Tyler’s Sondra now has credits in all three of these movies and that’s ridiculous. Kyle Richard’s Lindsey was the single spared legacy character in “Kills” for whatever reason and she doesn’t do anything in this movie. Will Patton’s Hawkins is the most frustrating because his relationship with Laurie was so “important” in the previous films. He died in the 2018 films, was brought back for “Kills” only to be hospital-bound for ninety minutes, and then he does absolutely nothing in this movie except flirt with Laurie at a grocery store.

Jamie Lee Curtis gives it her all in her final outing as the scream queen, but this a frustrating farewell to the definitive final girl. I see that I’ve been complaining about this movie overall, but I did end up having a good time. The showdown had me at the edge of my seat because I didn’t have any clue who would die, or if they both would. I just wish it went on a little longer because Michael’s death felt very anticlimactic and rushed. I understand that the point is he’s just a man, but pinning him to a table and a simple throat slit and wrist slit wasn’t enough for me. As much as I didn’t want Laurie to die, I think coming back to life as he enters the grinder and perhaps taking her with him may have been more satisfying.

If I’m correct, every single “Halloween” film has ended on the main theme (except for the 1981 sequel which began the series’ odd obsession with “Mr. Sandman”). I loved how they ended on “Don’t Fear the Reaper” – the main reason being it was played in Annie’s car in the original film. Watching this on its own works, but if you were to watch this immediately after “Halloween Kills,” then I’m not so sure in a “The Last Jedi” to “The Rise of Skywalker” way. Kylo Ren destroying the Sith wayfinder is equivalent to Corey’s death; we spend so much of the movie focused on this one detail and in the end, it doesn’t matter either way. The most surprising thing of all is, not only did Jamie Lee Curtis executive produce this trilogy, but John Carpenter stuck it out all the way through too. “Halloween Ends” is going to be divisive. It is something people will either hate or love, and I have to say, outside of one significantly overused character, I immensely enjoyed this.

Final Grade: B

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