October 14th, 2022
MOVIE: HALLOWEEN ENDS
STARRING: JAMIE LEE CURTIS, ANDI MATICHAK, ROHAN CAMPBELL, WILL PATTON
DIRECTED BY: DAVID GORDON GREEN
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 2 STARS (Out of 4)
Minutes after the final frame of Halloween Ends, the discussion that went on in my head was how much they got wrong, and who to blame. After three movies, bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis to revive her role of Laurie Strode, under the direction of David Gordon Green, the new Halloween trilogy has been a colossal dud. Certainly not without effort, where the first installment was a nice revival, but followed by two films that work so hard to be something that Halloween isn’t, to a point where the movies are not even recognizable. Halloween Ends tries to be a send-off, an introduction to a new kind of evil, a Michael Myers slasher, and a family drama and ends up being a mixed bag of rotten candy.
We begin a few years after the events of Halloween Kills, which became an odd take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, because for some reason Green wanted to make Michael Meyers a character we find empathy for. That wasn’t happening, but now we pick up in the town of Haddonfield, Illinois, coping with the PTMMSD (Post Traumatic Michael Myers Stress Disorder), trying to move on from the monster that disappeared. It’s an interesting throughline, but the focus turns to Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell). He’s a 20-something guy, who had his own traumatic experience on that fateful Halloween night, where the boy he was babysitting would fall to his death by a freak accident. And now, we are mainly focused on his life, ruined by being accused of killing the boy, while Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) are slowly existing in their new life. But sometimes lost souls tend to find one another, with Allyson and Corey falling for one another, but as Corey continues to be tormented, his anger grows, and a new evil is on the rise.
If this odd left turn is a shock for you, welcome to the club, but it’s not exactly out of the ordinary of what David Gordon Green has been trying to do with this series. The sad part is that it’s done in such a clumsy manner, where interesting ideas develop, only for them to be abandoned. The major flaws of Halloween Ends exist in what often looks and feels like a movie with rewrites, improper edits, and character details that feel out of sorts. In Halloween (2018) Laurie Strode is a gun wielding badass that shouldn’t be messed with. She’s sidelined completely in Halloween Kills. Now in Ends she’s baking pies, having a sort of ESP about what Corey is capable of, and still trying to protect Allyson. None of it computes, and it’s most likely due to a clunky script of various characters, each one deserving of their own movie, making it clear that Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, Danny McBride, and Green each had different viewpoints and tried desperately to merge it all together.
That’s not to say I can’t appreciate a new approach or a hard swing for the fences. That seems entirely what David Gordon Green is doing. This is the 13th installment into the Halloween movies and that includes Rob Zombies two. There’s not exactly new ways to go about what John Carpenter brought to life in 1978. I ultimately don’t even know what I would have wanted instead, but I do know that not much of the styles, the slashes and the narratives worked as one. The film’s finale is certainly a send off for Laurie Strode, it just forgets to make her a true part of that send off as well.
There are many sins and problems to complain about with Halloween Ends. It wastes Michael Myers as a whole, fails to capture how great Andi Matichak is as an actor (seriously watch Son), and can’t focus on exactly what message it wants to tell. It’s about trauma, it’s about broken communities, it’s about characters we’ve grown to care about, and it’s about evil. Sadly, David Gordon Green never makes any of those themes work as one movie. Halloween Ends and I can’t say I’m sad to see it go.
HALLOWEEN ENDS IS PLAYING IN THEATERS AND ON PEACOCK ON FRIDAY OCTOBER 14TH, 2022.
Written by: Leo Brady