"Halloween Ends" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
There are some film franchises that just won't die. No matter how many flops they have or with the filmmakers running out of storylines or ideas, they will just keep cranking out more movies to help the studios capitalize off that franchise. Unfortunately, the "Halloween" franchise, started by John Carpenter's 1978 film, has easily become one of those franchises, with many of its sequels being critical and financial failures. After the disappointing "Halloween Kills" last year, it was interesting to see how director David Gordon Green was going to create this epic finale over forty years in the making. However, he delivers an incredibly disappointing conclusion to this long-running franchise that fans of this series will absolutely hate.
The movie picks up four years after the events of the second film in Green's "Halloween" trilogy, where Laurie Strode's (Jamie Lee Curtis) daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), was brutally slain by the evil Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney). Ever since, the citizens of Haddonfield have tried to find new ways to show how Michael has corrupted this small town, with suicides and freak accidents rocking the town for the next four Halloweens.
One of those accidents involved a babysitter named Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) accidentally killing the kid he babysat in a freak accident. Now, with the entire town turned against him, he starts working a dead-end job at his step-father's auto shops. However, Laurie's granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak) meets the depressed young man, and falls head over heels for him. What they don't expect is that their relationship could be dangerous, not only for Laurie and her family, but for everyone in the town of Haddonfield.
When reading the synopsis of this film, what is one thing you notice? Maybe the fact that Michael Myers is only mentioned in a little part of what the film is about? That is how the entire movie feels. The trailers and the promo have hyped up the fact that Laurie and Michael will face off one last time, ending their decades-long feud. Yet, Michael is barely even in this film, and is really only present in the last ten minutes of the film. That is perhaps the most depressing thing about this movie. Moviegoers pay to go see this movie in theaters to see Michael slash his way through the film to be disappointed by how little he is present in the movie.
At the same time, this movie does not feel like a "Halloween" film whatsoever. The predecessor to this film may not be the best, but it at least felt like the horror-slasher that inspired many films after it. This movie feels like a drama of sorts, with some horror elements sprinkled throughout. It does not engage or transport the audience into the film, but rather leaves them wondering what the hell they're watching. It seems like along the way, Green lost sight of what he wanted to do with this film and the rest of the franchise, and just tried to make movies that can earn lots of money in the box office.
It is almost impossible to talk about the grisly kills or violence in this movie as it is nearly extinct. There are perhaps a couple of graphic kills in this movie, but the movie contains all of that for the last twenty minutes of the movie. At the same time, the kills are childish and stupid, and seems like a completely different film for this franchise. I wish we had more of Michael going around and killing people, which he is known for, but of course the director won't give us that for the final film, which really sinks this movie.
The performances are decent, a step-up from those in the second film in the trilogy but a step-down from the 2018 reboot. It shows how the performances in this film are tired and worn out, and that they have ran out of character development and growth. In a way, it feels more like them trying to put fuller in throughout the whole movie until the dramatic climax at the end.
I do appreciate the fact the filmmakers tried to introduce and grow a new character throughout the course of this movie, but by making Corey a major player in this movie was a mistake. It seems like Green was already trying to kickstart a new franchise before finishing this one first. He was trying to breathe life into something when he should have been more focused on wrapping up all the characters and the plot lines that have been in motion for years now. If I was Carpenter, I would truly be embarrassed and upset that Green went and destroyed the ending of this franchise.
Sure, the ending was satisfying in a way, as it concludes the entire franchise (for hopefully the final time), but it is no way satisfying to the fans of this long-running series. I'm not sure what Green or Universal were thinking for this film, but it is unfortunate how they have practically ruined this franchise for good with this horrible and rushed ending to Michael Myers and Laurie Strode.