Film Review – Halloween Ends

Halloween Ends (MA)

Directed by: David Gordon Green

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

It has been a highly anticipated, much debated and long windy road in the latest saga between murderous Michael Myers and his perpetual target Laurie Strode, that finally culminates in an ambitious, but unfocused finale.

After masked Michael Myers’ 40th anniversary rampage through his hometown of Haddonfield in 2018 on Halloween night, he has disappeared and left a town in ruin.

A year later (2019) when a child accidentally dies in a Halloween prank gone horribly wrong under the care of 21-year Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), he is shunned by the community and treated like an outsider.

Fast forward to 2022 and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is now on the path of healing, living with and doting on her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), flirting with local cop Frank (Will Patton) and writing her memoir about her experience with death and trauma.

When she crosses paths with sensitive but misunderstood Corey, Laurie introduces him to Allyson who is now a nurse at the local hospital.

The two are immediately drawn to each other (having both experienced different types of trauma) and a love blooms, but the timing could not be worse, as Corey has an encounter with a sewer dwelling Myers that sparks (or draws out?) an evil streak.

Ends take an entirely different approach to the Halloween formula, one that is certainly fresh, but for many, perhaps too jarring.

It certainly isn’t the batshit “druids” level nonsense that a former timeline devolved into, but it is also not the path you expect this to take, particularly when all marketing points to an all out showdown between Myers and Strode that this saga has been teasing since it launched, and has struggled to deliver satisfactorily.

Director and co-writer David Gordon Green sets up an evocative thesis about different kinds of evil – pure versus created, nature versus nurture. Are some people born evil and are some people made that way?

And yet, true to form in this overblown three part saga, the longer it goes on and the more scenes it includes to fulfill a feature length run time, the more the theme becomes muddled and even contradicted.

This often plays out like the equivalent of an unprepared high school student giving a rambly oral presentation and the more he talks, the less sense he makes.

While all the fan service was fun for a while (recreating/mirroring key scenes, revisiting iconic locations, returning legacy characters, throwback dialogue etc), a key flaw in this saga is the film makers wanting to have their cake and eat it too, often undermining their own work.

While it is lovely to see Laurie now able to move on and smile, it seems a little nonsensical that she could not heal while her tormentor was securely locked up for 40 years, but she can now despite a second rampage and close encounter, her daughter being slain and Myers loose in the wild.

Also her doomsday preparedness seems to have been completely forgotten.

In fact one could get carried away nit-picking at this timeline (many have and it is certainly deserved) but let us not overlook the good intentions behind trying to make something thematic and meaningful out of another cash grab.

At the very least, one of these movies finally lives up to its name and promise.

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