HALLOWEEN ENDS (2022)
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Will Patton, Rohan Campbell, Kyle Richards, Michael O’Leary, Omar Dorsey, Michele Dawson, Candice Rose, Emily Brinks, Marteen, Joey Harris, Keraun Harris, Dillon Belisle, Destiny Mone, Dawn Lasusky, Nick Lawrence, Russell Bryan Winstead, William Brooks Perez and Michael Arsenault.
Screenplay by Paul Brad Logan & Chris Bernier & Danny McBride & David Gordon Green.
Directed by David Gordon Green.
Distributed by Universal Pictures. 111 minutes. Rated R.
The title of this film is Halloween Ends and the filmmakers are promising that this will finish the decades-long saga of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. But will it end? Really?
After all, there have been 13 Halloween movies in the past 44 years, when frankly only the first one was very good. The series has been rebooted twice. The first series had eight movies, the first reboot series had two more and now this second rebooting is on movie number three – which they promise will be the last.
Is it really likely that it won’t be rebooted and reinvented yet again in about five to ten years? Or even continue this variation of the saga?
I will say, Halloween Ends actually does finish off the story of Michael Myers pretty definitively. However, as one of the other people I saw in the preview screening for the film pointed out, there may very well be a rather subtle opening for yet another sequel towards the end of this film – although let’s face it, not much about this movie is subtle.
I won’t tell you exactly what it is for fear of spoilers, let’s just say that one of the many dead bodies that pile up during the running time of Halloween Ends seems to have disappeared during mayhem of the climax. Then again, maybe it was a simple continuity error on the filmmakers’ part, or even the audience thinking it sees (or doesn’t see) something that is not really there.
Actually, for the first hour or so, Halloween Ends is refreshingly different from most of the Halloween movies. It’s more about the town of Haddonfield than of the masked serial killer which has terrified it for so long. In fact Michael Myers does not appear in this film until a good 30-45 minutes into the film, and on this first appearance the audience is not sure if it is really him or a dream sequence.
In fact, in this film Michael Myers is very much different than the other incarnations. Yes, when dragged out into public he still does kill people, but he is slower and timider and has spent most of the last few years hiding in the sewers of town. Hell, he even gets bullied by a 20-something nerd.
This change may even make a certain amount of sense – the guy is in his late sixties by now, you’d expect him to slow down – and yet it flies in the face of everything we’ve seen of the character in every one of the previous films, even the one which was released just last year. Michael Myers was an unstoppable, superhuman bogeyman, and now he’s a very human and probably finally ultimately a rather stoppable force.
However, Myers isn’t the focus of Halloween Ends, or even the main bad guy. Which is part of the reason the film, while far from great, is better than the just-awful second chapter of this trilogy, Halloween Kills.
The new bad guy – sort of Michael Myers the next generation – is Corey (Rohan Campbell), a local young guy who inadvertently killed a little boy he was babysitting, leading the town to vilify and bully him as a murderer. (The town of Haddonfield seems to be pretty judgmental, also blaming victim Laurie for sparking Michael Myers’ killing spree.) Corey is a quiet loser until he has an accidental run in with Michael, which seems to inspire Corey to indulge his bloodlust.
And, just by coincidence, Corey has just started dating Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). Oops.
Sadly, little makes sense about the relationship between Corey and Allyson – both early on when he is a geeky outcast and later when he goes all psycho killer. She seems to fall for him way too quickly, and later as his actions turn alarming, she seems to go all in for the dude. This seems kind of weird because her parents were killed by Michael Myers, and her grandmother has been having a blood feud with him for 44 years.
Grandma Laurie on the other hand, seems to have finally gotten her life in order. Curtis does a fine job yet again of returning to this character that she has been playing on and off for much of her life. She is no longer in constant survivalist mode. She seems to have learned how to deal with her past for the most part – even though her daughter was murdered just a few years earlier. Laurie has gotten a makeover and a new cute house which she is sharing with her granddaughter. She’s even toying with a shy relationship with long-time friend and fellow survivor Deputy Frank Hawkins (Will Patton). She is also working on a book to help bury her demons – particularly the one who has been missing for four years.
However, when she recognizes some of Michael in Corey, she has to go back to fight or flight mode.
Honestly, the first half of the movie is by far the most interesting part. Even though in general I didn’t buy into the character of Corey, it shows that he is brought to his horrific place by what may be the true villain of the film – the town itself, which has become toxic through its diseased relationship with its own bogeyman.
And that original bogeyman – call him Michael or “the shape” or whatever, basically only plays a rather small supporting role in his own denouement.
Is this the end of the Halloween saga? I’d be shocked if it is. But probably it should be.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2022 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 14, 2022.