Movie Review: 'Halloween Ends' FINALLY!
Halloween will return again in a reboot soon enough, but for now, we are done with Laurie Strode and Michael Myers in yet another dreary sequel.
Halloween Ends (2022)
Directed by David Gordon Green
Written by Paul Brad Logan, Danny McBride, Chris Bernier, David Gordon Green
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney
Release Date October 14th, 2022
Published October 14th, 2022
Spoilers, I guess, I don't really care if I spoil this, it was spoiled all the way back to '78. But, if you are so inclined, SPOILERS Ahoy!
It's called Halloween Ends and I do believe Jamie Lee Curtis when she says this is the last one for her. That said, if Halloween Ends makes money, it won't be long before The Shape, Michael Myers, is haunting theaters again. That reason based cynicism has colored my viewing experience of every Halloween movie. No matter how illogical or unnecessary, the owners of the Halloween Intellectual Property will try and wring more cash out of it. Try as they might to make Halloween Ends appear like an endeavor that isn't merely about cash, the makers of Halloween Ends fail as every Halloween movie fails to escape the cynical calculations of Hollywood branding and marketing.
Halloween Ends picks up four years after the last time that Michael Myers ran amok in Haddonfield, Illinois. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is now living with her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak). Though she remains alert, Laurie has grown comfortable with Michael having been gone for so long. Now, Laurie is working on her memoirs while patiently waiting for the day Michael may return to her life. That she isn't constantly paranoid is a testament to her toughness.
Meanwhile, in a bizarre and unnecessary other movie, Rohan Campbell plays Corey Cunningham. Corey is a teenage babysitter who, while watching the child of a rich couple, accidentally kills the child. Labelled as a child killer, even though the kid's death was an accident, Corey is blamed by many and he's become a loner and an outcast, preferring to stay home under the watchful eyes of his parents. When Corey does go out he's harassed by teenagers until Laurie rescues him. Because he's a main character, Laurie takes him to meet her granddaughter and Allyson and Corey form a romance.
Unfortunately, Corey's haunted past keeps getting in his way until he finally snaps. On the run from his tormentors, Corey stumbles over Michael Myers near death and living in the sewer. For reasons that only the FOUR screenwriters might understand, Michael doesn't kill Corey. Instead, the two briefly become partners in killing. Corey begins luring victims to Michael and then they graduate to Corey and Michael as a killing duo. All the while, Allyson is fooled and charmed by Corey into thinking he's just a haunted bad boy and not a murderous psychopath.
The addition of the character of Corey is an attempt to refresh the franchise one last time but it doesn't work. Rohan Campbell's whiny performance only leaves you to wonder why a character like Allyson would be attracted to this guy. Corey doesn't drive the plot, the plot pushes him along, uses him as a device and discards him when they are ready to move back to Michael as the main villain. Any time spent with the character of Corey feels like a gigantic waste of time. Instead of refreshing the franchise, the character seems to trip the movie, stall its progress, and test our patience.
I'm not a screenwriter but isn't this supposed to be about Laurie and Michael? Why are we wasting time on this entirely new character when we are in the final act of this massive horror franchise, allegedly. Why not have Laurie search for Michael this time. Michael has done all of the stalking in the previous movies, how about he goes missing for four years and Laurie learns to track his movement until we reach a point where the two can finally have their showdown. I know we need a subplot for Andi Matichak's Allyson but there had to be something better than her falling for a guy who accidentally becomes Michael Myers' killing buddy.
Or, take it in a weird supernatural direction. Have Michael be kidnapped by an evil cult who nurses him back to life and controls him with ancient magic to do their bidding. He's constantly distracted by wanting to find and kill Laurie and the cult provides motivation for him to commit several seemingly random murders that can act as clues for a super sleuth version of Laurie Strode who is busily tracking Michael while training Allyson to be able to take care of herself if she needs to take Laurie's place as our main protagonist. Making the last Halloween movie in this modern trilogy shouldn't be that hard, I just imagined two movies that are better than the one we get in the actual Halloween Ends.
Then again, perhaps there was never a chance for Halloween Ends to be any good. Director David Gordon Green started out promisingly enough with a vision of a badass showdown between a survivalist loner Laurie and a feral Michael Myers. That idea simmered but never boiled in the first film. In the second movie, things went completely off the rails as the team behind Halloween Kills lost track of Laurie Strode while spending time with awful characters whose fate meant nothing to us. Except for Judy Greer as Laurie's daughter, curse you David Gordon Green for taking Judy Greer from us.
Throughout, Green seemed to forget how to direct an effective and creepy movie. Bogged down in involving characters from Carpenter's Halloween and seeding in homages to the past, Green failed to create any tension or suspense. Michael showed up some placed, arsed around for a bit and killed people who had nothing to do with the main cast. Remember the entire subplot where Michael plays Ding Dong Ditch with the couple living in his former home? That sequence is indicative of Green's failed approach to creating tension or suspense. Green quickly became reliant on the kills to do all of the work while forgetting what makes these horror movie deaths so memorable, great characters fighting for lives, narrowly avoiding death or stumbling into their fate.
Not once in Halloween Kills do we feel any real tension. The film is so slack that nothing grabs hold. Even Laurie seeming to decide to kill herself and calling the police to respond to her suicide never builds a single moment of tension and instead, it pays off with a Laurie one liner and the weepy eyes of poor, desperately out of his depth, Rohan Campbell. Green and his three fellow screenwriters keep trying to establish the character of Corey and while they try and fail at that, the movie stumbles on inexorably toward a conclusion it's hard to care about.
Jamie Lee Curtis does what she can with a screenplay that is greatly limited in ambition or imagination. Much like the character of Corey, Laurie doesn't drive the plot, she is subject to the plot, ground up in the gears of screenwriters who've only taken the time to think of a badass Laurie moment and a way to kill Michael Myers that may or may not be definitive. Much like every other movie in this godforsaken waste of a franchise, Halloween Ends is a whole lot of wheel spinning on our way to nowhere. It's another triumph of marketing Michael Myers and Laurie Strode as horror icons without actually doing anything to earn that icon status.
Find my archive of more than 20 years and nearly 2000 movie reviews at SeanattheMovies.blogspot.com. Follow me on Twitter at PodcastSean. Follow the archive blog at SeanattheMovies on Twitter. Listen to me talk about the Halloween movies on the Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast on your favorite podcast listening app. If you've enjoyed what you have read, consider subscribing to my work here on Vocal. If you'd really like to support my work you can make a monthly pledge or a one time tip. Thanks!
About the Creator
Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. I am a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.
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