Halloween Ends is a mixed bag that is going to divide horror fans for weeks to come.
WRITTEN BY BECCA JOHNSON / OCTOBER 14, 2022
The day that horror fans have been waiting for has finally arrived; the day we find out whether evil really does die tonight. Laurie Strode has decided to embrace life and attempt to move on, yet when a young man is accused of killing a child he was babysitting, a cascade of violence and terror is ignited in Haddonfield once again. Will Laurie end Michaels evil reign once and for all, or is something else on the cards? Despite most people believing that the Halloween franchise will continue to be resurrected for years to come despite the outcome, it sure has a lot of buzz, and is already divisive amongst early viewers.
One thing that viewers can agree on is that Halloween Ends takes a very unexpected and bold route. We are introduced to a new character, Corey Cunningham, accused of killing a young boy he was babysitting on Halloween. Corey steals a huge amount of the run-time here, which is both a blessing and a curse. He's definitely interesting, and the performance from Rohan Campbell is great. His character arc is pretty believable despite feeling out of place and shoved into the trilogy without much thought, and he allows the script to explore something very different that we aren't used to seeing within these movies. However, Corey's huge amount of screen time often takes the limelight away from our favourites, who have already been pre-established; Laurie Strode, Allyson Nelson, and Michael Myers himself. Introducing a new character and giving them most of the screen-time is a bold choice, and one that is dividing fans the most.
As well as introducing a new main character, the script for Halloween Ends is pretty messy in it's story. It feels fairly inconsistent with the previous two movies, creating a trilogy that's incoherent and isn't tied up with as neat of a bow as we were expecting. The horror community and movie fans alike are always up for new ideas, but when they're introduced in the finale of a trilogy, it begs the question of whether simple and straightforward would've scratched the Halloween Ends itch better. This movie often feels like two separate ones that have been awkwardly strung together; it's new ideas, as interesting as they are, don't seem to marry with the old ones. If we were given more development, maybe it would've paid off, but this is the finale after all.
However, what works when it comes to the script is the character study that seems to be the main focus. Luckily, it gives us far more Laurie Strode than it's predecessor did, and her character actually manages to develop in a natural, believable and enjoyable way. The same can be said for her grand daughter Allyson, who is a little lost in the world yet finally has a bond with her Grandmother. Seeing the pair spend time together is really nice, and the two actresses give fantastic performances whilst doing this. Jamie Lee Curtis is of course unquestionably Laurie, but she does act particularly well here. The performances are great all round, no one putting in a bad turn. Curtis is the standout, with Andi Matichak and Rohan Campbell not far behind.
Ignoring the bigger picture, Halloween Ends is ultimately a horror movie, and it works as one. Though it doesn't have quite as many kills as last year's Halloween Kills, it's gory and gruesome, with some interesting and unique ways for characters to meet their demise. It's definitely a slower mover than the last two, but is also pretty inventive with death scenes that are worth sticking around for. It's kill count is decent, and the Haddonfield visuals are as eerie as ever, especially when Halloween comes around and the pumpkins are out in full force. There's plenty of blood, a slew of violence and Myers is taking no prisoners... or is he?
So, what about the long-awaited showdown between Laurie and Michael? It's both satisfying and incredibly underwhelming. In terms of the choreography, violence and blood, it's a great scene that has some of the best action the movie has to offer. Neither are holding back, they're both determined to make this the final fight and it shows. Laurie is on top form despite not being as prepared as she was in 2018's instalment, and Michael seems to withstand as much trauma as he usually does. However, it is much too short. This is the scene that we're here for, what we've been waiting for since the series kicked back up again in 2018, and it's over in a flash. As a whole, the movie wraps things up far too quickly, likely due to the majority of the run-time building up a brand new character. Michael and Laurie do not face off until the movie is almost over, and it's over particularly quickly.
Halloween Ends is a mixed bag that is going to divide horror fans for weeks to come. The main problems are within the writing, as the lack of Michael Myers and the bold choice to introduce a new lead take the focus away from what we love. It also introduces ideas and themes that are undeniably interesting, yet doesn't have enough time to flesh them out and make them work with what's already been established. However, Halloween Ends is goofy and fun, with fantastic kills, a good amount of gore and much needed character development for our leads. It spends time with the characters we know and love (Michael being the exception!), brings Laurie back into focus, and if this is the last time we're seeing them all again, it's not a bad way to say goodbye.