December 2, 2022
NBC Reveals A New Look At Universal's Halloween Ends

Laurie Strode and Michael Myers square off for the final time in Universal Pictures Halloween Ends. But is it a fight to the finish or an uninspiring bitch slap? Can Michael still cut it? We review Halloween Ends.

It is here. After forty-four years of waiting. After forty-four years of slicing, dicing, and gory death, the final battle between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers has arrived. Universal Pictures ‘Halloween Ends’ certainly ends the Blumhouse trilogy. And we get a final victor in the long-running battle that started in 1978. With Jamie Lee Curtis playing Laurie for the last time in the movie, we finally have an ending to the saga. But is it a perfect ending to the trilogy as well as the saga of Laurie and Michael? Or is it yet another damp squib in the history of the franchise?

Halloween Ends
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in HALLOWEEN ENDS, directed by David Gordon Green

THE PREMISE

Four years after the events of Halloween Kills, Laurie is living with her granddaughter Allyson and is finishing writing her memoir. Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since his last brutal rampage. Laurie, after allowing the specter of Michael to determine and drive her reality for decades, has decided to liberate herself from fear and rage and embrace life. But when a young man, Corey Cunningham, is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that will force Laurie to finally confront the evil she can’t control, once and for all.

THOUGHTS

I’m going to keep things spoiler free. I believe you need to see the film clean and advise you to steer clear of social media until after you’ve seen the film. But I can say that the film is a disappointment. Completely. After the limp, lame finale to the ‘Jurassic’ saga with ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’, you’d think that another film couldn’t do the same thing with its epic final chapter. You’d be wrong.

While nowhere near as bad as that film, it comes mighty close to it at times. Let’s put it another way. The poster for the film promises the epic final showdown between Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode and James Jude Courtney/ Nick Castle’s Michael Myers a.k.a ‘The Shape.’ Guess what? They are cameo characters in their own movie.

Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in Halloween Ends, co-written, produced, and directed by David Gordon Green.

Michael himself doesn’t even appear until forty minutes in and that is a travesty for fans. He also has lost his supernatural mysticism along the way. And that is a severe failure for the film that has spent so long building him up over the past forty-four years. Another problem is quite a lot of what is seen in the trailers for the film isn’t actually in the film. Even Laurie’s line which should have had the audience cheering, and is the best line in the trailers has been removed.

You get the feeling that a totally different movie was made and left on the editing room floor. An extended cut MAY become available when the film launches on home entertainment, as ‘Halloween Kills’ received. But it will be hard-pressed to make up for what we have been given theatrically.

(from left) Billy (Marteen), Corey (Rohan Campbell), and Terry (Michael Barbieri) in Halloween Ends co-written, produced, and directed by David Gordon Green.

THE CAST

With Jamie Lee Curtis, James Jude Courtney, and Kyle Richards reduced to minor roles, it falls to Andi Matichak and newcomer Rohan Campbell to lead the film. While Andi Matichak is superb as Allyson as always, Rohan Campbell as Corey gets annoying after a while. Between them, they get the lion’s share of the film as the emotionally damaged pair. And while we can follow the ups and downs of their complex relationship, it doesn’t make for an interesting ‘Halloween’ film.

Campbell as Corey is the real meat of the film but some of the choices made for him to be front and center just don’t pay off. And let’s just say that the character of Allyson, after all she’s been through, should know better.

(from left) Allyson (Andi Matichak) and Corey (Rohan Campbell) in Halloween Ends, co-written, produced, and directed by David Gordon Green.

Even Will Patton, returning again as Frank Hawkins gets shortchanged. He appears for one sequence before vanishing again until near the end credits. This ruins the relationship between him and Jamie Lee Curtis. We want to know what went on between the pair years ago. Instead, we get a brief flirtation and then, nothing. It isn’t good enough.

Kyle Richards appears for what can only be described as a throwback to the original film and Halloween Kills. She is given nothing to do and adds little to the film or the storyline whatsoever. And that is a shame. We want to see her get up close and personal with Michael one final time. And we are denied that.

JAMIE LEE CURTIS AND JAMES JUDE COURTNEY

Of course, Jamie Lee Curtis and James Jude Courtney are who we’ve come to see. And for the time they are seen in the film, they are pretty much ok. Ms. Curtis gets the longer screentime of the pair, as she should get. But even that is not enough to hold our attention at times. We are here to see Laurie and Michael fight to the death one final time. We do get that close to the end. But even that is incredibly short.

James Jude Courtney brought back the scariness to Michael Myers in the 2018 reboot. He kept that going in Halloween Kills. Here, he is reduced to a bit part player. The film should be his crowing glory as Michael. But he appears, kills, and vanishes again, only to turn up for the main fight. And the character has been diluted to an average movie killer. And that is a travesty for both actors.

Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in HALLOWEEN ENDS, directed by David Gordon Green

THE DEATHS

We are here to see people despatched in variously nasty ways. And we do get a few deaths that will give the gore hounds their fix. Two of these are particularly nasty and gore-filled that are not for the squeamish. And the end to the Laurie/ Michael battle does have its fair share of blood. But these too are not enough to sustain a nearly two-long movie. There are some good ideas in play throughout the film, don’t get me wrong. But they are thrown at the audience in such a haphazard way that almost none of them stick in the mind.

As seen in the trailer, one character’s demise copies one from the original film. While it is a nice nod to what John Carpenter created, the buildup to it is telegraphed. And when it finally arrives, all sense of fright and revulsion has long gone. It just comes across as what it is, a cheap imitation.

Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in HALLOWEEN ENDS, directed by David Gordon Green

FINAL THOUGHTS

While the film isn’t the worst of the entire franchise, it is a long way from ranking among the best. What made the original Halloween so scary and an all-time classic has sadly been forgotten. Instead, we have a by-the-numbers sequel that in no way gives the fans a satisfactory ending to the Laurie/ Michael saga. This is simply a case of throwing ideas at a wall and seeing what sticks. And it certainly isn’t the kind of movie we were all expecting. Or deserve. And removing the Boogeyman from his own legend, his own story, and expecting us to line up around the block is an insult.

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in HALLOWEEN ENDS, directed by David Gordon Green

Can the franchise continue? Possibly. But not in the sense of what we have come to expect. Is there an ultimate victor in the fight? Of course, there is. But even that is an insult to the two characters that we have followed for over forty years. They and we deserve a much better send-off than they or we get here. And with all things considered for what is supposed to be a big finale of a horror franchise, that is the most shocking thing of all.

‘Halloween Ends’ is now playing in theaters across the globe. Book your tickets now.

 

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