A Hooked On Horror Review: Halloween Ends
So after 44 long years Jamie Lee Curtis was set to go toe to toe with Michael Myers in an epic concluding film…but unfortunately, I can’t help but feel somewhat short changed. I left the cinema yesterday pretty underwhelmed and let down. For most parts I enjoyed the film, and I admire the film makers and writers for trying something a bit adventurous and different; but I don’t know it just kind of missed the mark a bit for me.
Four years after her last encounter with masked killer Michael Myers, Laurie Strode is living with her granddaughter and trying to finish her memoir. Myers hasn't been seen since, and Laurie finally decides to liberate herself from rage and fear and embrace life. However, when a young man stands accused of murdering a boy that he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that forces Laurie to confront the evil she can't control.
I knew going in this was going to be different going into the cinema. I just think it took me by surprise just how different Ends was going to be. Whilst it wasn’t a bad film, I felt quite a few times throughout that I wasn’t actually watching a Halloween film. It’ s very character driven piece that explores evil more as an entity and its effects on those who get caught up within it as opposed to the normal slasher format that’s become the norm for films within this franchise. My main issue with the film, however, is the absence of a truly key character to the Halloween films. For those who have seen it know exactly what I’m on about, whilst those of you who have yet to watch it will eventually get it.
I also found they was a massive lack of build-up and very little evidence of this epic conclusion I felt we were in store for at the end of Halloween Kills. And as for the face-off/ epic final battle between Michael and Laurie is over before you can quote Doctor Loomis’ “I met him fifteen years ago…” speech in Carpenter’s 78 classic. In regards to the kills, whilst there are some pretty gnarly kills and one that pays homage to one of the best kills in the franchise, they are few and far between. I was pretty disappointed at the fact there has been stuff that appeared in trailers and promo/marketing for the film and didn’t make the final cut. Make-up team did a great job none the less and Myers did look fantastic again!
For anyone expecting an out and out slasher where we see Myers do what he does best, you will be severely disappointed. Likewise for any fans hoping for something similar to the 2018 film. This is a vastly different Halloween film to anything I’ve seen in this franchise, the closest I can describe to is Halloween III: Season of the Witch. It never really found its feet for me and couldn’t decide what type of film it wanted to be. Despite its faults there was a lot of stuff I did enjoy.
The story and how it plays out really give Jamie Lee Curtis and Andi Matichak to really explore new things with their characters and fully show off their acting ability. They were both fantastic and an absolute pleasure to watch. As per the other two films in Gordon’s trilogy before Ends, James Jude Courtney put in another great performance as the man behind the mask. Was great seeing Kyle Richards again with a bit more screentime as well. Rohan Campbell, who played newcomer Corey Cunningham, put in a solid performance and made for a few very interesting scenes throughout the film. The last 20 minutes of the film was fantastic.
It was very well shot with throwbacks to previous films in the franchise. The Easter Eggs and nods to several Halloween films were a treat for any Halloween fan. I really enjoyed seeing them as prominent as they were in Green’s first two films. The soundtrack from Cody Carpenter, John Carpenter and Daniel Davies was wonderful. The score has remained consistently great throughout Green’s trilogy and the score for Ends is no different!
So where would this fit into my current rankings of the films? I’d say middle ground if I’m honest. Whilst I admired in for its different approach and enjoyed it for most parts, it didn’t feel like an out and out Halloween film.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Rob Zombie’s Halloween
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Rob Zombie’s Halloween II
I really enjoyed Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills so I was going into this hopeful, and I do feel a bit underwhelmed by what the end product was. Whilst the first two films from Green were both solid runs in this marathon, Ends feels like the bump in the road that throws things off and causes you to limp across the finish line. If there was another film to follow this, I think I would’ve enjoyed it more but considering this was sold as the final showdown between Laurie and Michael, it was pretty lacklustre and didn’t deliver on that front at all. I was expecting more.
Whilst the film gives a definite and clear conclusion to Michael vs Laurie (and goes full circle in the sense of the story), it hints throughout that there’s ways to continue this franchise through different directions. Is this the last time we’ll see Michael Myers? Of course not. People tend to forget that the film industry is in fact business. Myers will never truly die, Freddy will never die, same goes for Jason, Leatherface, Chucky, Jigsaw, Pinhead and so fourth. There’s always going to be ways to make money from these franchises. You never know what the future holds for any of them.
I’m pretty sure this is going to divide fans even worse than Halloween Kills did. As I said I didn’t hate this film or think it was the worst in the franchise, but I just feel they’ve missed the mark and given fans a pretty disappointing send off for this trilogy and a goodbye to Laurie and Michael. Maybe it will grow on me more throughout the years and multiple viewings, but I’m currently not a huge fan. Halloween Ends feels very much like The Last Jedi of David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy.
Halloween Ends is in cinemas/available on Peacock now.