Friday, October 14, 2022

Halloween Ends - Review


Horror franchises are a fascinating animal. They’re often so long running and messy, its hard to keep continuity straight, and yet, the fanbases for them are as boisterous as any blockbuster, big budget series. Halloween has been off and on for over forty years now, with many ups but mostly downs, and the latest entry Halloween Ends seeks to finally bring this roller coaster narrative to a close. It says as much in the title, and once you settle in to watch it, you might be asking for it to end as well.

The return of Michael Myers after forty years resulted in another bloody night for Haddonfield, Illinois. And then he vanished once more, not seen for four more years. But when another tragedy strikes the town, Laurie Strode must once again face the traumatic past she’s tried to move beyond, and end the long nightmare once and for all. 

The newest batch of Halloween films has been hit or miss. As in, the 2018 film was a solid reintroduction to the franchise, and the follow-up was definitely a step backwards. However, Halloween Ends may be even worse than anyone thought Halloween Kills was. It’s okay to admit when you have no more ideas for a franchise, and this third entry and close to the modern trilogy clearly ran out of anything worthy of feature length before cameras even rolled. 

On the surface, the idea of Laurie Strode, played once again by Jamie Lee Curtis, finally trying to move on and live her life is a logical step for the character. However, if you also want her to find closure, it’s probably a good idea to feature the other half of this horrific equation before the 40 minute mark. Instead, what we get feels like an extended epilogue, one that sees characters moving on as if the evil entity was dispatched in the last film, not still out there, somewhere, lurking in the shadows.

Truthfully, if anyone does find that they’re interested to see how this long running back and forth between Strode and Myers concludes, just fast forward to the last twenty minutes or so, watch the only worthwhile moments of the film, and call it a day. 

It’s not all terrible, if it were not a film promised as an ending it might even feel okay or decent as a cheap slasher. The performances from the cast, particularly Jamie Lee Curtis, are all solid, and some kills are just as brutal as you’d expect, but everything with the plot and every decision made behind the camera is pretty questionable. For the audience’s sake, and the fictional citizens of Haddonfield, let’s all hope this truly is the end.

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