Halloween Ends Movie Review (Spoiler Free)
It is bewildering to see how inconsistent this series is in tone! This last instalment is no different. In fact, it set itself so far apart, it could be a standalone flick!
Genre: Horror / Thriller
Director: David Gordon Green
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell, Rick Moose, Kyle Richards, Jesse C. Boyd, Will Patton, James Jude Courtney & Nick Castle.
Run Time: 111 min.
US Release: 14 October 2022 (Peacock)
UK Release: 14 October 2022
German Release: 13 October 2022
What have I watched? When David Gordon Green’s Halloween dropped back in 2018, I was thrilled to see the series back on track, paying a lot of tribute to the original slasher. Then, three years later and delayed due to the COVID pandemic, the sequel dropped, bewildering audiences with its change in style. The lead actress was sidelined, with many former side characters taking over. Suffice it to say, fans of the series were angry! With this final instalment, Green takes yet again a puzzling change in direction and while I appreciate his guts, it is frustrating to obtain such a muddled ending to the new trilogy!
Four years after Michael’s second massacre spree on Haddonfield, Laurie is living with her granddaughter Allyson, finishing her memoir. The Shape hasn’t been seen since, allowing Laurie to liberate herself from the rageful fear that drove her reality for decades. Michael, however, resurfaces leading to a spine-chilling finale between the two adversaries.
Let’s start with the positives, as there are fewer things to unpack. For one, it has the guts to go forth with what Halloween 5 chickened out, which is the fact that evil is transferable. It makes clear that Michael is not the only evil, everyone has it in them, thus if a person is pushed far enough, they might become a monster. The subject of traumatic infection is well handled; the town of Haddonfield has changed for the worst, giving in fully to grief and fear, searching for a scapegoat to blame. It feels as if it were trapped in a catatonic state.
That said, it also took it too far, because the people are right out nasty, way past redemption. I wouldn’t have minded seeing the Boogeyman eradicate the whole town, plus their toxic behaviours. Except for a few main characters, there is no one to like or root for. While I admire the bold move of trying to end the trilogy in a different direction, it simply feels as if a different film is actively interfering, into what is the last confrontation between Laurie and Michael. Finally, the greatest sin of all is sidelining the persona of Michael in his own flick, just as it was with Laurie in Kills. Myers’ first appearance is around the forty-minute mark!
Talking about Michael Myers; the way his myth is illustrated also varies from picture to picture. In the 2018 version, he was depicted as an evil personified but still a man. In Kills it is suggested that with every murder he transcends into another state, just to regress back to him being a simple man in Ends, who is lost in his own darkness.
What director/writer Green and his partner Danny McBride finally got right, are the conversations between characters. The dialogue is much more dialled down, compared to the over-blown monologues or talks, from the previous two instalments. It feels more natural flowing, less scripted.
Jamie Lee Curtis returns once again as Laurie Strode, possibly giving her best performance as the character, even though the portrayal of Laurie doesn’t fit with what we saw from her, in the two previous movies. It would have made more sense if her role had been reversed. I just don’t see how someone, who has had PTSD for forty years, with the cause of it being locked up in a mental penitentiary, suddenly is fine once that same reason fled authorities, staying hidden in the shadows.
Andi Matichak really stands out, giving a grander rendition of Allyson, than in the previous flicks. However, she also feels as if being tired of the role, which luckily reflects the state of the mood of her character. Allyson can sympathise with the persona of Corey, as she is also treated like an outcast in her hometown. Sadly, the romantic relationship she is pushed in doesn't feel earned, as that aspect feels rushed, with Matichak not having real chemistry with Campbell.
Rohan Campbell was a surprise character, having much more screen time than many cinema-goers had expected. While I appreciated the magnificent acting, as well as the message his role embodied, it felt as if the persona of Corey was intruding upon a plot that is not his! The character development feels rushed, for what this feature sets Corey out to become.
The camera has not changed much since Kills, we obtain long lingering shots during dramatic moments, as well as explicit sequences focusing on the violence, once it starts. The colour ratio is desaturated, giving the complete picture a grey filter, probably to symbolise the hopelessness of Haddonfield. Other than that, the picture is crystal clear, including montages plus solid intercuts, reflecting the occurrences of the past instalments. Best is again the opening credits, with the title resembling that of Halloween III during which a montage of pumpkin upon pumpkin is set up, ripping through each other.
The effects are a mix of practical and computer-generated imagery, though generally really well done. The wardrobe, make-up plus hair, resemble more 80s style, for whatever reason. It looks as if Haddonfield is locked in an 80s time capsule.
The music is once again electrifying, possibly being the best aspect of the film, with Carpenter and son finalising their melodic trilogy for the series. The main score is modified anew, to represent the ending conflict between good vs. evil.
Verdict: The finale of the new Halloween trilogy is a real mixed bag, mostly disappointing rather than shocking. The screenplay proves to have the courage, veering in a different direction, trying to break out of the franchise formula, yet it also failed at establishing a catchy narrative with depth and structure. Jamie Lee Curtis gives her best rendition of Laurie Strode, while Andi Matichak’s performance is fine, however, the dreary romance between her and newcomer Rohan Campbell, was misplaced! Campbell acts masterfully, but feels rather like an invader, in a story that isn’t his. The camera and effects are good, with the music once again excelling. Halloween ends for me with the magnificent 2018 sequel, after Laurie traps Michael in her cellar. As for Halloween Ends, I find it to be better than its predecessor, though not by much, which is why I’ll also give it another 5.5 out of 10.
So, what was your take on the ending of this new trilogy? Did you like the shift in tone? Let me know & as always, thank you for reading!