‘Halloween Ends’ with a whimper, not a bang

Memori Valentin, Staff

What could be a better way to kick off the spooky season than with Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) himself in the thrilling finale of the Halloween franchise, aptly titled “Halloween Ends”? 

The series has become one of the most revered horror franchises in film since its debut in 1978 when director John Carpenter introduced Jamie Lee Curtis as the series’ main protagonist Laurie Strode, and changed the way we view horror forever. 

However, with the overwhelming amount of anticipation for “Halloween Ends”, it seems writer and director David Gordon Green cracked under the pressure. 

Back in Haddonfield, Ill., “Halloween Ends” follows Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), a young man who  struggles with trauma following the accidental murder of a young boy he was babysitting. 

Meanwhile, Laurie Strode continues her life where she left it in the previous installment of the series, “Halloween Kills”, trying to write her memoir. She lives with her granddaughter Allyson Nelson (Andi Matichak), who falls in love with Corey. 

Corey then  crosses paths with the small town’s “boogeyman” Michael Myers, and it seems as though he becomes “infected” by Myers’s curse and becomes a brooding serial killer. While Allyson seems to be too blind to see, Laurie is not and attempts to reach her granddaughter so she will not put herself in danger.

It may sound like an interesting plot, and it was, but for a Halloween movie, it nowhere near lives up to the reputation the franchise has spent so many years building. To be honest, it was hardly a “Halloween” movie, rather just another slasher film. 

The original director John Carpenter’s amazing cinematography was completely lost in this film. There was this constant feeling of desperate attempts to create some sort of symbolic meaning in every scene and it ruined the vibe. 

The issue begins by introducing a completely new and honestly irrelevant antagonist. It can be assumed that anybody who watches “Halloween Ends” has seen the rest of the series, following along as the plot progresses. The whole plot of the previous films  was driven by the altercations between Myers and Strode,  but “Halloween Ends” makes Laurie to be practically a side character who had an awkwardly large amount of screen time, and associates her with this feeling of desperation rather than revenge. 

Not to mention that the entire subplot of Allyson and Corey’s love story was underwritten, unbelievable, and poorly executed in every way; almost as irrelevant as Corey’s character himself. 

An astonishing amount of “Halloween Ends” contains clunky editing, framing and writing While Green and his team had a truly ambitious idea about how violent loners can be created by fearful societies, but they also had to make a “Halloween” movie. It was these two concepts pushing and pulling against each other that ultimately tore this movie apart. What starts as promising gets dumb, and Green can’t even manage the time-honored horror art of the quality kill, executing some victims with remarkably forgettable monotony. 

Not only are the deaths terribly written, but far too gruesome. The series has always been known as a psychological thriller, where  blood is scarce. Although it may be a result of our changing culture where “scary” is associated with “stomach turning.” I would’ve at least had respect if the team of writers didn’t go out of their way to change the face of “Halloween” to please what “society is asking for.” 

If only they had stuck by the “Halloween” series’ unifying themes; if they had embraced the uniqueness of the series and used it to their advantage, instead  taking something amazing  and morphing it with something that clearly doesn’t belong, “Halloween Ends” could have worked.  Instead, it was an overshot and a try-hard film. If this is truly the end, it’s a whimper, not a bang.