HALLOWEEN ENDS (2022)
Release Date: 06/24/22 [Cinemas/Peacock]
Studio: Universal Pictures
"The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode comes to a spine-chilling climax in this final installment of this trilogy."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
No, it’s not the end of October yet, but Halloween has arrived early to conclude the Laurie Strode vs Michael Myers saga once and for all. In this third and final installment in David Gordon Green’s Halloween Legacy Trilogy (Halloween (2018) / Halloween Kills (2021) / Halloween Ends (2022)), Strode and Myers have their final showdown. With the havoc that Michael Myers caused in Halloween Kills casting its ugly shadow over the city of Haddonfield, we are introduced to a new character entering the franchise. Corey Cunningham as played by Rohan Campbell, joins Laurie and Allison Strode in their final confrontation with their relentless boogeyman. Halloween Ends has a promising start but as it turns to its second act, the film stumbles and becomes messier by the minute, and it was by the end I was contemplating whether or not this trilogy was entirely worth it or not.
One glaring issue haunting Halloween Ends throughout is the inclusion of the character of Corey Cunningham. The film's ideas on what it wants to do with him don't seem bad on paper, but coming so late into this trilogy, his character is almost nothing but jarring. What makes matters worse for this character is that the film takes him in a direction that I feel isn't entirely realized. Cunningham is a fascinating character that could really either make or break this film for some folks as he is heavily involved within Halloween Ends' plot. Personally, I feel like if the writing team wanted this character to work, perhaps he should have been incorporated in the previous two installments. Here, Cunningham just becomes underdeveloped and a near nuisance with his involvement in setting up the film's finale.
Reflecting back, Halloween Kills' most frustrating error is its failure to move forward with Laurie Strode. Halloween Ends at the bare minimum provides Jaime Lee Curtis more to do with the notorious final girl. However, her catharsis within Halloween Ends is lost in translation within the film's messy second half. Green clearly wants to give Strode her finality in this confrontation, but the film's plot is bloated; stalling development and suffering from a weak script all around. As we want to dive more into what Laurie is feeling, the film jumps to her granddaughter (played by Andi Matichak) who is latched to a less interesting arc than the previously seen in the last two installments. It's a very frustrating and uneven 2 hours, as it jumps back and forth between characters with less and less effort put into their development.
The new Halloween trilogy expands further upon the ideas of violence and evil from John Carpenter's original 1979 horror. Green's first installment in 2018 was an incredibly fresh take on "the boogeyman" with new concepts about evil that was not only thrilling to think about, but equally unnerving. Halloween Kills took a more sociological approach in tackling mob violence and how the idea of Michael Myers himself even turned the town of Haddonfield inside out. In Halloween Ends, Green attempts to comment on cycles of violence, and here I don't think his ideas are as fully realized as they are in the other two outings. Green starts off on the right foot, but soon falls into naive trappings and turns into a misguided mess in which I wasn't entirely sure what it was trying to say. All while insisting that what it had to say was incredibly important; yet executing it in an incredibly confused manner.
The film isn't really even that scary either. Yes, there are a few horror set pieces sprinkled throughout the film, but I walked away from this being disappointed in nearly all of them. Though I had issues with Halloween Kills, the scares in that were wildly entertaining, frightening and unpredictable. With Halloween Ends being a finale, I expected it to excel on the scares, but all of it felt standard and tame. Even with its bigger moments, it just feels like Green is holding back with this one, and the brutality that enhanced the previous two films is lacking in this finale.
I was really hoping Halloween Ends would be at the very least a great send off to this slasher franchise, but it just ends up being the worst film in this updated trilogy and a frustrating mess. Halloween Ends does deliver on the promise of Strode and Myers' final confrontation, but it's a disappointing and frustrating build up that takes away any catharsis Green wanted to achieve. The result is a tortuous and misguided finale that attempts to achieve the bare minimum and barely succeeds at that. Though the first installment is genuinely great, it's hard to really feel like Green's updated trilogy was worth it in the long run.