Halloween Ends (2022) Movie Review: The title of the article might sound damning, but, in retrospect, that stems from an underlying frustration of a trilogy that began very promisingly and then immediately goes off the rails in a sophomore outing to such an extent that it becomes almost irredeemable. And now, after traversing through the announced finale of this franchise, the perspective reeks of tiredness and frustration at the execution of a trilogy that had been very much interested in exploring thematic perspectives of the original John Carpenter masterpiece.

The final chapter of this modern timeline, which immediately follows after the events of the 1978 film, bypasses and essentially ignores the sequels, the soft reboot, the full reboot, and the standalone film and is essentially interested in exploring how the town of Haddonfield deals with trauma like the one which occurred to Laurie Strode. The first film also explored Laurie’s character as a woman suffering from paranoia and having trained in the usage of firearms and fortified her house.

All these act as protection against the inevitable return of the bogeyman, which admittedly estranged her from her daughter and granddaughter. Thus, when Michael Myers finally returns and focuses his sights on resuming his killing spree as well as killing “the final girl”, it was a showdown that had a lot of potential. And for the most part, that worked, even though there were ancillary elements and stray bits of humor that admittedly added nothing and went nowhere. Halloween Kills (2021), on the other hand, tried to focus on mob mentality and the effect of such trauma on an overall community. It was the execution that failed miserably in that regard, even as the kill count in the sequel is significant.

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Halloween Ends (2022) is nothing if not ambitious and takes some wild swings. The film opens with Rohan Campbell’s character of Corey, a babysitter who accidentally kills his young charge after the kid traps him by teasing how Michael Myers only killed babysitters. Corey gets charged with aggravated manslaughter and goes to jail for three years. The world of the movie shifts to the present day (unlike 2018 in the last two).

The movie starts focusing on how this young man tries to reintegrate into a town whose reaction against the trauma of Michael Myers is responsible for causing such psychopathic outbreaks and a streak of primal cruelty and nonchalance against violence. That is proven after Corey comes across a group of kids who starts bullying and beating on him after knowing his identity, later being stopped by Laurie Strode, who proves to be the only one capable of understanding what Corey might be going through. This leads to Corey meeting Laurie’s granddaughter and becoming closer to her, but accidentally meeting Michael Myers, now hiding in a sewer, and getting effectively infected with his vision and cruelty.

Halloween Ends (2022) Movie Review

Writers Danny Mcbride, David Gordon Green, Paul Brad Logan, and Chris Bernier are very interested in the long-term effects of trauma and the mutation of said trauma. The fascinating wrinkle of introducing an entirely new character in the final chapter of this “trilogy” and exploring a separate side of trauma kind of lines up with this modern reboot. The overall thesis of said reboot is the generational aspect of trauma. Interesting idea, even if perhaps a bit baffling at its late introduction and made even more strange by the execution. It is head-scratching that while these ideas are being explored throughout this trilogy, the negative aspect of the ill-timed humour and some equally strange music choices, which completely threaten to derail an already strange narrative, are still consistent.

At its core, Halloween Ends is effectively trying to explore its idea about the legacy of Michael Myers and satisfactorily deliver and conclude a showdown between “The Shape” and Laurie. As a result, her appearance throughout the film is evenly divided with Corey’s character, with Andi Matichak’s Allyson getting the short end of the stick in terms of character development. The inevitable conclusion of the Corey storyline, however, would have worked as a very bleak but ultimately sensible coda in any other horror franchise, but knowing that this is the concluding chapter of the Halloween franchise, the final 20 mins of the film needed to be all about those final moments which the fans had been waiting for.

Kudos to Gordon Green that he doesn’t disappoint in that regard. The kills, significantly less than the predecessor movies, are no less violent; it’s the choice of reintroducing Michael Myers as a bogeyman in the sewers, who has been hiding for two years, that feels exceedingly lazy. It feels like the writers didn’t know how to reintroduce the character. For fans of “The Shape”, his treatment in the first half of the film might come off as incredibly disrespectful.

There are ample references to Carpenter’s filmography. For example, the first act has Corey watching Carpenter’s version of The thing, a thematic callback to the original Halloween where Laurie was watching the 1951 original version, and the overall romantic angle between Corey and Allyson, which thinly resembles Carpenter’s own 1983 film, Christine. The acting is universally solid among the leads. Jamie Lee Curtis still manages to impress, showing newer layers in Laurie while showcasing a more carefree version had Michael Myers not attacked her. Her relationship with Will Patton’s Frank Hawkins bears a sweetness and innocence. Rohan Campbell’s Corey is the surprising new addition; although his inclusion into the narrative might have felt completely unnecessary, his performance really manages to sell the thematic exploration of the film itself.

Again, it’s the execution that ensures that the realization of the overall premise of the movie is done most haphazardly and flatly as possible. As a result, the final act, while exciting, also feels rushed and exceedingly tacked on, a strange consequence considering this confrontation was the hook on which this entire trilogy developed. It again begs the question – did we need this to be a trilogy? But now that the movie is over, I only heave a sigh of resignation. I hope this is the end. The cynic in me knows it is the farthest thing from the truth.

Read More: Where to Watch and Stream Jamie Lee Curtis’ New Horror Movie ‘Halloween Ends’ Online?

Halloween Ends Trailer

Halloween Ends (2022) Movie Links – IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Halloween Ends (2022) Movie Cast – Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney
Where to watch Halloween Ends

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