*Warning: the following article may contain mild spoilers for Halloween Ends*
I will be the first one to defend David Gordon Green’s 2018 reboot of Halloween and Halloween Kills, which are both brilliant studies on the contagion of evil. Halloween (2018) was generally loved by the masses, but for some reason, Kills has gotten a bad reputation.
But it’s one of the most visually exciting and cathartic installments in the Halloween franchise, a film truly doesn’t hold anything back in making Michael Myers (James Judge Courtney) the ultimate personification of evil, while the “evil” in the town of Haddonfield starts to eat itself alive when the community believes that they can stop him if they unite and bear arms. It’s ridiculous, but it was tons of fun and a perfect setup for a final confrontation between Myers, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Allyson (Andi Matichak).
But what if I told you that Halloween Ends pays off nothing from the last two installments and does the opposite of what was previously established? Like introducing a new character in the mix, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), and focuses on him instead of Laurie, Michael, Allyson, or other characters like Frank Hawkins (Will Patton), Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards) and Sherriff Barker (Omar J. Dorsey)? And Michael goes from the total personification of evil (The Shape!) to a complete joke?
Laurie Strode Lacks Closure With Michael in the Final Halloween Installment
After forty-four years, you’d think that producer Malek Akkad, who took over the franchise after his father Moustapha Akkad passed away in 2005, would finally give Laurie Strode the closure she deserves with Michael, but she takes an even bigger backseat than in Kills.
Gordon Green and co-screenwriters Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, and Danny McBride instead centers on a character we’ve never heard of and probably don’t care about. You see, Corey Cunningham was a nice kid who mowed the Allen family’s lawn every week or so. On Halloween Night 2019, he babysits their son, Jeremy (Jaxon Goldberg), who is an absolute brat. He’s such a brat that he locks Corey up in the attic, pranking him that Michael Myers is in the house. Trying to get out of the attic, Corey kicks the door open, which accidentally hits Jeremy, who falls to his death.
That’s how the movie opens. From there, the movie focuses on Corey’s descent into evil, getting romantically involved with Allyson, and meeting Michael Myers, who has spent the last four years just chilling in a sewer. What’s Laurie got to do with this? Nothing, aside from warning Allyson ad nauseam that the boy is dangerous because she sees Michael in him.
Michael then trains Corey to become, I guess, the next shape, and he starts to kill more people and exact revenge on the ones he’s always despised. Allyson falls deeper in love with him, which worries Laurie. First, it’s a complete betrayal of Allyson’s arc, who used her trauma in the last movie to take matters into her own hands and attempt to kill Myers.
If anything, Laurie’s prescient warning should be a sign for Allyson to steer clear from the rebirth of a man who has traumatized her family for the past forty-four years. Allyson gets wrapped into Corey’s feelings for reasons that don’t get explained aside from the “he’s the only one that makes me feel something!” clichéd line we’ve heard before too many times, which is completely ridiculous since her last boyfriend, Cameron Elam (Dylan Arnold), was definitely a better match for her. And then she starts to resent Laurie because of the most unintentionally hilarious misunderstanding I’ve seen in a movie all year.
I won’t spoil it, but it makes no sense that Allyson would make so many dumb decisions like that, especially after the last movie! Why would she hang out with a guy who kills and kills, and what does she feel toward him? It’s never explored, but it gave me an amazing headache. Wasting Andi Matichak’s talents like that feels criminal, especially with how amazing she was in the last movies. The script entirely reduces her character arc to one punchline after the other.
Then we have the problem of Corey. I’m sure Rohan Campbell is a good actor, but why in the hell would you put the focus away from Michael and Laurie when it’s the main thing that will draw fans in the theater (or on Peacock) to see their “final” confrontation? One of my friends, who is the biggest fan of the Halloween franchise I know, couldn’t believe that after all these years, the filmmakers still don’t understand that a simple Halloween film usually equals a better result instead of complicating itself for a character arc that most people won’t care about.
Some people on social media are saying that “most fans didn’t like this because they were expecting Michael on another killing spree to confront Laurie,” but that’s what the last movie set the tables for! Michael went on a massive killing spree at the end of Kills, and killed Laurie’s daughter (Judy Greer) to get psychologically closer to her. And now you have the perfect “it’s now or never” conclusion that anyone understands that’s how you end a trilogy!
Yes, you kowtow to the fans; you give Laurie the conclusion she deserves. You don’t make her second fiddle in a movie that ignores its last two installments entirely, gives the characters we love a total backseat or a reduction in their arc, and introduces someone no one will bat an eye out. Guess what? It wasn’t his fault he killed Jeremy. It was an unfortunate accident from a kid who should’ve known better.
I watched the movie with a friend in the cinema, and his reaction to his death was, “he had it coming.” If you can’t muster any emotional investment from that scene, which Halloween Ends will then take its entire focus on someone who accidentally killed a child and show how he becomes the next Michael Myers (but not really), good luck trying to sustain any investment in the story for the next 111 minutes.
Speaking of Myers, Gordon Green accomplishes the incredible feat of turning him into an even bigger joke than in Halloween‘s “Thorn Trilogy.” Myers is one of the most terrifying horror villains of all time, a lifeless shape who doesn’t act by any form of motivation but is consumed by evil itself. It’s scary enough, and Gordon Green showed how much brutal he is in the last two installments. In this one, he’s a) not in it for a good chunk of the film, and b) when he is in it, doesn’t have the same ferocity or brutal thirst for revenge and killing that he did in the last two films.
He just goes through the motions of exacting revenge on Laurie “just because” and hid in a sewer for the past four years, waiting for the next Myers to arrive? Do you seriously expect me to believe that this guy stood there, hoping that someone would show up with a thirst for killing for the next four years? So what if he’s the personification of evil? It still doesn’t change the fact that I’m imagining Myers standing in a sewer doing nothing for four years and laughing very, very hard.
And I laughed even harder at the ending, which gives Laurie and Allyson no real closure, even if Gordon Green and Akkad desperately try to convince you that this is the ending they deserve. It wasn’t and feels like a slap in the face to the past generation of Halloween movies, especially the ones that are cherished by fans worldwide. There’s a reason why the last two Halloween movies worked so well and the last one didn’t.
It begins and ends with Corey. Putting the focus on him instead of the protagonists we have cared about for the last two installments was the mistake that immediately sunk the film as soon as it began. Because of this, Halloween Ends won’t be remembered as a fitting end to Laurie Strode, but the biggest disappointment of the reboot trilogy, after ignoring the disastrous Halloween: Resurrection. At least John Carpenter is happy he got paid again, but keep David Gordon Green away from The Exorcist.
Halloween Ends is now playing in theatres and available to stream on Peacock and stars Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, Andi Matichak as Allyson Nelson, James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle as Michael Myers / The Shape, Will Patton as Deputy Frank Hawkins, Rohan Campbell as Corey Cunningham, and Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace.
What are your thoughts on Halloween Ends? Do you think this is truly the end of the Halloween franchise? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow The Illuminerdi on social media to be notified of more news and reviews like this in the future.
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