Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Rohan Campbell and Will Patton
Director: David Gordon Green
After getting things off to an excellent start with 2018’s Halloween, it's clear that film is the exception, not the rule. These three films have the disconnect of the Star Wars sequel trilogy without the excuse of different directors, and as they’ve gone on, they have strayed further and further from what Michael Myers is. This final installment introduces some interesting ideas, but fails to execute them well. It’s not scary, there is no suspense, and the kills are lackluster. All said and done, David Gordon Green's Halloween trilogy will be remembered for one thing: wasted opportunity. It came. It killed. It ended… with a whimper.
While there is certainly an improvement on its predecessor's overwrought writing, Halloween Ends is nonetheless a middling conclusion to a steadily-moving-downhill trilogy. It’s tough to describe the film’s premise without spoiling it, but it features fewer of the franchise's strengths than the previous two entries, and the ones present don't last long. Once more, the focus is largely on characters we don’t know or care enough about, and the film’s themes are sloppily explored. Perhaps this isn’t the worst ending the franchise could have had, but frankly, I’m just glad it’s over (for now).
Halloween Ends alright, but definitely not in the way you thought it would. Director David Gordon Green waited until the end to take his biggest swing yet, when most fans probably wanted another a-typical Halloween film. Reactions to the film have been very divided, and while the direction worked for me, I also understand people leaving the experience scratching their heads. As someone who grew up watching many 80s & 90s horror films, the concept wasn't new to me and I mostly enjoyed it. In many ways, this new trilogy follows a similar road map to the original three Halloween films.
If Halloween Ends had been made as a non-franchise horror movie…like, if it was a random thriller called Murder Man…it might have been alright. However, as the Halloween franchise capper, it makes the baffling choice to sideline Michael Myers for most of the movie. In fact, this movie feels like Murder Man, but with forced studio notes of “can we add a Michael v. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) showdown to tie it to known IP?” I can see (and respect) the overarching story that this new trilogy was going for, but man… it was so poorly executed that they should be embarrassed.
Halloween Ends is ambitious as hell, and I admit I was intrigued with its new ideas and themes, but they just weren’t executed well enough. As a Halloween-adjacent film, it’s great; but not as an end all for the Halloween franchise. It just doesn’t slash its way to a satisfying conclusion. This final chapter feels more like an anthology film like Halloween III: Season of the Witch than a Michael Myers film. If it didn't have to wrap up the Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) story, giving it more time to develop these new ideas sooner, it could've been great.
I enjoyed Halloween Ends, but there are some glaring issues - mostly, the script isn’t great, and the film is aggressively misadvertised. We do get Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) vs. Michael Myers, but it feels tacked on. Instead, we mostly get a romance/serial killer origin story that completely sidelines Michael. This will likely piss some fans off, but I was into the approach. However, while I like the idea more than the execution, showing the effect Michael has had on the town was great, especially after Halloween Kills portrayed a similar theme. It won’t work for everybody, but it worked for me.