FILM REVIEW: Halloween Ends (2022)

Halloween Ends - New Release Review


Director: David Gordon Green

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell, James Jude Courtney, Will Patton


Written by: Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green

Produced by: Malek Akkad, Bill Block, Jason Blum

Cinematography by: Michael Simmonds

Original Score by: John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, Daniel A. Davies


Synopsis:

The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode comes to a spine-chilling climax in this final installment of this trilogy.

Thoughts:

HALLOWEEN ENDS! TRAUMA! MICHAEL’S BACK (AGAIN)! LAURIE AND THE SHAPE FACE OFF FOR ONE LAST TIME (AGAIN)! TRAUMA! ENDS! WILL THIS BE THE END OF THE HALLOWEEN FRANCHISE? NOOOOOOOO. WILL WE SEE A RECAST MICKY AND LAURIE IN 10 YEARS? PROBABLY! TRAUMA!



When I walked out of the cinema last year, after watching 'Halloween Kills', I dreaded to think what 'Halloween Ends' had in store for us. Another battle to the death with Michael, another ham-handed message filled movie about how mob mentality makes people into monsters or another call-back filled nostalgia trip to what we enjoyed in the original? Well, luckily 'Halloween Ends' goes in different direction and this may upset some audience members. Instead of following Michael on another killing rampage, our main character is Corey. A 24-year-old down and out kid who’s been shamed by the town after being involved in a tragic accident a few years earlier. Corey is played by Rohan Campbell, who I think does a fantastic job capturing the rise in intensity that the character goes though during the movie. His character very much feels inspired by Arnie from Stephen King’s 'Christine'.

Of course, returning as Laurie Strode is Jamie Lee Curtis. It’s great to see her character progress from what she was in 'Kills'. She’s much more easy going and happier, chilling out on the home security and guns and actually living a nice life with her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak). The most interesting thing about Laurie this time is that people in the town blame Laurie for provoking Michael and causing all of his carnage. It’s mentioned a few times and never fully explored (which is a shame) but it’s definitely something that peaked my interest during the film. Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney return as Michael, but he’s not a big part of the movie. Michael’s shadow looms over the town, but the man himself doesn’t really show up until about an hour in. At the end of 'Kills', we see that Michael might be supernatural. In 'Ends', this is kind of explained not through words but Michael’s body language, which I loved as a choice.

One of the best things about all the kills in 'Ends' is that they feel justified. It’s not mindless killing, it’s all revenge based. Super gory at times, they feel like something out of a gritty 80’s grindhouse film. Without spoiling anything, Michael and Laurie do have a final battle and it’s brutal. Some people will feel like it was lacklustre, but it feels like a fight two people who have been at odds for the last 40 years would have. It's definitely a fitting end to the characters and doesn’t leave much wiggle room for another sequel. They mean it this time. Halloween really does END.



My few gripes with the movie lie in the pacing and some of the dialogue. There’s a love storyline involving Corey and Allyson and it comes off as incredibly rushed. It's not terrible, but I can take you out of it thinking “why does she even like this guy?”. People are going to hate that this isn’t your standard 'Halloween' sequel and that’s ok. Personally, I loved it. It did something with the characters and the premise and gave us something new along with a satisfying conclusion to Michael and Laurie. If you want Michael on a murder spree, go watch 'Kills' but if you want a character study about how someone can be warped by his bad surroundings? 'Ends' is the movie for you.


Verdict:


- Adam Neeson


'Halloween Ends' is currently playing in cinemas right now and streaming on Peacock in the U.S.




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