#Horror, #movie review, #Film, #review
Oct 18, 2022
Review: Halloween Ends (2022)
Review by: David North-Martino
Halloween Ends (2022) is a psychological horror film directed by David Gordon Green and stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell (The Hardy Boys - 2020), and Will Patton.
Halloween Ends? Can we be so lucky? After an enjoyable first entry, rebooting the franchise with Halloween (2018), the sequel, Halloween Kills, put the main character, Laurie strode in the hospital for the whole picture and did the same with the franchise.
I had hoped that Halloween Kills suffered from being a connector movie and that Halloween Ends would give us a hard-hitting finale worthy of the Halloween (1978) pedigree.
Things start out great in the opening scene. Corey Cunningham (Campbell) is introduced as a beleaguered babysitter trying to pay for college. The scene ends with a bone-crunching shocker that made me believe the gloves, if not the mask, were coming off. I was excited… but not for long.
Laurie Strode (Curtis) is finally settling down with her granddaughter, Allyson Nelson (Matichak), she’s stopped running, and is writing a memoir. Inexplicably, Michael has vanished. No one, not even Laurie, thinks he will return. I know, it makes no sense.
Corey Cunningham is now a misunderstood pariah of the community and Laurie isn’t fairing much better. They meet coincidentally while Corey is bullied by a roving gang of high school band geeks. I kid you not! My wife, a self-professed former high school band geek herself assures me that members of the HS band were neither the cool kids nor the tough kids. They certainly seem to be the toughest group in Haddonfield.
Not only does Laurie step in to help Corey but decides to set him up with her granddaughter. This leads to a very weird and uncomfortable exchange between her and Allyson. In modern parlance, we’d say it was cringe!
Coincidences abound as Laurie runs into Deputy Frank Hawkins (Patton) in the grocery store. They have a cringy flirtatious exchange before Laurie runs into the family of one of Michael’s victims in the parking lot. Does Haddonfield have only one grocery store?
As Corey becomes confident in the story, he becomes more and more of a bad guy for some reason. He’s not unlike Arnie Cunningham in Christine (1983) affected not by a haunted car but by the (spirit?) of Michael Myers. Both characters having the same last name can’t be a coincidence—can it?
A big problem with Halloween Ends is rarely a horror film. There are no scares or suspense. Michael is only in a few scenes and is mostly on Haddonfield’s outskirts. There are very few kills, and the body count, what there is of it, only connects tangentially to the main plot.
Although more watchable than Halloween Kills, Halloween Ends suffers from a muddled storyline (just like its predecessor), a lack of clear direction, and one ridiculous scene after another. How could the same director who helmed Halloween (2018) have directed these two stinkers? I believe studio interference may be at fault.
Halloween Ends should have been good, but instead, it’s a mess. There are enough ideas here that it could be easily fixed. See my story doctoring section.
If you’ve watched the previous movies, you know you’ll check this one out if only for closure. If you’re just beginning your Halloween journey, watch Halloween (1979), Halloween (2018), and then call it a night.
Halloween Ends is streaming on Peacock and in theaters.
Begin with the hard-hitting opening scene. Then have Laurie tell us in her memoir, through voiceover, that the people of Haddonfield destroyed Michael not long after the events of the last movie. Have Corey suffer a mental breakdown and believe he’s communicating with Michael Myers on the outskirts of Haddonfield. Corey finds a mask and becomes the new Michael. To save Alysson, Laurie must now face the copycat killer. She kills Corey, goes back to living the quiet life, and rekindles her relationship with Deputy Hawkins. Alternate ending: Laurie kills Corey who is still wearing the mask. Distracted by her daughter or Deputy Hawkins she turns away from the Shape. When she turns back, the Shape is gone! Que the theme music! There you go. You’re welcome! Too bad no one contacted me for story doctoring!
Rating: Two out of five stars.