Halloween Ends (2022)
Halloween Kills (2021)
Halloween Ends (2022)
Written by: Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Green
Directed By: David Gordon Green
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney
IMDB Rating: 5.1/10 Stars
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 57%
Plot Synopsis: 6 years after the events of Halloween Kills. Alyson tries to move on with her life while a new friend Corey tries to move on after a horrible accident that ruins his life. Laurie Strode faces off for the last time against the embodiment of evil, Michael Myers, in a final confrontation for survival…
My Review: And with “Halloween Ends,” this ends the reboot trilogy that literally erases “Halloween II, IV, V, VI.” Along with the brief first reboot attempt from “H20” and “Resurrection.” Yep… They already reboot the series once before this trilogy.
Many SPOILERS ahead. You have been notified…
Just so we are clear with “Halloween” there are a few different continuities here. There are technically five of them. The odd ones out, to keep it simple here, are the Rob Zombie reboots of “Halloween” (2007) and “Halloween 2” (2009). These are unrelated from the Jamie Lee Curtis material. There is “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (1982), which is an anthology film that does not have anything Michael Myers related to mention about it. We are left with the three main continuities, which include Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode.
There is the original continuity we grew up on which is “Halloween” (1978) to “Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers” (1995). The first time they tried to reboot “Halloween” was in 1998 with “Halloween H20.” This included both “Halloween” (1978) and “Halloween 2,” (1981) but skips all the other movies and picks things back up here. They made one other sequel here with “Halloween: Resurrection” in 2002. They then let Rob Zombie do his thing a few years later, which was a complete reboot of the series.
In 2018, “Halloween” would be rebooted again. This time erasing everything except “Halloween” (1978) and they pick back up here with “Halloween” (2018), “Halloween Kills” (2021) and “Halloween Ends” (2022).
We are here to review “Halloween Ends” (2022) but we will be referring to “Halloween” (2018), “Halloween Kills” (2021) because this cannot be reviewed without encompassing the trilogy.
HEAVY SPOILERS AHEAD…
The best way I can describe “Halloween Ends” is this is a “Halloween” movie in title only and Michael Myers is reduced to a cameo at best.
“Halloween” (2018) was a good way to reboot the franchise but fails in some respects when you look at the film in retrospect after “Halloween Kills” (2021) came and gone with much anticipation and then disappointment. The sequence at the beginning of “Halloween Kills;” they explain how Michael Myers gets recaptured after the events of “Halloween” (1978). “Halloween” (2018) picks up 40 years later with Michael Myers in a mental hospital/prison and then later escapes (again).
They planned this trilogy out in advance. They basically made one really long story arch for one movie and had to break it up into two movies. This makes sense to me because “Halloween Kills” is a mess. It is such an unnecessary movie. They could have told both “Halloween” (2018) and “Halloween Kills” as one movie. Would it have been long? Sure but so what? The bulk of these three movies were written by: Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Green, who also directed all three films.
Danny McBride, over the years has written some fantastic stuff and both Jeff and David have had some successes but nothing that really screams they should be writing and directing these movies. Danny probably had a lot of pull on them doing this. All three movies look good from a cinematography point of view. They are made competently. That has never been the issue. However, good writing, dialog, pacing, tone, characterization. That is where all three of these movies lacks and it actually hurts these films as being more than “just another slasher movie.”
It is obvious to me that they had one huge movie, broke it up into two movies and the third would be whatever is left. Now, this to me, shows. "Halloween Kills" falls apart early on and never recovers. They should have just started “Halloween” (2018) with the opening scene from “Halloween Kills.” Where they pick up right from the end of “Halloween” (1978) and show Michael Myers being caught and sent back to prison, which sets up the beginning for “Halloween” (2018). They could have combined “Halloween” (2018) and “Halloween Kills” as one film and it be frickin’ great. They could have bled out all the filler in “Halloween Kills” to make this one “Halloween” movie a stellar sequel to the original “Halloween” (1978).
This is important when you look at what we got in “Halloween Ends.” “Halloween Ends” is panic mode for the producers and filmmakers of the franchise. They took nearly the same approach they did with the newer “Star Wars” Trilogy where “The Last Jedi” was such an incoherent mess that they literally tried to start over in one film.
They did this here, at least in the writing aspects of the film. Instead of continuing the story they went with the “Halloween V” and “Halloween VI” versions where they try to explain Myers' evil, which is/was a mistake. I have never been very interested in the origins of Michael Myers evil and superhuman like abilities. “Halloween Ends” seems more like something Roger Corman used to do. Take two or more films and combine them and if they mess up a major scene in the movie at some point so be it.
This is what that felt like. It’s called, “Halloween Ends,” but the movie doesn't feel like a “Halloween” movie at no time in the film. The tone is all wrong. The subplot of Corey being psychically connected to Michael Myers was/is a bad take. Him convincing Allyson to be or do bad things with him seems more like something from a poorly written TV teen drama. Where the bad guy convinces his, sort of girlfriend, to help him shoot up the school or something.
The subplots of all the characters do not fit the tone of a “Halloween” movie. I did like how they tried to be different, but you don’t pull that in the final chapter. If anything, you do that in the second part of the trilogy. Not what we got with the mob rules mentality of "evil dies tonight" chants to a point they drive a mentally handicap man, that clearly cannot be Michael Myers, to jump out the window in “Halloween Kills.” “Halloween Kills” had amazing kill scenes, probably the best in any of the “Halloween” entries, but still fails with the story trying to be told there. There is so many filler subplots in “Halloween Kills” it was getting harder to understand the story that was trying to be told in that film. It is such a mess that -that is why I feel like “Halloween” (2018) and “Halloween Kills” are really one movie ripped apart to be two movies, with “Halloween Kills” being the one with all the filler and “Halloween” (2018) only missing the very beginning and ending of “Halloween Kills.”
Major Spoiler for that film; the beginning of “Halloween Kills” picks up at the end of “Halloween” (1978) and explains why Michael Myers is incarcerated at the beginning of “Halloween“ (2018) and at the end where Michael Myers kills Lorie’s daughter and Alyson’s mother, Karen. Those are really the only two major plot points from Halloween (2018) that actually carried over from the plot of “Halloween Kills” to “Halloween Ends.” All the rest of the movie is just more fodder for Michael Myers to brutally kill.
At the end of “Halloween Kills” Michael Myers goes from superman slasher to “Halloween Ends” to someone that cannot fight a young adult (Corey) who literally gets beat up by teenagers earlier in the film. The more I think about this movie. The more I do not like it.
“Halloween Ends” is watchable and there are things I liked, but the things I do not like “heavily” outweigh what I liked. To me that is what ruins the films. This movie just feels like it was made in a panic. It being duel released in both theaters and Peacock wasn’t a good sign either. This was a movie about a tragic love story with Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Myers in the film as cameos. I doubt anyone can convince me otherwise on those points. It simply isn’t a “Halloween” movie. It doesn’t feel like one. It certainly doesn’t act like one. The gore, that was so over the top in Halloween Kills, is almost nonexistent till the very end of the movie.
So many awkward character moments too. Will Patton’s character of Officer Frank Hawkins, who was fairly surely dead in Halloween (2018) somehow survives into “Halloween Kills” and into “Halloween Ends” and now wants to date Laurie but doesn’t know how to talk to her all of the sudden after everything they have been through. Just a lot of that going on. Some of the choices the characters make do not make sense with what we saw/learned from them in the last two “Halloween” entries. It is shotty TV writing and by mainly TV writers. That is what this movie felt like. A TV drama formatted as a movie, but it doesn’t feel like a “Halloween” movie. As I stated before the kills were super weak. They finally get gory at the end and it isn’t that great a payoff as Michael Myers is already dead at this point.
So to summarize.
“Halloween” (2018) and “Halloween Kills” are really one movie broken up into two movies, where “Halloween Kills” has all the stuff that should be in “Halloween” (2018) with a lot of senseless filler in it. “Halloween Ends” is what is left and someone pulled a Roger Corman here and took a made for TV teen drama script about a school mass shooting and retooled it to include Laurie Strode and Michael Myers as cameos and slapped the "Halloween" logo on and gave it to Peacock as their final installment of the “Halloween Reboot Trilogy.” Rest in Peace (2018-2022). Hope we forget this soon.
I’d like to wrap this up with something positive about something “Halloween” and Michael Myers related. The best version of “Halloween” Post Carpenter’s 1978 classic to me was Rob Zombie's "workprint" version of “Halloween” (2007). It's a completely different film than the theatrical cut and DVD release we got. I was lucky enough to see the workprint before the theatrical cut so it always stayed fresh in my mind over the years as being a superior film.
The soundtrack and score are different. They use sound way more effectively in the workprint version over the theatrical version. The plot is basically the same but the tone is much rawer and it feels much more grounded a movie. It feels more real than the one people saw in theaters and on DVD. The Theatrical/DVD cut just “looks more polished.” However, it is this indie feel in the workprint that really makes “Halloween” (2007) shine.
Like, what if Michael Myers was just this bullied kid with a FK’d up family life who just loses his goddamn mind and kills his family only to break out of a mental hospital as an adult to go kill his surviving baby sister who is now adopted and a young adult herself? That to me was much better than what we got here and with what Zombie was sort of forced to do with both his theatrical cut of “Halloween” (2007) and Halloween II (2009), which was a complete mess.
When they decide to reboot “Halloween” again, and they will. I hope they keep it more grounded and more reality based like the feel of the workprint. I do not want to see some lame version of the lore trying to make the explainable portion of Michael Myers' evil. All that witchcraft/cult of Thorn stuff I didn't care for. Can't he just be this force of nature that must be completely destroyed in order to kill him over making his evil and super human powers some explainable rational thing?
One of the things about the 80s. What they couldn’t show you, or tell you they would just let your imagination run wild with ideas. I miss that in both horror and science fiction in film. I miss just sitting back and watching movies. Enjoying them, thinking about them. It is really disappointing what they did with this trilogy. I may re-edit these myself. One could easily recut Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills into one great “Halloween” movie. No “Halloween Ends.” It ends with Michael Myers in the basement burning at the end of “Halloween (2018).” Just one damn movie. The footage is all there. Just someone with some resources and someone that cares about the material. It is clear the producers here didn’t care much. When you miss this bad… I just do not know anymore.